My Least Favourite Songs From My Favourite Musicals

There are so many great musicals out there. My list of favourites only keeps growing, but it’s okay because my heart and ears have no limit. Of course, just because I love a musical, it doesn’t mean I love every single song, and today I wanted to discuss which songs are my least favourite in the shows I hold closest to my heart. Not every song can be amazing. These are just my opinions and just a fun way for us to discuss musicals.

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‘When All Is Said And Done’ from Mamma Mia (Listen here)
This song isn’t in the stage production, but it is in the movie, and it is without a doubt the boring-est song of the show. We all know that Pierce Brosnan is not a spectacular singer, but this song really highlights this whereas it’s not nearly as evident in songs like ‘SOS’. Not to mention that it really doesn’t do much in terms of the plot.

‘Dear Old Shiz’ from Wicked (Listen here)
Wicked‘s great songs are really great but the other songs are honestly not anything amazing, and this song in particular is really unnecessary and slow and doesn’t really have any sort of lasting melody to hold on to. Plus, the musical barely focuses on Shiz, so I find it unnecessary.

‘Letters From The Refuge’ from Newsies (Listen here)
I’m technically cheating with this song as it was added to the show for the national tour and therefore was not on Broadway or the soundtrack, but still. As much as it was sweet to hear from Crutchie, using the same ‘Santa Fe’ melody again kind of made the song forgettable and we kind of already knew the refuge was not a great place anyway, so the song doesn’t really help much in getting that point across. I don’t think it needed to be added to the show at all. (If I had to pick a least favourite song from the soundtrack, it’d probably be ‘That’s Rich’ for no reason other than I love the other songs more).

Crutchie writing his letter to Jack.

‘Meet Me Inside’ from Hamilton (Listen here)
As someone who is not a huge fan of rap/hip-hop, there are a few songs on this soundtrack that musically don’t thrill me but they advance the plot well or are well written, but this song is not one of them. I can’t describe the heartbeat-esque sound that’s happening in the second half, but it makes me uneasy. Plus, this song just really shows how much of an idiot Hamilton can be.

‘Legally Blonde Remix’ from Legally Blonde (Listen here)
This is supposed to be a big moment in the show where things turn around for Elle, but I just don’t enjoy how this song was done. They add up the tempo of the song ‘Legally Blonde’ that was so deep and heartbreaking, made the lyrics so disjointed by having so many parts to it that feel so rushed, and then had this long dance break that isn’t fun to listen to unless you’re watching it on stage. Like, we get it, she’s legally blonde. You don’t have to say it 5000 times.

‘What A Woman Wants’ from Kinky Boots (Listen here)
I find this song annoying. The “whatta man, whatta man” bits are so annoying and the salsa-dancing vibes feel out of place in the soundtrack. I just skip this song whenever I listen to the soundtrack because I just do not enjoy it.

‘Climbing Uphill’ from The Last Five Years (Listen here)
I adore so much about The Last Five Years, but I cannot stand this song. I don’t mind the first part (though I don’t love it by any means) but when it turns to Cathy’s audition, I just hate it. I understand what they were trying to do, but I just don’t like it. And then the song does shift back to tolerable parts, but the Anna Kendrick version ends so suddenly, which is just awkward to listen to. Of course, is the Broadway version where it ends with Jamie snapping at Cathy better? Unsure. It’s bad all around.

Cathy at her audition.

‘Requiem’ from Dear Evan Hansen (Listen here)
I just find this song boring. It’s sung well and all, but just boring. And especially compared to other songs in this show that are just so powerful. I know a lot of people dislike ‘To Break In A Glove’ but I kind of like that one more.

‘Club Knocked Up’ from Waitress (Listen here)
I debated whether or not this 46-second nonsense really counts as a song, but it does. It’s annoying and an instant-skip for me.

‘Lead Us Out Of The Night’ from Come From Away (Listen here)
This show is so music heavy and every song has so much info and flows together so well that it’s hard to pick one that’s a least favourite, but I picked ‘Lead Us Out Of The Night’ because it’s kind of slow and haunting and uncomfortable. I know that’s the goal, but compared to the other songs, this one is weaker for sure.

