|Image courtesy Katelyn Jade|
1. Fiddler on the Roof
So I actually played violin in pit for this one (in high school) and it was probably my favorite show that we ever did. My left hand still remembers the opening bars of "Tradition" and probably always will.
My Korean BFF was also in this show (though he played flute, not violin) and sometimes when we got particularly stinking drunk together we'd start singing "To Life." Much to the dismay of other bar patrons, I'm sure.
2. The Producers
I didn't exactly grow up on show tunes and standards, but I'm way more familiar with them than most contemporary theater. What can I say? I like my 32-bar form and I-IV-V chord changes. The Producers soundtrack is definitely a callback to the Tinpan Alley era of musicals (probably because those are the ones that Mel Brooks grew up with himself) so it's no surprise that I love literally every single song in the show.
Fun fact: the original movie's Swedish title was (somewhat appropriately) Springtime for Hitler (Det våras för Hitler) and for years after that, every Mel Brooks movie title was localized in a Springtime For _____ pattern. This continued up until Robin Hood: Men in Tights, though the DVD release of Dracula: Dead and Loving It was titled Det våras för Dracula.
3. Girl Crazy/Crazy For You
|Image courtesy Wikimedia and Ed Schipul|
4. Porgy and Bess
|Image courtesy Ealmagro, Wikimedia|
It might be cheating to choose another Gershwin show (opera in this case) but whatever, it's my list and I do what I want! I know that Porgy and Bess is not a choice without controversy, but I admire George and Ira's stipulation that the show only ever be produced with a black cast. While their intentions may have been more rooted in their idea of musical integrity (and thus perhaps based a bit in racial stereotypes as well), it did have the unintended consequence of giving numerous black singers and performers a chance at the spotlight, especially during an era when blackface was more common than not. So, I don't know. I do like the music, though.
5. Avenue Q
I think I know almost all of the songs from this show, even if I haven't seen it. This is actually one of my few exceptions of the "I don't follow contemporary" theater rule (though again, does it still count as contemporary by now?). Avenue Q seems like a really fun show and like it would be a really fun show to be a part of.