Top 5: Musicals

Are you looking for a new musical to get into or just one to listen to? This article is perfect for you. These are, in my opinion, the five best musicals. Note that there is no specific order to these musicals except for Next to Normal , which will always be first for me.

Next to Normal Next to Normal opened on Broadway in 2009 and closed in 2011, playing 733 performances. Next to Normal by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, focuses on a mother who has struggled with bipolar depression for over 15 years. Her husband, Dan, has not given up hope yet and tries to keep his family together and even puts Diana in ECT ( electroconvulsive therapy) . Natalie, Diana and Dan’s daughter, who also suffers from a mental illness, is tired of her mom getting all the attention and her parents not paying attention to her, but rather her dead brother, Gabe. Next to Normal shows themes of grief, suicide, drug abuse, and mental health. Most of the story is told through song, which is amazing considering the themes of this musicals and how well they come across. I personally think that the ending of this musical is perfect, because you don’t magically get better. It takes time and there are many ups and downs. This rock musical portrays mental health in an accurate way and shows how it can affect everyone around you. 

Waitress If Next to Normal wasn’t exactly your cup of tea, maybe Waitress by Sara Bareilles, is. Waitress is based off a movie released in 2007, called Waitress . Waitress opened on Broadway in 2016 and is still running. Waitress is about Jenna Hunterson, a waitress, who is in an abusive relationship with her husband, Earl. She ends up getting pregnant and wants to find a way to get out of her abusive relationship. There is also a lot of humor in Waitress that eases up the mood.

Bare: A Pop Opera Bare: A Pop Opera by Damon Intrabartolo and Jon Hartmere Jr, and is centers around a group of students at a Catholic boarding school. Something I find interesting in this musical is that there are multiple connections between this musical and the Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet. Some lines from Romeo and Juliet are also written in the music. There is also Bare: The Musical . 

American Psycho The musical American Psycho written by Duncan Sheik, who won a Grammy and two Tony’s for his music in another musical, Spring Awakening , and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa . American Psycho opened on Broadway in 2015 and sadly closed in 2016. American Psycho is about a young wealthy banker, Patrick Bateman, who is also a serial killer. This musical was also in London and there is a London cast recording. The music is electronic pop and there are also some older songs like, “in the air tonight” and “everybody wants to rule the world.” I also liked that Les Miserables is mentioned in this musical. There is also a book and a movie. 

Carrie Carrie is based on a Stephen King novel. Carrie: The Musical is written by Dean Pitchford and Lawrence D. Cohen . Carrie opened on Broadway in 1988 and closed three days later. Carrie is about a girl in high school who has telekinetic powers. She gets bullied at school by the more popular students and at home by her very religious mom. Although it closed three days after it opened, the soundtrack (and the book) is very good. There were many other musicals that I love and did not mention, so special mentions go to Falsettos , Venice , Heathers , Something Rotten , Miss Saigon , Wicked , Legally Blonde , Dear Evan Hansen , Les Miserables , The Phantom of the Opera , and finally, Rent . I hope you end up listening to one or more of these musicals and enjoy it.

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