‘Those Canaan Days’ from Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (Listen here)
I know this show jumps around in style a decent amount, but the French vibes in this song just don’t do anything for me here. Plus this song is far too long and droning. It’s the fourth longest song of the show, and all it’s saying is that Joseph’s brothers are not thriving. Pass.

Those Canaan Days.

If you’ve yet to see/listen to one of these musicals listed, don’t let this post deter you. Truthfully, while these songs are my least favourite, most are not at all bad and if it weren’t for this post where I actually had to pick them, I wouldn’t really have least favourites. Does that make sense?

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you agree with my choices for least favourite? What are some of your other least favourite songs in your favourite musicals?

That’s all for now!

 

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5 Musicals I Disliked While Everyone Else Seemed To Like

I love musicals, but I don’t love all musicals. There’s no musical that I hate, but there are some that I have no desire to see again. I mean, I wouldn’t turn down free tickets ever, but I would not pay to see these five shows in particular. However, I must note, that I have not seen these five musicals live on stage, and perhaps my dislike would change if I saw them in that format, but it’s unlikely.

1. Falsettos
The revival of Falsettos in 2016 got so much hype, probably because it had a pretty recognizable cast including Christian Borle, Andrew Rannells, and Stephanie J Block. The show was even pro-shot! And then people were raging when it lost the Tony for Best Revival. But I was kind of glad because I did not like the show. They were all good singers, but I just found the music and the plot so boring. I was bored. I listened to the soundtrack too to see if there was at least a song that would stick with me, but nothing did. I understand that the show has some powerful moments, some sad moments, but it was not enough to hook me in. I was just forcing my way through.
falsettos musical.

2. SpongeBob SquarePants
I grew up watching SpongeBob so I was very familiar with the characters and setting. The musical did a lot of things right (for example, I like how they made them human-esque rather than in mascot costumes), but overall, I just did not love it. Maybe kids would. My two main issues with this show were that a) the music was kind of dull considering they had so many great, talented names behind the songs, and b) the plot was so different from the TV show’s shenanigans. SpongeBob is a fry cook. He works and catches jellyfish and hangs out with Patrick. Bikini Bottom is pretty normal. Yet in the show, there’s a volcano going to erupt, and it’s up to SpongeBob, Sandy, and Patrick to save the city while everyone else has a concert fundraiser so they can afford to evacuate. It’s just kind of not a typical SpongeBob scenario, and I was kind of disappointed overall.
Spongebob musical.

3. Moulin Rouge
I had friends who were obsessed with this movie, but when I watched it, I was not into it. It was just too weird, and I just didn’t like any of the characters. It was a little too artsy for me. That being said, if I come across a bootleg for the current Broadway production of Moulin Rouge, I will probably give it a go, if for nothing other than Aaron Tveit. I’ve heard that the soundtrack is good, and they picked some good modern songs to be a part of the medleys.
Moulin rouge.

4. The Book Of Mormon
This is a very popular show that’s toured all around the world, and while it is a very funny show at points and has a few good songs, I think it’s just too vulgar for me. It’s written by the people who made South Park, so it’s not a surprise that this show does not hold back on making jokes about any topic. A lot of it is just gross, unrepeatable jokes that you could not make in any other setting. For a society so concerned that everyone and their dog is politically correct, I am honestly surprised this show has survived. Either way, I was not a fan of this show. When we went to New York a few years ago, my mother innocently suggested we go see it, but I shut that idea down real fast because you could not pay me to sit next to my fairly conservative parents and see that show.
Book of mormon.

5. Chicago
The one and only time I saw Chicago was the movie version at a sleepover in grade eight, but I was not impressed and have no desire to watch it again. I’ll admit, I’m not usually a fan of older musicals because I don’t jive with the music, but I also just didn’t care for this plot. Even when Glee did some of the songs, I just was not into it. And yet, the show is the 2nd longest-running on Broadway, so clearly others like it.
Chicago movie.

There are a handful of other musicals I wasn’t too impressed with based on the bootleg I saw or the soundtrack I listened to, but they aren’t as popular and seemingly well-liked as these five are. Not every show can appeal to everyone, so I’m not embarrassed to voice dislike for these shows.

What are musicals you dislike even though everyone else seems to love them?

That’s all for now!

