Showtunes I'm Currently Obsessed With

I’ve always considered myself a fan of musicals, but for the longest time, I only knew music from about three shows (not counting Disney on Broadway). However, upon joining NUStage’s pit orchestra this semester, I dove headfirst into novel musicals, and now I’m approaching theater kid-level obsessed. So I thought I’d share five showtunes that I’ve been listening to on repeat for the past few months. I encourage watching the live performances of the songs because seeing them performed really adds to the experience. Most of the songs are from fairly well-known musicals, so if you’ve had a little exposure to musicals in the past, these would be a great place to start!

  1. 1. “Roxie” - Chicago (Music from the Miramax Motion Picture)

    Chicago follows the story of two women accused of murder, Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, who develop a fierce rivalry while competing for fame and attention. It’s set during the 1920s Jazz Age, and the time period is really reflected in the music. “Roxie” is sung by its titular character as she fantasizes about becoming famous, and it’s one of my favorite songs from the musical. The combination of the catchy piano riff and sultry melody really make it one worth listening to!

  2. 2. “If I Could Tell Her” - Dear Evan Hansen (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

    I had the privilege of seeing Dear Evan Hansen live about a month ago, and I would highly recommend checking out this hard-hitting contemporary musical. It follows Evan Hansen, a teenager with social anxiety whose therapy assignment is to write letters to himself. When one of his letters is found on the body of Connor Murphy, a boy who committed suicide, Evan becomes entangled in a web of lies where he pretends that he and Connor had been best friends. Evan confesses his feelings to his crush, and Connor’s sister Zoe, through the song “If I Could Tell Her,” although he pretends that Connor said the words to avoid actually confessing. While it isn’t the most well-known song from the musical, I am a sucker for acoustic songs and this one has a particularly beautiful melody.

  3. 3. “Revenge Party” - Mean Girls (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

    I’m sure everyone is familiar with the 2004 classic Mean Girls, and two years ago it was turned into a Broadway musical! “Revenge Party” is a ridiculously catchy song sung by Janis, Damian, and Cady as they plan their revenge against Regina George. The tune mixes dialogue with singing, and includes iconic lines like “I need to lose three pounds” and “your hair looks sexy pushed back.” So if you’re a fan of the movie, you definitely need to check out this song (and the rest of the musical).

  4. 4. “Don't Lose Your Head” - Six (Studio Cast Recording)

    Six is a fairly new musical that puts a feminist spin on the story of Henry VIII and his six wives. It’s presented in the form of a pop concert as each wife tells her story through a catchy top 40-esque number. “Don’t Lose Your Head” is sung by Anne Boelyn, and it’s playful and slightly cheeky lyrics will keep you smiling the entire song.

  5. 5. “What is This Feeling?” - Wicked (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

    Before Idina Menzel was Elsa, she was Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. I also had the privilege of seeing Wicked over winter break, which retells the classic story of The Wizard of Oz as it follows Elphaba’s fall from grace and descent into “wickedness.” It is one of the most successful shows on Broadway, and features many iconic songs like “Popular” and “Defying Gravity.” While I love both of those songs, an underrated one that deserves more love is “What is This Feeling?” It’s sung as a duet between Galinda and Elphaba when they are forced to be roommates, and is all about how much they hate each other. Needless to say, I love it.