Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: Celebrate Broadway’s return to the stage with five must-listen cast albums

<p>Members of the cast of “Chicago” dance during the opening song “All that Jazz” on Oct. 10, 2018, in IU Auditorium. Broadway closed in March 2020 and reopened on Sept. 14, 2021.</p>

Members of the cast of “Chicago” dance during the opening song “All that Jazz” on Oct. 10, 2018, in IU Auditorium. Broadway closed in March 2020 and reopened on Sept. 14, 2021.

Broadway’s lights began to shine once again with the play “Pass Over” being the first to open on Aug. 4 after theaters went dark a year and a half ago. Now, to celebrate the return of kick lines and jazz squares, here are five Broadway cast albums you need to listen to right now.

“Hadestown”

“Hadestown” is a modern retelling of the Greek myths of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as Hades and Persephone. In this show, the music of Orpheus comes to life as he journeys to the Underworld to save his true love. The Broadway show will be on tour across the country starting on Oct. 5, so if you listen and love it, you don’t have to travel to the Big Apple.

The original Broadway cast album includes talents such as Reeve Carney, André de Shields and Eva Noblezada, who played the main character in the 2017 Broadway revival of “Miss Saigon.” My personal favorites from the album include “Wedding Song” and “Way Down Hadestown.”

“Anastasia”

You might’ve seen the animated movie with the Romanov grand duchess, the evil Rasputin and the clumsy-yet-adorable bat Bartok. But if you’re a history buff and haven’t listened to this musical, give it a shot.

“Anastasia” is a more realistic retelling of the Russian duchess’s story, including the parts that the children’s movie glosses over, such as the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution. While it incorporates the original songs, it also includes new songs such as “The Neva Flows,” “In a Crowd of Thousands” and “Crossing a Bridge.” The musical adds a lot more dimension to the characters of Anastasia and Dmitry than the original cartoon movie, making them more than just stubborn people.

Plus, “Anastasia” is coming to IU Auditorium on Nov. 9, with tickets on sale now.

“In the Heights”

Now that it’s a movie, “In the Heights” may be more popular than ever. It’s likely that you have already seen it, but the original Broadway cast album is definitely worth a listen. 

“In the Heights” was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway show, years before he debuted “Hamilton.” If you’re looking to hear the awesome voices of Miranda, Karen Olivo, Christopher Jackson and more, be sure to give this cast album a try. 

“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”

Are you a Kelley School of Business kid trying to ace your classes this semester? You’ll love this show. 

The show follows J. Pierrepont “Ponty” Finch, a young and aspiring businessman who has a meteoric rise at the World Wide Wicket Corporation while reading the book “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

It’s based on the novel “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: The Dastard’s Guide to Fame and Fortune” by Shepherd Mead. The show opened on Broadway in 1961 with two revivals since. Daniel Radcliffe starred in the 2011 revival, so if you want to hear Harry Potter sing, I recommend this version.

If you’re looking for some upbeat songs and corporate scandal, this one's for you.

“Newsies”

“Newsies” is popular because of its Disney affiliation. Even if you have listened to it, go listen to it again. 

I recommend the cast album from Broadway rather than the music from the 1992 movie because of the inclusion of Kara Lindsay’s character, Katherine — a kick-butt reporter who catches her big break after writing about the newsies’ strike for The New York World. 

Because newsies, or individuals who sold newspapers on the street, were historically boys and young men, the 1992 movie has few women in it. The addition of Katherine to the musical makes the Broadway “Newsies” one of my favorite cast albums to listen to. She is a love interest for main character Jack Kelly, played by Jeremy Jordan, but the most prominent part of her character to me is her journalistic ambition. Whether you’re a journalist or not, I feel that many women, including myself, identify with the empowering song “Watch What Happens.”

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Daily Rundown.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student