 

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‘Come From Away’ Capitalizes On Humanity, Not Tragedy

Exactly one year ago I saw Come From Away live in person. I had seen a bootleg about two years earlier and listened to the soundtrack many, many, many times, but seeing it live was so much cooler. The musical is so well done and so powerful with its simple sets and energetic cast. I had to stop listening to it at work last year because too often I was tearing up at my desk. If you don’t know what Come From Away is, I’m about to change your life, because it’s a musical about 9/11 and the several thousand people diverted to Newfoundland, Canada when the air space closed. It sounds like a dreadful musical idea, but it’s actually very sweet and uplifting because it covers how all the small-town Canadians rallied together to provide food, housing, clothing, and more to so many scared and confused travellers.

come from away logo and still.

I was in kindergarten when 9/11 happened, so I don’t remember anything about the tragedy. In that sense, I’m kind of disconnected to it because I don’t remember where I was that day or how things changed, but I think Come From Away does such a good job of conveying all the necessary emotions, so even young people can understand the gravity of the event as well as how wonderful the Newfoundlanders were.

Anyway, Come From Away has become a favourite musical of mine. So I was eager last month to get my hands on the behind-the-scenes book called Come From Away: Welcome To The Rock. It gave so much insight into the musical from the interviews the creators did to the costumes the actor wore to the grant the government issued so the show could be made, and I always love learning about stuff like that. I think I cried more times reading the book than I did seeing the show. But there was one part in the book where the mayor of Gander said some townspeople don’t love the attention Newfoundland has gotten and they think it’s a capitalization of not just the tragedy but also their involvement, which shouldn’t be a big deal. I don’t think this is a completely unfounded or unpopular opinion. I’m sure there were so many of those Newfoundlanders who didn’t think twice about helping out during that hell week. I’m sure there were many who would have been perfectly fine if they never got any recognition or thanks for their efforts. I’m sure there are New Yorkers or other people directly affected by 9/11 that aren’t thrilled that such a devastating event is being sung about for hefty theatre prices. But that doesn’t mean that Come From Away and the publicity the Canadian towns have gotten isn’t warranted, because I think the musical is so important and it’s so great that people are paying attention.

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Our world is full of garbage and hate and bad news. Even when good things happen, it’s often quiet or overshadowed or soon forgotten. So I’m not mad that this story stands out. This is a story that highlights kindness from strangers in a moment of global tragedy. It’s not just a 9/11 musical, it’s a kindness musical. And, as that book made clear many times, the writers were well aware of the sensitive topic and made many, many edits to ensure anyone who saw it understood that they weren’t glorifying the catastrophe and that they certainly were not in it to make money, as theater productions rarely result in big bucks. They were simply showing the pure side of humanity in the darkest hours. These were real people and real stories and real quotes, and that side should be celebrated. Especially because such kindness may not have happened anywhere else. Canada has a reputation for niceness, but I really can’t imagine my community a few provinces over coming together the way those Newfoundlanders did. I can’t imagine my parents letting strangers come in and take a shower in our house. And, it’s worth noting, this was before social media. So the Newfoundlanders weren’t vlogging it or trying to go viral with their good deeds the way some people do now. This musical is sharing stories that otherwise may never have gotten told.

goodness to share gif.

Come From Away is a show you need to see. Aside from being so creative and unique as a show, it’s very uplifting and raw. It’s still playing in NYC and Toronto and I know tours have gone to Australia and London and it’s even headed to China this year, which is so wonderful because it means the story is being shared with so many people who also didn’t know what went on in Newfoundland that week.

As a Canadian, this show made me so proud. I’m not saying every act of kindness deserves a musical from now on or that we should focus on the nice people in every tragedy. But what we should do is let this musical be a reminder that there are good people in the world and that maybe this blue and green rock floating in space isn’t as hopeless as it seems. I think the nature of our society has made us have to be a little selfish to survive, but Come From Away made me at least want to be better, tragedy or not.

If you have a chance to go see the musical, please do, because you will not regret it.

it'll change your life gif.

