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.
This week, we have a list of ‘shows with only 4 cast members’…
Ordinary Days follows four seemingly average people living in New York City, and how their lives interweave and intersect in the most interesting and unordinary of ways. It’s full of catchy songs, as well as some tear jerkers, and is a great option for a smaller independent or amateur theatre company due to its simplicity. Definitely some great audition songs in this one, and a really truly beautiful story to experience if you get the chance to see a staged production.
Standout track/s: Don’t Wanna Be Here; Fine; Calm; I’ll Be Here
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Edges/Pasek and Paul shows, song cycles
Now. Here. This. is such a good show, and is entirely underrated. From the same team behind [title of show] (Jeff Bowen, Hunter Bell, and Susan Blackwell), the show also follows four people as they explore time. Set in a natural history museum, they flick forwards and backwards through the centuries and share stories about life, growth, change, and learning to live in the moment. The original off-Broadway cast featured Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff, and Jeff Bowen.
Standout track/s: Give Me Your Attention; More Life; Then Comes You
You’ll like this if you enjoy: [title of show], Ordinary Days (A copout recommendation? Perhaps…)
Murder Ballad is an edgy, gritty show about a woman grappling with her life choices – does she want to stay in her safe, comfortable relationship or break it off for a passionate and wild affair? The show’s book, music, and lyrics were written by a fabulously powerful female duo, Juliana Nash and Julia Jordan. Sadly, the show’s seasons were short lived, however it saw an off-Broadway run starring Karen Olivio, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Will Swenson. The show made its West End premiere in 2016, starring Ramin Karimloo and Kerry Ellis.
Standout track/s: Murder Ballad; I Love NY; I’ll Be There; Mouth Tattoo
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Tick, Tick, Boom…, BKLYN, Rock-influenced scores