Here’s Love London Love Culture’s musical theatre songs of the month – including songs from Half a Sixpence, Hamilton and Chicago.
1. Listen – Dreamgirls: as one of the most soulful songs from the musical, the lyrics makes those listening to it sit up and pay attention to it. The song is filled with rich tones and allows those performing it to fully explore their range with great control. It is certainly a favourite song from the current West End production.
2. The One Who’s Run Away – Half a Sixpence: as with so many of the songs in the popular recent revival’s soundtrack, there is great rhythm that instantly puts a smile on your face. It also allows the performers to add a lot of personality and heart in their own rendition, without coming across as insincere.
3. I Can’t Do it Alone – Chicago: this song comes at key moment in the musical, when Velma is particularly desperate – yet doesn’t want to let Roxie know exactly how desperate she is. This song is filled with a lot of bravado, yet somehow underneath you do get a hint of vulnerability and regret at how things have turned out for her.
4. Puttin’ On the Ritz – Top Hat: this musical was a lovely addition to the West End and was glorious to watch on tour. But it was this opening number and routine that became one of the most memorable opening sequences to a musical (well in my mind anyway). Long before An American in Paris came on the scene and the return of 42nd Street to the West End, Top Hat proved that there was a demand for a musical filled with elegant dancing and classic songs.
5. Non-Stop – Hamilton: as London eagerly awaits the arrival of this immensely popular Broadway musical, it is about time to take another listen to the soundtrack and its many popular songs. What Lin Manuel Miranda has done for musical theatre can’t be underestimated, but also he has shown that history can be made interesting – through combining sharp and modern lyrics with great rhythm and flair musically. In Non-Stop this is particularly shown with great story telling ability that forces you to sit up and pay attention.