 

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How To Get Cheap Broadway Tickets: A Complete Guide

In May, my family and I went to New York City. On one of the days we were there, my father and brother went to a baseball game (lame!), so my mother and I went to a Broadway show. If it were up to me, we would have spent all three days going to Broadway shows. I am the Musical Nerd of the family, so my mother left it up to me to pick a show and find reasonably priced tickets. I was determined to see more than one show on our trip (it’s not every day I’m in NYC, ya know?) so I spent quite a while doing research on Broadway lotteries and theater rush and figuring out the best strategy. I ended up getting to see two amazing shows (Waitress and Once On This Island) and my parents were very impressed that we were able to do this for good prices. Since our trip, a few of my mom’s friends have asked me for my resources and tips, so I figured I’d share it all here so anyone can use them. Broadway tickets can get SUPER expensive (some can get close to $1000 each), and there’s no way we were willing to do that, and you shouldn’t either.

Purchasing Tickets In Advance

For the day my mother and I split from my brother and father, I knew I wanted to have tickets to a show. Lotteries are fun, but there’s no guarantee, and I didn’t want to risk not seeing a show that day. I knew Waitress would be a great show for Mom and I, so I began looking into prices. Buying tickets from the show sites are costly, even for seats in the nosebleeds. I ended up finding a site called TodayTix, which offers discount tickets for shows (and they work in many cities, not just NYC!). They had the best deals I could find, and all the reviews I read about the site were good, so I purchased two tickets. The interesting thing about this service, though, is that you don’t get to pick your seats, they just give you the best seats based on the area you choose to sit in. My mom and I got our tickets about a week in advance and we got great seats. The other thing about this site that you need to be aware of is that to get the actual tickets, you have to go meet a TodayTix representative outside the theater half an hour before the show starts and they’ll hand them over. It sounds a bit sketchy, but when we did it, it all went over well. We found the person, told them our names, and got our tickets in an envelope. Did Mom and I get a bit anxious as we waited for this person and saw the hundreds of other people already holding tickets in line? Yes. But I’d use TodayTix again.

Another resource is Playbill.com’s discounted tickets. I’ve never use this route, but Playbill is a bit more reputable than TodayTix, and they have pretty good deals too.

Day-of: Rush, Standing Room, and TKTS

Admittedly, I’ve never bought tickets through this method, but I looked into it a lot. A lot of shows offer Rush tickets on the day of. When the box office opens in the morning, you may be able to buy tickets for cheap (usually between $30-50 USD). You can only buy a maximum of two and there’s no guarantee that they’ll be good seats, but at least you’ll be there. I don’t know how crazy the Rush lines can be, but if you’re trying to score tickets this way, you should arrive early if possible. Some theaters also offer Student Rush tickets if you’re a student and have a student ID. I brought my university ID with me in case I needed it, but I don’t know if they would have accepted it because it was for a Canadian school. I also don’t know if they accept high school ID.

Another option is Standing Room tickets, which is where you go stand in a space to see the show. These tickets are usually between $25-45, but standing can suck, and your view may not be the best, but at least they’re bought from the theater, which is a legitimate source.

TKTS is also a reputable source for discounted tickets on the day-of. I’ve never used them, but I definitely saw their booth in Times Square. The prices are the best the closer it is to the show. Tickets can be bought in-person at the several TKTS booths across the city, or online.

These three methods are good for getting last-minute tickets the day-of, but they are a risk. You may not be able to score one or enough, and seating may be sucky.

Online Lotteries

Online lotteries are a popular way to try for cheap tickets because they’re free and easy to enter from the comfort of your home. A lot of shows have online lotteries, and if you win, tickets are between $30-55 and are usually good seats (Hamilton‘s lottery tickets are actually only $10 because Alexander Hamilton is on the ten dollar bill!). Results are emailed to you a few hours before the show, and if you’re a winner, you have an hour to buy tickets online with a credit card. There are two main sites that host these lotteries. Lucky Seat allows for you to enter lotteries for shows about a week in advance, while Broadway Direct opens the day before. To enter, you need to be 18 or older, and you can only win a max of two tickets. Note that some shows like Dear Evan Hansen run an online lottery on its own site, so if there is a show you’re specifically wanting that you can’t find a lottery for, just Google it to see what you can find.

