Listen, musical theatre gets a bad rap – and honestly, it can be deserved. A lot of what is considered “classic” musical theatre is pretty outdated and unrelatable. But it’s 2022 and theatre isn’t dead! The genre of musical theatre has expanded to match the taste of today’s audiences, and every other music genre has made its way to stage at least once. Curious which musical soundtrack best matches your taste? Check out these recommendations below – and I promise, no jukebox musicals or overdone shows like Hamilton or Wicked.
If you like: Powerful Girl Pop (Olivia Rodrigo, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa)
Six is also a great pic if you love remixed historical content like Hamilton or Bridgerton. This high-energy pop musical brings together the six wives of England’s King Henry VIII, and imagines a world where they not only were all alive at the same time, but decided to form a band together! A little silly? Yes. But if you love powerful female voices and women supporting women, this is a short, fun soundtrack to get into.
If you like: Folk/Bluegrass (Hozier, Ray Lamontagne, Dodie)
Another show that puts a classic spin on an old story, Hadestown provides folksy retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Persephone. The story follows the burgeoning love of a young musician and a hungry young girl, as well as the fading love of two old gods. The music originated from a concept album by folk artist Anaïs Mitchell, and has grown into a widely-renowned musical. Winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical, this is definitely one of my favorite shows of the last few years.
If you like: Indie-Pop (Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran)
Did you know Sara Bareilles wrote a musical?? The singer-songwriter known for hits like “Love Song” and “Brave” took her composing skills to Broadway and wrote the music for this show, based on the film of the same title. An upbeat score, a cast of loveable characters, and an unlikely love story makes this tony-nominated musical a really fun listening experience.
If you like: Rock/Alternative (Greta Van Fleet, Green Day, WILLOW)
Okay, this one is older than my other suggestions, but it is a true classic and still has extremely relevant themes. With the same composer as “tick, tick… BOOM!”, this heartfelt story about everyday people trying to find love and still afford to pay rent (relatable content) during the height of the AIDs pandemic. The soundtrack is very reminiscent of 90s grunge rock, and unlike the other musicals on this list, there is a fantastic movie adaptation with the majority of the original Broadway cast!
See, there’s something for everyone! It’s never a bad time to expand your musical horizons – happy listening!