If you want five Broadway shows that will get you hooked onto musicals then check out the link to my first article below:
Not impressed with any of them?
Well, I refuse to give up!
Here are seven more musicals that will get you hooked for sure:
1. "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Ok, to be honest with you, I'm only writing this so I can tell you how much I love Steven Sondheim's magnum opus "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." Based on the 1840s pulp stories, Sondheim retells the story of the fallen barber as a revenge tale. The man formerly known as Benjamin Barker who was wrongfully convicted and sent away by a jealous judge and beadle, with the judge lusting after his wife.
15 years after being exiled to Botany Bay, Barker returns under the new name Sweeney Todd to exact revenge on the judge and beadle, with the judge keeping his daughter Johanna as his ward. Todd loses his sanity due to his obsession with revenge and becomes a serial killer in the process. And he's assisted by the owner of the pie shop below his barber shop, Mrs. Lovett, into cooking his victims into meat pies.
Sweeney Todd is simply The GOAT.
There are several great versions of Sweeney Todd such as:
The original Broadway soundtrack sung by Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts herself).
The TV movie of the show with George Hearn as Todd
A 2001 concert with Hearn and Patti Lupone as Mrs. Lovett
A unique Broadway revival with Lupone and Michael Cerveris as Sweeney
And, of course, the Tim Burton 2007 movie starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter
Also, the cast of "Hamilton" paid homage to it and it might be the greatest thing to ever be made ever.
2. "Jesus Christ Superstar"
One of the controversial and complicated musicals of its time, "Jesus Christ Superstar" is hard to describe, yet it's simply retelling the most famous event in human history: The Crucifixion.
With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, no company would dare take the risk of doing a rock opera about The Crucifixion during the 70s, especially since the musical ends with Jesus's death and does not feature The Resurrection. It also tells the story from Judas's perspective and emphasizes with his decision that is considered the worst in human history: betraying Christ and turning him in.
So without having their show picked up, Webber and Rice released their musical as an album and it turned out to be the right musical at the right time for a rebellious generation in the 1970s. The enormous popularity of the album led to countless adaptations that feature intentional anachronisms to reflect modern society and show just how radical Jesus actually was for his time.
Different versions include a very well-done 1973 movie and even a live performance aired by NBC on Easter Sunday last year starring John Legend as Jesus and Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene which I highly recommend.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice followed up their rock opera about an idol who died at 33 with another rock opera about an idol who died at 33 in "Evita." This time its biography about an icon you may have never heard of in Eva Peron, the former actress who became the first lady of Argentina to President Juan Peron.
Peron's life and death are told through the narration of a character named Che who holds an extreme prejudice against. He believed she was a fraud who ruined his country and talks about her the way I talk about current American politicians:
"Instead of government, we had a stage
Instead of ideas, a prima donna's rage
Instead of help we were given a crowd
She didn't say much, but she said it loud"
"Forgive my impertinent behavior, but how long do you think this pantomime can last?"
"How can you claim to be a savior, when those who oppose you are stepped or cut up or simply disappear?"
"Tell me before I seek worthier pastures, and thereby restore self-esteem. How can you be so short-sighted, to look never further than this week or next week, to have no impossible dream?"
Damn Che, she's just a lady trying to get by, calm down because it doesn't get any better after this.
Like "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Evita" was released as an album and became a huge sensation, leading to tremendous success on the stage and screen with Madonna playing the iconic role in the 1996 movie.
And don't you just think this is the kind of role that Lady Gaga would be perfect to play today?
4. "The Secret Garden"
I stumbled onto this show out of nowhere last year and it's probably the most underrated musical I've ever heard. I never thought this show based off a children's story would as incredibly rich and compelling as it. The lyrics flow through you and raises your senses to another plane of existence. The music takes you to a fantasy world so simple yet you're too drawn to it.
You won't find a movie version of this musical or see it's billboard all over Broadway, but this soundtrack is a must-listen.
5. "Fun Home"
A musical based off of a mid-forties lesbian comic book artist's childhood about her family running a funeral home in small-town Pennsylvania. It's the perfect the formula for a Broadway smash.
It's not the sweeping epic of other musicals, but this little intimate story about a girl's journey of self-discovery and confronting her complicated relationship with her father keeps you engaged until the very end.
Many critics have ranked "Gypsy" as the greatest musical of all-time with melodies and lyrics that blend together perfectly.
While it's not about an actual Gypsy, it's the story about a mother's constant struggle in the pushing herself and her kids to stardom in the entertainment business.
Rose, the mother, fights through her mid-life crisis to make it in the big-time, and it costs her sanity and the relationships with her family.
"Gypsy" is decades old, but it was decades ahead of its time and the show is still incredible to listen to today.
7. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
As with the last musical list, I had to include a musical adaptation of a Disney movie of what I think is one of their most underrated films ever with "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
Even though the movie has faded into obscurity, the score by Alan Menkin and some of the songs is some of the best Disney has ever made, so it was inevitable that a stage-musical had to be made.
Disney made that stage show in 2015 and made some changes from the movie including replacing the flawed gargoyles with a Greek chorus representing the bells of Notre Dame, and included the dark ending of the original novel by Victor Hugo.
Unfortunately, the show never made it to Broadway and has since faded away like the movie, but thankfully the original cast recording is available on Apple Music and I highly recommend you check it out.
I also want to lobby Disney to make a live-action adaptation of Hunchback because I think it's the perfect time to retell the iconic story that has touched generation after generation.
There is also an "interesting" French musical of the story called "Notre Dame De Paris" which is....interesting.
And yes I know "Dear Evan Hanson" is the talk of Broadway right now I just haven't listened to it yet but I will...someday...