Showtunes For People Who Don't Like Showtunes

The Hamilton Mixtape has opened up the world of showtunes to a lot of people who aren't into showtunes. Here are a few more tracks to add to your playlists to ease yourself into some more dope musical theater tracks. These are the kinds of songs that don't make you want to press "next".


Michael in the Bathroom from Be More Chill

Joe Iconis' musical Be More Chill premiered at the outstanding Two River Theater in 2013 and it truly should be on Broadway. George Salazar delivers a master class in musical theater song performance in this song, which is one of the best showtunes of the past decade. Incredibly relevant, urgent, sad, and funny all at once. 10 out of 10!

 

I'm NOT That Guy from Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson

Hamilton is American history told through rap music and 2010's Bloody, Bloody does it through emo and alternative rock. Broadway A-lister Benjamin Walker rocks it out as "Andrew Fuckin' Jackson". 

 

She Used To Be Mine from Waitress

Sometimes, singer/songwriters have a hard time translating their skills to musical theater, but Sara Barielles has no problem at all. Her radio-ready songs shine in Waitress, which is currently on Broadway, and Broadway A-lister Jessie Mueller makes this gorgeous song her own.

 
 

Child of the Philippines from Here Lies Love

David Byrne and Fatboy Slim wrote this 2013 biographical musical about Imelda Marcos and Filipino history and you can imagine that songs like this one made the show feel like a concert or a night out at a chill dance club. 

Not currently on Spotify

Not currently on Spotify

 

Heart and Soul from Bright Lights, Big City

Patrick Wilson gave a stellar performance in 1999's Bright Lights, Big City at New York Theater Workshop. This soothing acoustic rock song is a duet with Wilson and Broadway A-lister Sherie Rene Scott just sounds so, so good.

 

Free At Last from Big River

Gospel often makes it way into musicals, but it is rarely done as well as it is in 1985's Big River. This song shows off the extraordinary voice that helped Ron Richardson win a Tony Award for his portrayal of Big Jim.

 

We Are Not Strangers from Runaways

Liz Swado's irreverent and revolutionary 1978 musical Runaways came directly from the streets of disco-era New York City and incorporates many styles of music popular at the time. This is the groovy reggae song from the show.

 

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The Beauty Underneath from Love Never Dies

You know The Phantom of the Opera? Well, Love Never Dies is the sequel, but it hasn’t made it to the Great White Way yet. This song is hard rock, and doesn’t have the traditional Broadway sound like the rest of the score.

 

All I’ve Ever Known from Hadestown

Hadestown is the retelling of the Orpheus myth, with music by folk singer/story teller Anais Mitchell. This gorgeous ballad, sung by Nabiyah Be and Damon Daunno, expresses the feeling of finally finding your true love.

 

Let It Sing from Violet

Written by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley, Violet is a musical theater cult favorite. It’s hard to not to be inspired by this uplifting song—especially when Joshua Henry sings it. Preach!

 

Waving Through a Window from DeaR Evan Hansen

Ben Platt is currently giving the (most likely Tony winning) performance of a lifetime. Written Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the newly christened Oscar winning team behind "La La Land" (and recently profiled in our 40 Under 40 feature), this song is just a small example of Platt’s brilliance.

 

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Asheville from Bright Star

Did you know Steve Martin plays the banjo? Yep--THAT Steve Martin! And he wrote this bluegrass musical with Edie Brickell in 2016. Steve didn’t appear or play in the show, but the songs from Bright Star sure are sweet.

 

Unworthy of Your Love from Assassins

A love ballad that expresses deep-rooted devotion…sung in this musical by 2 assassins to their idols. Written by the master, Stephen Sondheim. For real.

 

Some Kinda Time from Dogfight

Another Pasek and Paul entry (#sorrynotsorry)! Give one listen to the driving beat and soulful harmonies, and you’ll be playing this song on repeat. Coming of age never sounded so amazing!

 

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