Listen, I don't have the time or money to go back and forth to New York City every other weekend. The long lines, the cold winters, AND other tourists? Who needs it? I'd much rather find a low-quality video that someone sneakily recorded on their phone and watch that in my bed any day. But what should you watch? I got you covered.
1. "Be More Chill"
A lot of people haven't heard of "Be More Chill" and that honestly hurts me to my core. "BMC" is about a high school kid who thinks he's a total loser nerd and is tired of it. He wishes he could just stop worrying about everything and "be more chill" like all of his cooler classmates. One day, one of the coolest kids in school corners him in the bathroom and asks him if he wants to be cool like him. He obviously says yes, and then directs our nerd to the mall to purchase a tiny supercomputer that the user swallows like a pill.
The supercomputer tells the consumer what to do to be cool, and our nerd's new life begins. It's a great show with catchy songs and will make you cry out of sadness and laughter. My favorite song from the show is "Michael In The Bathroom."
You've seen the movie with Danny DeVito, but the stage production is a whole other game. The set design, special effects, and pure talent of these very young kids is all astonishing. It's a story of a young genius girl with parents that don't appreciate her, so she finds solace in her school friends and teacher. She discovers she has telekinetic powers and uses it for good. My favorite song from this show is "When I Grow Up".
3. Dear Evan Hansen
If you are into Broadway shows, you've definitely heard of this one. "Dear Evan Hansen" was a big breakout hit in 2017 and the praise is well-deserved. The story of this show is that Evan Hansen is an outcast at his high school (this seems to be a running theme with my favorites) and has been advised by a therapist to write letters to himself starting with "Dear Evan Hansen, today's gonna be a great day and here's why…"
A school bully steals the note from him one day, and the next day (spoiler alert) the bully dies by suicide with the letter in his pocket. The bully's parents see this letter and interpret it as a letter written by the bully to Evan. To soothe a grieving family, Evan keeps up this falsehood and continues writing fake letters between himself and the bully. My favorite song from this soundtrack is "If I Could Tell Her."
We've all been sleeping on "Hairspray." In contrast to the rest of this list, however, "Hairspray" is one of the few musicals that has a better movie than the original production. There, I said it. This musical is based during the civil rights era in the '60s.
The main character is a plus-sized girl who wants to be on a singing and dancing TV show, and she learns through this process exactly how her African-American cast-mates are treated. She takes a stand against this mistreatment, risking her dream and reputation for the rights of others. "Hairspray" is so much more than a fat girl falling in love with Zac Efron. My favorite song in this soundtrack is "I Know Where I've Been."
5. "Mamma Mia!"
This is another musical where the movie is better. Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, plus ABBA music, are you kidding me? "Mamma Mia!" is the story of a young girl getting married, her quest to find her dad to walk her down the aisle, and her single mother feeling like she's losing her daughter. It's a story of family, love, and how nothing needs to be typical. My favorite song from this movie is "Our Last Summer."
6. "21 Chump Street"
One of the shortest musicals I've ever seen, clocking in at about thirty minutes long, "21 Chump Street" was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda a couple years ago. It is the story of an undercover drug bust at Park Vista High School. A senior at the school fell for the undercover cop "Naomi" to the point where he would do anything for her. My favorite song from this soundtrack is "What The Heck I Gotta Do."
7. "Legally Blonde"
That's right, your favorite socialite turned lawyer has her own musical. "Legally Blonde" is the story of a young sorority girl that gets dumped by her college sweetheart when he transfers to Harvard for law school, so she follows him there even though everyone believes she is too dumb to even be considered.
However, with her amazing grades and extracurriculars that no one seems to remember, she gets accepted, and soon finds out how hard law school can be. This is a tale of feminism and perseverance, with a few blonde jokes in between. My favorite song from this musical is "Chip On My Shoulder."
"RENT" was released at a time when the AIDS crisis was at its peak. There was too much hysteria and too little information that even talking about AIDS was taboo. However, "RENT" affected that greatly. "RENT" tells a story about a group of lower income 20-somethings in New York City who have AIDS. They are shown as straight, gay, black, white, and everything in between. In a time where AIDS was seen as a disease for gay people, this was a milestone. My favorite song from this soundtrack is "Seasons of Love."
"Wicked" is the story behind The Wizard of Oz. The Good Witch and The Wicked Witch were actually friends! Who would've guessed! "Wicked" uses underlying racial undertones in the bullying of The Wicked Witch because she was green. Her classmates assumed she was evil because of her skin tone and isolated her. However, Glinda The Good Witch was assigned as her roommate at school and developed an unlikely friendship with subtle nods to the original Wizard of Oz story throughout the play. My favorite song from this soundtrack is "For Good."
10. [title of show]
This show is about the creation of a Broadway show. Super meta, super cool. It follows a few friends making a Broadway show from scratch and documents their work, fears, and emotions throughout the process. From dreaming about being on Ellen to dreading the day the closing notice gets put up, the team works together and puts out the show that you are viewing today. My favorite song from this musical is "Two Nobodies in New York."
So, looks like your weekend is planned out now. Grab a snack, get in bed, and binge watch these musicals like you don't have a five-page paper due Monday. Happy watching!