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.
Let’s get the ball rolling with…
Shane Warne: The Musical is a piece of pure Australian pride. Written by Helpmann award winning Eddie Perfect (who recently wrote the award-winning Beetlejuice), the show follows its namesake through his incredibly fascinating and complex life. The show received acclaim around Australia, including a Green Room Award and a Helpmann award. The cast album features some of Australia’s biggest names in music theatre, including Eddie himself in the title role.
Standout track/s: Piss it All Away; What about that, Shane?
You’ll like this if you enjoy…: Australian musicals, Eddie Perfect’s work (Beetlejuice, Vivid White)
Bat Boy: The Musical is so good. Like so good. It’s ridiculous and weird but totally worth a listen. The music and lyrics are by Laurence O’Keefe (of Legally Blonde and Heathers), so the score’s got his signature edgy tinge. The show is based off an article from a satirical newspaper in the 90s about a “half boy, half bat” creature being discovered. The original Off-Broadway production starred Devin May (Jersey Boys) and Kerry Butler (Mean Girls, Beetlejuice).
Standout track/s: Comfort and Joy; Inside your Heart; Apology to a Cow.
You’ll like this if you enjoy…: Laurence O’Keefe’s composition, any of those ‘edgy’ horror-style cult musicals (Reefer Madness, Little Shop of Horrors, Rocky Horror).
Wonderland is a modern retelling of the classic Alice in Wonderland story. It follows writer Alice dealing with her separation and raising her young daughter. She is transported to the magical Wonderland in a dream, and meets all the regulars – the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and of course, the Queen of Hearts. The show didn’t do too well in its run, but the music is fabulous. Particularly, I love how Wildhorn uses a whole variety of musical styles throughout the score. There’s some R&B, some classic pop, and even some boy band thrown in for good measure.
Standout track/s: Welcome to Wonderland; Go With The Flow; One Knight; The Mad Hatter
You’ll like this if you enjoy…: Alice in Wonderland, Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll and Hyde, Bonnie and Clyde), Disney musicals