“High School Musical” is among the reasons why musicals have been ruined for most of our generation. But remember, “High School Musical” is not representative of the musical theater genre. Here are five musical theater songs that don”t suck.
“I”m Not That Guy” – “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”
On the onset this song is reminiscent of traditional musical theater, but before you know it Benjamin Walker and company transforms it into a rock show as he laments his life as a 16th century politician. This musical is an all-American musical about the dramas that unraveled as we became a nation. Andrew Jackson expresses his inner torment that many of us can relate to on a daily basis under the scope of early American politics. Writer Alex Timber does this in style with drums, electric guitars and rock ballads.
“Left Behind” – “Spring Awakening”
This song plays less like the stereotypical, nasal, over peppy sound we are used to associating with musical theater and more like a life ballad you”ve heard on your favorite artist”s new album. This song reflects on the character, Moritz”s, suicide. Johnathon Groff sings about how his friend”s parents treated Moritz before the suicide and all that is left behind following his death. If you have ever experienced the death of a friend or have ever felt neglected by your parents or know someone who has, this song will jerk your heart strings.
“My Shot” – “Alexander Hamilton”
Here is another one that breaks the former understanding of what musical theater is. This song is from the Tony-winning, Pulitzer prize-receiving, hip-hop musical “Hamilton.” This is the second song in the show, and sets the precedent for what the musical is. The song and the entire show is not just a musical. Hamilton uses hip-hop, R&B and rap to tell the story of Alexander Hamilton, and this song sets the tone for this – another all-American musical.
“My Unfortunate Erection (Chip”s Lament)” – “Putnam County Spelling Bee”
This one may be familiar to anyone who saw the University of Idaho”s production of “Putnam County Spelling Bee.” This one is for any guys who have ever experienced the embarrassment of adolescence, more specifically, the awkward issue in your pants that stops you from getting up in class and solving the math problem. The song is a hoot, hilarious for both guys and girls. It”s sure to make anyone listing laugh at your next party.
“Taylor, the Latte Boy” – “Marcy Heisler”
This song is a fun one. Espresso brings us all joy, but what makes us even happier are the sometimes beautiful people who serve us our coffee. This song by Heisler is inspired by her own experience crushing on the barista who served her daily Starbucks coffee. The lyrics are witty, and sung by Zina Goldrich they become all the more entertaining as she plays with the language and lyrics, and expresses them in a way we can all relate to standing in line waiting for our morning lattes.
Kevin Douglas Neighbors can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org