Not many people know this, but I have a slight obsession with musical theatre. Only recently – after joining Spotify (I know, I’m very late to the game!) – did it occur to me that I’m a serial Broadway binger. I get hooked on a specific musical and then listen to it on repeat until my ears need a break.
On this occasion of my birthday, I thought it might be fun to look back at the history of my musical-theatre fixation.
I think the movie version of Fame is where it all started. This 1980 film – later adapted into both a stage musical and a TV series – focused on the aspirations of students at a performing arts high school, and embodied all my hopes and dreams as an ambitious young actor at the time. The soundtrack remained on repeat throughout my early adolescence, deepening my crush on Lee “bedroom eyes” Curreri every time I played it.
In the mid-1980s, my dad gave me a cassette of the Les Misérables soundtrack, after seeing the show live. Boy, did I play the heck out of that! In an unexpected turn of events, in 1991 I worked on the casting of the first bilingual-cast version of the show, an extraordinary experience that allowed me to see Les Mis both in English and its brand new French version.
As my show-business career inclinations shifted to the tech world in the latter part of the 90s, my fondness for musicals only deepened, and my penchant for playing the poop out of my favourites never left. Here are a couple of songs from a few of my later obsessions:
Hope you enjoyed this roundup, and feel free to share your own musical-theatre faves in the comments!