Need help finding a last-minute gift for Broadway-loving friends? Here are a few suggestions of recent original cast recordings that should brighten their holidays! Three of these shows were nominated for the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical and the fourth one is in the running for a nomination for 2009.
“In The Heights”, by 28 year-old Lin-Manuel Miranda, won the Tony Award for Best Musical earlier this year. Set in the melting pot of the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, In The Heights brings a multitude of musical styles together, including hip-hop, salsa, mambo, and classic Broadway to create an energetic and uplifting work.
“Passing Strange”, by Stew, was nominated for Best Musical and won the Tony for Best Book of a Musical. It has been described as “a funk-inflected show with a score of tuneful, soulful rock songs, witty, thought-provoking lyrics and a moving and hilarious story of a young American on a journey of escape and exploration.”
The fun and campy “Xanadu”, based on the, um, “classic” Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly movie, garnered four Tony nominations, including Best Musical.
And lastly “[title of show]” is the hilarious and heartfelt “little show that could.” It’s about four friends writing an original musical about four friends writing an original musical. The show stars…the four friends! Who would have believed that a musical with a cast of four, a set consisting of only four chairs, and an orchestra consisting of one keyboard, would make it to Broadway? Well, these four believed and they saw their dream come true – a very fun and inspiring show!
These are just a handful of the hundreds of original cast recordings out there to consider. Have fun exploring!