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’re travelling back to the time of big hair, bright colour, and bitchy high schoolers: the 1980s.
Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, Carrie follows the eponymous teenage girl as she navigates high school with telekinetic powers. The show premiered in England in 1988 and saw a subsequent Broadway run, but closed after just 16 previews and 5 performances. Despite being considered a critical flop, the show has amassed a large cult following. The Broadway Revival in 2012 starred Molly Ranson in the title role, with Marin Mazzie (Margaret White), Christy Altomare (Sue), Derek Klena (Tommy), and Carmen Cusack (Miss Gardner).
Standout track/s: In; A Night We’ll Never Forget; The World According to Chris
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Heathers; Rent; the Carrie novel and film adaptations
Taboo is a musical about Billy, an aspiring photographer hoping to establish his career in London. The show is partly based around the life and relationships of Boy George, who also wrote the show’s music and lyrics. A fun, colourful celebration of the New Romantic movement, Taboo truly is a love letter to the 80s and a must listen to any Boy George fan.
Standout track/s: Safe in the City; Everything Taboo; Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Boy George/Culture Club; Bat Out Of Hell and other 80s Jukebox musicals
Based on the novel of the same name, American Psycho follows investment banker and serial killer Patrick Bateman through the menial and macabre movements of his life. The show premiered on the West End in 2013 with Matt Smith in the title role. It saw a brief Broadway engagement in 2016, closing after just 54 regular performances. The show had a sell-out Australian debut at the Hayes Theatre in 2019, with Ben Gerrard in the lead role. The score fuses an electronic score with 80s pop music, with music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Riverdale, Glee). It’s a great adaptation of the source material, and will be a definite favourite for any fans of the film.
Standout track/s: Cards; You Are What You Wear; Killing Spree
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Spring Awakening, 80s music, the American Psycho novel and film