6 Broadway Tunes to add to your Spring Playlist

Looking for some Broadway tunes to get ready for spring? We've got you covered.

  1. 1. “Livin’ It Up on Top” from Hadestown

    A jazzy tune from the Greek goddess of spring herself, this song from Anaïs Mitchell’s imaginative musical Hadestown celebrates Persephone’s precious months out of the Underworld and in the sun on Earth. The song is a celebration of spring festivities, including plenty of wine and dance. As the cast describes their sunny days picking fruit and finding young love, little does the audience know their joy will soon be cut short by a brutal winter. For now though, they enjoy the blaring trombones and unique scene-stealing vocals of Tony-award nominated actress Amber Gray in a bright, foot-tapping tune (this theatre nerd’s recommendation- opt for the live 2017 Off-Broadway recording). It’s no surprise this unconventional show took home eight Tony’s last year, including Best Musical.

     

  2. 2. “Times are Hard for Dreamers” from Amélie

    A show many believed was too short-lived, Amélie was a celebration of new beginnings, unusual journies, and heart-warming compassion. The break-out tune from the 2017 musical follows our protagonist Amélie as she leaves her family for a happy, quiet life as a waitress in Montmartre, France. With undeniable charm and child-like hope, she describes the world around her unfolding exactly as it should, observing every stranger she passes with optimistic curiosity. Though perhaps not a song about the season itself, “Times are Hard for Dreamers” encapsulates the start of a new chapter and looks towards the future with ambition. The best part of it all? Broadway legend and Hamilton star Phillipa Soo is here to guarantee some of the best vocals on Broadway today.

  3. 3. “I Got Life” from Hair

    When Hair opened on Broadway in 1968, it was met with intense controversy and theatrical praise for pushing the boundaries of traditional theatre with its strong political stances, cast diversity, and iconic nude scene at the end of the first act. It’s opening number “Aquarius” would define a generation- but it’s this little known song near intermission that will make you jump to your feet in joy. Described as the original “tribal love-rock” musical, “I Got Life” is an unapologetic proclamation of freedom during an era that saw the Vietnam War, Watergate, and more. Our protagonist Claude celebrates all that he has and all life has to offer him with his tribe of hippies, and this catchy tune will have you dancing like it’s 1970 for days to come. For a truly joyful listening experience, this theatre nerd recommends the 2009 Revival recording with Broadway royalty Gavin Creel (though the original tune is certainly required listening for all theatre lovers)

     

  4. 4.   “Top of the World” from Tuck Everlasting

    Tuck Everlasting was a refreshing change to the stage when it opened on Broadway in 2016 but was unfortunately short-lived in a crowded field of new Broadway shows. The soundtrack, however, still lives on for devoted fans. Based on the children’s novel by Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting’s addictive quirky soundtrack makes you feel as if you’ve been plopped in a magical, whimsical storyland forest as we follow our protagonist Winnie Foster through the wood. After “good girl” Winnie decides to leave her strict home to go to the fair, she comes across Jesse Tuck, who takes Winnie to the top of the trees to show her the world below. When the energetic and quick-paced piano intro begins, you know you’re in for a playful and heart-warming ride. From the top of the world, we see the blooms of a new season, hopes for a more exciting future, and a whole forest worth exploring (even though Jesse will kidnap Winnie just one scene later!). 

     

  5. 5. “Summer in Ohio” from The Last Five Years

    Okay okay, so it may be cheating to use a song with “summer” in the title, but this Broadway hit is an undeniably relatable tune about the hopes of a new season and the disappoint it can sometimes bring. The Last Five Years follows the relationship of Cathy and Jamie, hopping around their timeline from their initial meeting to their eventual failing marriage. This popular tune describes our protagonist Cathy’s difficult summer rehearsing from a show in Ohio, including eccentric colleagues, a stripper roommate with a snake, and all the struggles that come with a long-distance relationship. While the song originally starts off as optimistic, the playful piano score soon becomes ironic as Cathy gleefully describes how she’d rather “Shove an ice pick in [her] eye” than spend another moment in Ohio. Cathy’s determination and love for her boyfriend push her to keep going, and she ends the song believing the torture will all be worth it. Even if the lyrics may not fill you with optimism, the song is nonetheless a foot-tapping catchy tune and realistic tale of how dreams sometimes don’t turn out the way we think, but there is always something, someone, or even a new season to look forward to. 

  6. 6. “For Forever” from Dear Evan Hansen

    It’s nearly impossible to be a theatre lover today and not know the smash-hit musical Dear Evan Hansen. After exploding onto the Broadway scene in 2016 (with the oh-so lovable Ben Platt at its helm), Dear Evan Hansen defined a new generation of theatre exploring the dark worlds of suicide, remorse, anxiety, depression, and guilt with a realistic and not-always optimistic lens. In this powerful number, Evan Hansen describes a fictional day in the sun climbing trees with the now-deceased Connor Murphey to his family. In context, the song should feel like a macabre memory; instead, it’s a surprisingly refreshing and joyful celebration of friends (who never existed). Climbing to the tops of the trees and kidding around like young boys, we see Evan’s dreams for a friendship he never had on a perfect sunny day. Anxiety-ridden and socially awkward, Evan shines in this number with powerful vocals and heart-breaking lies- and it’s impossible not to feel every emotion with the incredible vocals of Tony-winner Ben Platt