As a massive Broadway nerd and self-proclaimed "Broadway Hipster," I am constantly giving recommendations. For fans of "Hamilton," I love recommending shows with a similar pop/rock score... here is my standard list of musicals that I recommend to all of you wonderful HamilFans.
Based on Leo Tolstoy's "War & Peace," and is often described as an "electro-pop opera." The interesting thing about this show, though, is that the show only covers a 70-page slice in the middle of the book (and for you Tolstoy aficionados, that's volume two, part five).
The show itself is a musical and lyrical masterpiece. Dave Malloy, the show's composer, blends a mix of genres to put Tolstoy's dialogue to music. Not only is the music great, but the vocal prowess of the cast members in the original Broadway cast album is simply fantastic (Josh Groban, Denee Benton, Amber Gray, and Lucas Steele are all stand-outs). For an added bonus, check out the original off-broadway cast album for Dave Malloy as Pierre and future "Hamilton" star Phillipa Soo as Natasha.
Choice tracks: "No One Else," "The Duel," "Dust & Ashes," "Charming," "The Abduction"
This pop musical tells the story of the six wives of Henry VIII as if they reunited for a concert. This show is the hidden gem of the West End and has yet to play its run on Broadway. I love this show because it sounds more like an album than an actual musical, so I can listen to it without needing many contexts. But, knowing the plot, each song fits with each of the six wives and their stories.
Choice tracks: "Ex-Wives," "Don't Lose Ur Head," "Heart of Stone," "Get Down," "All You Wanna Do"
Take it from me, this musical isn't for the faint of heart. Based on an 1841 play by Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening tells the story of German teenagers discovering the tumult of sexuality. The alternative rock score by singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik is gorgeous, with fantastic vocal performances by Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff, and John Gallagher Jr., among others.
Choice tracks: "The Bitch of Living," "Touch Me," "Don't Do Sadness/Blue Wind," "Left Behind," "Those You've Known"
A botched sex change isn't what you would expect for a Tony-winning musical, but here we are. Hedwig is one of the most unforgettable characters in the musical theatre canon, and she's been portrayed by a variety of actors, most famously by Neil Patrick Harris. But the soundtrack linked above doesn't contain Harris (I still recommend his version, though, for both his performance and Lena Hall's fantastic Yitzhak), but the book writer, John Cameron Mitchell, in the original off-broadway production in 1998. Mitchell's folksy, rock-tenor voice works gloriously with Stephen Trask's punk/glam-rock score and has given a simply masterful performance over many years.
Choice tracks: "Tear Me Down," "The Origin of Love," "Wicked Little Town," "The Long Grift," "Midnight Radio"
All soundtracks are available on Spotify and Apple Music.