Spotify Takover: Showtunes For People Who Don't Like Showtunes
by Tom Coppola
We are launching an exciting new twist on our Showtunes For People Who Don't Like Showtunes feature!
Starting this month, notable figures in the Broadway community will take-over our Spotify account, and tell us what show tunes they think break the mold. Each recommendation includes links to Spotify and iTunes, but you can play the entire songlist at the bottom of the article!
Kicking us off is music coach and rock musical guru, Sheri Sanders! Sheri has become the theater world’s go-to expert when it comes to instructing performers how to interpret all styles of popular music for the purpose of auditioning for rock musicals. Sheri literally wrote the book on the subject--“Rock the Audition”-- and after gracing 59 colleges with her brilliance, spurned her interactive Online Rock Musical Theatre Training Program currently being utilized by educators in universities, performing arts programs, and with professional performers across the nation (and growing)!
A performer in her own right, Sanders will offer up a solo concert, “Sheri Sanders is LEGIT! An Evening Of Legit Musical Theatre” at Subculture on April 17th. Use the button below to purchase tickets!
GET READY/DANCING IN THE STREET from Motown the Musical
"What I love about Motown is that there is nothing better than great arrangements of tunes off the radio in a jukebox musical. No one can deny that these songs have a purpose. They are meant to dance to. They are meant to bring black and white together. And that goes above and beyond “show tunes”. This is 100% real life!"
BLESS THE LORD from Godspell
"Now, the arrangements for the Broadway revival are a little more like GLEE and a little less of the '70s folk/rock inspiration that Stephen Schwartz first pioneered in musical theatre, but this song rides the line between rock, folk, soul, and gospel so well I had to share it. After all, in the vocal selections, it says 'a la Laura Nyro' in the upper corner--who was one of the greatest influences on artists from Sara Bareilles to Stephen Sondheim and Barbra Streisand. And Lindsay Mendez’s voice in this track is DIVINE."
SUPERSTAR from Jesus Christ Superstar
"The Vietnam Era caused people to unleash emotionally. What came out of the need to heal from the war and the loss of the men in their lives was the escape mechanism of disco and funk. What I LOVE about this song is that after Jesus is crucified, this number lifted people spirits after pain with a huge party. Thats what disco did back then, and thats what it still does to us now with songs like "Uptown Funk" and "Get Lucky"."
SUDDENLY from Xanadu
"I got to play Calliope in this musical two summers ago and my GOD if it doesn’t put you in the magical disco skating rink, or on a yacht with a bunch of guys sipping champagne and bonding to singers like Hall and Oates, Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, NOTHING will."
THE HISTORY OF WRONG GUYS from Kinky Boots
"Kinky Boots is a disco musical. Cyndi Lauper grew up on disco and I watched her sing "Disco Inferno" at the Gay Pride parade live 10 years ago and it was AH-MAZING. This song feels SO '80s--the synthesizers, the vocals. Annaleigh Ashford emulates a young Cyndi Lauper but also gives me that GREAT sound that we got from Tiffany, Stacy Q, Debbie Gibson, Ah Ha, Kajagoogoo, Duran Duran, which is the true dramatic, colorful, wonderful '80s we watched people dance to on Solid Gold!"
ST. JIMMY from American Idiot
"We allllll remember that time in our lives when we were FILLED with rage and love. I was in high school, wore all black, listened to Siouxsie Sioux and the Smiths and The Dead Milkmen and I hung out with Russell Haver and we stage dove at a Sick of It All concert. I think this is a really GREAT time in most peoples lives, and if you haven’t had it yet, go have it! It feels SO good to get your pain OUT of your body!"
COME DOWN NOW from Passing Strange
"This is a rock musical--punk, actually--but it is SO flavorful. It sounds like at could be a Rita Ora, Lianne Lahavas, Lizz Wright, Erykah Badu or India Arie song. This was an EXTRAORDINARY musical and the story telling broke barriers, especially because the punk experience is primarily white. Just listen to what punk does to people of color."
TOUCH ME from Spring Awakening
"My heart! This song is effervescent of singers like Ed Sheeran and Adele where music lives in SO many worlds but is still poetic. Anthony Lee Medina came to me as a freshman in college and I coached him on this song for the tour audition. I told him that when he sings this song to feel someone unzip his pants and give him a BJ. He did, and he booked the tour! Now he's Phillip in Hamilton on Broadway and I'm so proud if him!"
96,000 from In The Heights
"Such a great song, from such a WONDERFUL show. So much of the money made in hip-hop these days is when rap is put in as a verse to a pop song. This is the best of both worlds--GREAT pop hooks infused with a latin feel, and a palette of multiple styles of rap in it. All our favorite pop artists--Beyonce, JLo, Rihanna, Drake, Biggie--are on display here!"
BE GOOD OR BE GONE from Pump Boys and Dinettes
"2 words: Cass. Morgan. Cass Morgan is a LEGEND in our community, wrote this Tony Nominated show with her pals, and since then has graced our stages with the deepest, clearest sense of REAL country music. I interviewed her for my online training program, and she said, “I’m not even from the South. I’m from Upstate NY. But at 4 years old, country music made sense to me. It was a spiritual experience to me then, and it still is to me now.""
AWAITING YOU from Myths and Hymns
"When I teach people about the style of music you should sing for Amelie and Once auditions, I call this genre ‘faeries'. It’s singers who are ethereal, poetic and non-linear, like Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Regina Spektor and Tori Amos. I have ALWAYS said that Adam Guettel is the faerie of musical theatre, because his music lives in the ether of standard Broadway storytelling."
Play Sheri's entire Spotify playlist here!