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.
Merrily We Roll Along is quite possibly one of my favourite Sondheim shows ever. Unfortunately, it didn’t get near the praise it deserves. With an unconventional backwards structure, following composer Franklin Shepard backwards through his rise to fame and destruction of his relationships with best friends Charley Kringas and Mary Flynn. The original Broadway production played 44 previews and 16 performances before its closure, but has seen numerous revivals around the world since. A film adaptation is in production, with Ben Platt, Blake Jenner, and Beanie Feldstein in the three lead roles.
Standout track/s: Opening Doors; Old Friends; Not A Day Goes By; Our Time
You’ll like this if you enjoy: City of Angels, Sondheim musicals
Based on a 1912 novel of the same name, Daddy Long Legs tells the story of orphaned Jerusha Abbott and a mysterious donor who funds her college education. A two-hander, the show is a lovely ‘classic’ story that both young and old will enjoy. A professional recording of the show is available for viewing on BroadwayHD – I recommend giving it a watch if you can!
Standout track/s: Who Is This Man; The Man I’ll Never Be; The Secret of Happiness
You’ll like this if you enjoy: classic novels like those by Jane Austen or the Brontë sisters,
Bubble Boy is weird, fun, and definitely bubbly. Based on the 2001 film of the same name (which is, in turn, based on a 1976 film), the show follows Jimmy Livingston, a boy born with no immunities who is forced to live his life inside a bubble. Besides the obvious boy-meets-girl romantic subplot, the show also tackles deeper issues of self esteem, societal pressure, and being the best we can be. The original cast recording features a slew of theatre favourites, such as A.J. Holmes, Alice Ripley, Richard Kind, Matt Doyle, and Caroline Bowman.
Standout track/s: Prom Night; Falling For The Boy; Decontaminate Me; Out of Here
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Quirky coming-of-age stories, The Mad Ones, Edges