There are a number of shows where despite knowing a lot about them, I’ve not yet seen them live. I could tell you all about their production history, or perform some of the numbers in a one woman show – but I couldn’t tell you what it feels like to experience it on stage, which makes my heart ache. I was inspired to write this post to let the Universe know that I’d like to see these productions at one point in my life, and if I’m able to do so, I can die happy :). So please Universe, let’s make it happen. Thanks in advance.
Jason Robert Brown is one of my favourite musical theatre composers and this rousing score is unlike any of his other works. In Parade, Leo Frank is convicted of the rape and murder of one of his factory girls, Mary Fagin. Of all the shows I would like to see, I feel like this one stands miles above the rest. I know the cast recording so intimately after listening to it a countless number of times and have definitely performed versions of each one at one time.
- Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Spotify collates these stats at the end of the year to give users an idea of what sort of music they had been listened to. For 2018, it seemed like Great Comet was the only cast recording I had on repeat. This show is a musical adaptation of a short section of the War and Peace. I first discovered it after hearing Carrie Hope Fletcher’s rendition of No One Else in her recent Album ‘When the Curtain Falls’ and was HOOKED. I loved the combination of the Russian Folk melodies and the electronic/techno beats. Dave Malloy, the show’s creator, is just insanely talented. The show unfortunately lost out to Dear Evan Hansen when it came to the Tony Awards and due to a misfortunate casting scandal, the show closed on Broadway, I believe, far too soon. I’m not sure how audiences will react to Great Comet in the UK, but I do sincerely hope a production is on the horizon.
3. Next to Normal
Next to Normal won big at the 2009 Tony Awards, Alice Ripley took home the award for Best Leading Actress and composers Brian Yorke and Tom Kitt won for Best Original Score. Following this, many theatre lovers in the UK eagerly anticipated the announcement of a West End transfer. This sadly never came. In Next to Normal, we follow a family where the mother, Diane, suffers with bipolar disorder and delusional episodes. This is one of the few shows that I know deals with mental health issues and I applaud it for doing so.
I’ve heard rumours that a production company bought the rights in London, but it seemed like it was never staged. Bizarrely, there have been a number of productions in Germany. There was even one last year which I could have made as I was living in Germany at the time, but frustratingly I found about it a month after it closed. Again, I fell in love with the cast recording, especially Alice Ripley’s unique vocals. I’d do anything to see this live.
I had this phase at University where I developed an unhealthy obsession with Sondheim. I binge watched his interviews and documentaries about him as I was just fascinated by his genius. During this time, I came across Assassins and I remember being hooked. I would listen to the playlist on YouTube constantly and again act out the various scenes.
There was a version staged at the Menier Chocolate Factory starring Aaron Tveit in 2014 but I just couldn’t afford to travel down from York where I was studying at the time and pay for a ticket. I had hoped that there would be a West End transfer but that never came to be. In Assassins, one of Sondheim’s most controversial musicals, we meet all the people who attempted or successfully assassinated one of the Presidents of the United States. It’s run on Broadway was originally scheduled for 2001 but it was postponed to April 2004 in light of the events of 9/11. After 101 performances, it closed in July 18 2004. I just love how daring the subject matter is and it really pushes the boundaries for what audiences typically expect when they go to the theatre.
5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
I’m beginning to realise a theme here where most of the musicals I’d like to see are quite dark in the subject matter that they handle. Sweeney Todd is no exception to this. In this musical we see a barber return to London to take revenge on a corrupt judge. Epiphany has to be one of my favourite musical theatre songs ever. I’ve watched the film version starring Johnny Depp and although I enjoyed it, the vocals were not quite what I hoped they would be. I’m told that this is a favourite for local productions, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that a Amateur Theatre Group plan to do this some time soon.
Cabaret has a fabulous score by Kander and Ebb and it’s another show where I’ve missed a recent production of it. One of my favourite versions to listen to is with Alan Cumming as his accent and comedic approach just worked for me.
A Chorus Line
Again there was a revival in London as recent as 2013. But I was a broke ass student and there was no way I could afford making the trip. It pains me when I hear accounts from people who have seen it and say how marvellous it was.
Yes this is a musical completely about school aged children and one kid Evan who is about to turn 13. Does that make me too old to see it? Maybe. Do I care? No. It’s another show composed by Jason Robert Brown and so unsurprisingly I need to see it.
Thank you for reading! Have you seen any of the productions above? Or are there any shows which you are dying to see? Let me know in the comments below!