Welcome back to Musical Mondays!
In case you’re new here, this column is a peek into the depths of the Musical Theatre archive, where I will showcase a few musicals that I think deserve a little more love. You can read my past posts by clicking here!
They’re the smaller, niche shows that not everyone will be familiar with – and that’s the point! They deserve just as much love as the big name shows, so every second Monday I’ll list a few, give you some comparisons, and a few examples of songs for you to check out.
Based on the Shakespeare play of the same name, Love’s Labour’s Lost sees The King and his best mates vow against women – unluckily for them, four beautiful and brilliant girls from their past pop up, forcing them to re-evaluate their decision. The show was written by Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher), and is a great modern retelling of the classic comedy. With a boppy and energetic score, Love’s Labour’s Lost is a fantastic introduction to the work of the Bard through a contemporary and fresh lens.
Standout track/s: Hey Boys; I Love Cats; Love’s A Gun; It’s Not A Good Idea
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Shakespeare, romantic comedy shows
Preludes is yet another Dave Malloy show. If you read the last instalment of MM, you’d have seen I discussed Dave Malloy in all his whackiness. Preludes takes his wonderful genre fusion to a next level, combining classical composition with folk, electronica, and even opera. The plot follows composer Sergei Rachmaninoff as he grapples with writer’s block, pushing him to seek assistance in overcoming his mental barriers. The show made its Off-Broadway premiere in 2015, and recently saw an Off-West End run in 2019. A production is set to hit Sydney’s Seymour centre in November 2020.
Standout track/s: Lilacs; Not Alone; Loop
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Classical music (not just Rachmaninoff), Dave Malloy
Big Fish is a real favourite of mine. Based on both the novel and film of the same name, the show follows travelling salesman Edward Bloom and his relationship with his son Will. Full of magic, music, and mermaids, the show is a beautiful and whimsical examination of the father/son relationship. The original Broadway production featured some Broadway favourites including Norbert Leo Butz, Ciara Renee, Kate Baldwin, Alex Brightman, and Ben Crawford. A 2017 production at Hayes Theatre Co. in Sydney was met with strong praise.
Standout track/s: Be The Hero; Two Men In My Life; Time Stops; What’s Next
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Andrew Lippa, the film version of Big Fish