As many fans of theatre know, it’s easy to fall in love with a show. What’s hard is actually getting to see the show especially if it’s only in New York or if it’s only open for a short amount of time or there is any number of other issues keeping you from it. The solution, or temporary satisfaction, is cast albums.
My love of theatre was able to grow because of cast albums. My dad showed me the soundtrack to Les Mis when I was young and I was immediately hooked. Drama, romance, and action filled the car as we drove. People sang about their problems and their happiness, giving me a taste of history and life that I hadn’t been open to at such a young age. My father and I would switch parts. He would sing for Marius and Jean val Jean and I would take pretty much every other character. The confrontation scene between Javert and Jean Val Jean was my absolute favorite as my dad and I would take on the different personas, bringing out my acting side early on.
With that being said, I still love soundtracks to this day. My current obsession is The Wild Party soundtrack, featuring big names like Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs, and Bryan D’arcy James. This emotional and sexy show caught me with the amazing voices and music. The show is just a lot of fun and the characters are (like the title suggests) a little wild.
Idina is definitely my favorite part, bringing that wonderful belting voice with her. Her character, Kate, is scheming to have Burrs, Bryan D’arcy James’ character, to love her. She starts a lot of trouble in the show all the while looking hot and taking every chance to flirt. Her big songs, “Life of the Party” and “Look at Me Now” are my favorites.
Bryan D’arcy James plays Burrs, a clown and the lover of the main character, Queenie. He’s jealous and violent and the threatening, sort-of antagonist. Every character has their flaws, but as Burrs borders the closest to bad guy territory, he and Kate make up the dark side of the show.
Queenie, played by Julia Murney, is a seductive leading lady. She originally finds herself with Burrs, but after becoming unhappy with their relationship, she finds herself drawn to Mr. Black. Chaos ensues when Burrs does not want to let her go. Her voice is sultry and powerful and she controls the show for the most part. Mr. Black is played by Taye Diggs and his voice is just beautiful. His character falls for Queenie and all he wants is to be with her and to protect her.
The soundtrack does a decent job at telling the story and has me wanting more. Of course, the show isn’t playing anywhere except for some colleges (maybe). The little taste is enough to satisfy me until I find a new obsession. I think soundtracks are important because they let you really fall in love with the music and the way that the music influences the characters.
For example, I have recently fallen in love with the Dear Evan Hansen album (along with pretty much every other theatre lover). Ben Platt is amazing and the show tells such an important story that it’s hard not to fall in love with it. The original Broadway cast of the Great Comet is also (TOO SLOWLY) releasing their album. The album for Amélie drops in June as does the cast album for Anastasia. Obviously, I’m very excited and I am ready to fall in love with more stories.