Leading up to the trip, I had entered myself and my family for most of the online lotteries. On the day we flew out, I ended up winning the lottery for the now-closed Escape To Margaritaville for that same night. I wanted to go because as I said, I didn’t want to just see one show in New York if I could manage more, but our flight was delayed, so I ended up forfeiting the tickets because I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it. While the lottery tickets are cheap, because that specific show wasn’t very popular, they were only about ten or twenty bucks cheaper than buying regular seats. It’s something to be aware of, but usually you’re getting a great deal.

In-person lotteries

I ended up getting to see Once On This Island by winning an in-person lottery. I knew that it was being held and we were in Times Square, so I brought my mom and we entered it. Like online lotteries, you can only score a maximum of two tickets from in-person lotteries. They take place about 90 minutes before the show starts at the theater. You have to be present to win, so after we put our names in the bowl, we had to wait around to 20 minutes for the draw. Things may have changed since we did it, but at our drawing they gave away 20 tickets for $45 and there were maybe forty people who entered, so we had good odds. So good, in fact, that both my mom and I won, so we called my dad and brother and told them to get your butts here now! We ended up getting amazing seats in the fourth row for a quarter of what we would have paid if we just bought them regularly.

Not many shows have an in-person lottery, but the ones that do have details about times and dates on their websites. They’re run by the show at the theater, so they’re legit (which was a concern my father had), and from what I can remember, there’s no age restriction for this.

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Other methods

Another service that I never personally used but I looked into is Broadway Roulette. This seems like a good tool for people who don’t have a preference as to which show they see. You pick a date you want to go and the number of tickets you want (all tickets are between $49-60) and the website picks the show for you. On the day of, they send you a text/email telling you what show you’ll be seeing and instructions to pick up your tickets. This site lists big-name shows as possibilities to get, but I don’t know what the odds of landing Hamilton are. All the reviews for this service that I read were good, but most cited getting tickets to older shows like Chicago, Kinky Boots, Phantom Of The Opera, and Book Of Mormon. And what if you’ve already seen a few shows and want something new? The service does allow you to cross off a few shows, and if you use the service again, they say they’ll never send you to the same show twice.

There are also some memberships or newsletters you can subscribe to that’ll get you discounts, but they’re more for people who live in New York or travel there often. If you’re just in NYC for a short and rare trip, then don’t perhaps bother with these as they’ll clog your inbox and you won’t use them enough. In my case, I did subscribe to a few discount newsletters I came across while researching because I knew about a month in advance of our trip, but I never used them to buy tickets and have since unsubscribed so I can’t even remember which ones they were.

Additional tips and resources

  • Weekdays are better for deals than weekends
  • Monday is an awful day for Broadway because most shows are dark that day
  • If you Google ‘Broadway Schedule’ you’ll quickly get a link to a weekly Playbill page where they list all the shows that are playing for the week, which is a great site to have saved in case you are aiming to catch a last-minute show
  • The website Broadway For Broke People is a great resource because it lists all the shows and gives cheap ticket info
  • Don’t buy from scalpers!
  • TodayTix and TKTS have apps, so you can buy from your phone
  • Knowing what show you’re wanting to see makes the research and buying process easier
  • Be sure to check the websites of specific shows for details on when the box office opens, when lotteries are held, or other important info
  • Remember that there are service fees for buying tickets almost anywhere, but in my experience they were not too extreme at all
  • Don’t forget about Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway! There are great shows (both musicals and plays) that are available from TodayTix or TKTS that aren’t as publicized and are already cheaper
  • Remember that a lot of shows do go on tour across the continent and even around the globe, so if you can’t see it in NYC, it’s not the end of the world.
  • Keep exchange rates in mind too. $50 tickets sound great, but what is that in Canadian Dollars or British Pounds?

Aaaand those are all the tips and resources I have. Going to shows is such a fun experience, but they can get stupidly expensive, and these are all legal ways to do it for cheap. So whether you’re moving to NYC for good or just visiting for a weekend, take advantage of these methods. I’m not making any money by recommending them to you, I just want as many people as possible to be able to see some top-notch entertainment. I did the research here, but I also encourage you to do your own as well. And as I touched on, some of these methods aren’t just for New York. See if there are options to get cheaper theater tickets closer to you.

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Enjoy! And if you have any questions or tips of your own, leave a comment!

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