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.
Melbourne audiences were lucky enough to catch Kiss of the Spiderwoman last year, and for those who missed out – you really missed out. Penned by Kander and Ebb (the dynamic duo behind Cabaret and Chicago) and Terrence McNally (Ragtime, Anastasia), the show tells the story of the flamboyant Molina serving time in prison, and his compulsion to dream his way into crazy and colourful fantasies. Along the way he meets the Marxist Valentin, and the pair begin to spin into a complicated web of darkness, politics, and sexuality.
Standout track/s: Gimme Love; Kiss Of the Spider Woman; Only In The Movies
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Kander and Ebb, golden age/classic Broadway scores, La Cage Aux Folles
The Fix follows fictional politician Cal, and his accidental stumble into the underworld. Sam Mendes directed the original production, which premiered at Donmar Warehouse, starring John Barrowman, David Firth, and Philip Quast. Composer Dana P. Rowe and bookwriter/lyricist John Dempsey had previously collaborated on Zombie Prom, and went on to write The Witches of Eastwick together several years later. Interestingly enough, despite the show following U.S. politics, it has never actually played a Broadway house.
Standout track/s: America’s Son; Two Guys at Harvard; Child’s Play
You’ll like this if you enjoy: This show reminds me so strongly of Chess in its composition that I can’t think of another comparison. Just Chess.
Glory Days is a one-act 90 minute musical, written by Nick Blaemire (Falsettos, The Spongebob Musical, Cry-Baby) and his high school friend James Gardiner. It follows four school friends reuniting a year after their graduation and reminiscing about their school days. Simple in premise but lovely in execution, the show unfortunately closed its Broadway run after only 17 previews and single performance – their opening night. I really enjoy the score, and any tenors looking for new audition material would benefit from checking it out as well.
Standout track/s: My Three Best Friends; Right Here; Open Road; My Turn
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Anything by Kerrigan and Lowdermilk or Joey Contreras, high school shows