5 Broadway Original Cast Recordings I Love

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Musical theatre is incredibly important to me. It always has been. Ever since I was a little girl, I was completely enamoured by the bright lights of marquees, the heart-stopping numbers, and the emotionally evocative (not to mention catchy) show tunes. I was practically born to love musical theatre - when my mum was pregnant with me, my parents saw a bunch of musicals including Les Miserables and Rent. Actually, it was at Rent that my parents guessed what gender I’d be and my dad wrote on a receipt that I’d be a boy (clearly he was wrong!). As I’ve grown older, musical theatre has stayed with me and become an even more important part of my life. Not a day goes by where I don’t listen to at least one Broadway tune or badger my boyfriend with a million different facts about my favourite production.

Today I thought I’d go over one of my favourite theatre-related topics and that is the beloved Original Cast Recording - or, as it’s often referred to, the OCR. These 5 soundtracks are some of my absolute favourites, ones that are on a constant repeat while I’m showering or commuting to school. I know every lyric, every inflection, every bit of dialogue to a T. While I haven’t seen these musicals live yet (I know, it’s a tragedy but I’m broke and Toronto gets minimal love), they have still found a place in my heart and I am so excited to share them with you!

Disclaimer: As I’ve not seen these productions live, I can’t comment at all on the actual visual performance. I can only share my opinions on what’s included in the soundtrack!

HAMILTON: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL

Favourite Lyric: “And when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I’m a compel him to include women in the sequel.”

Surely nobody is surprised that I kicked off this list with Hamilton. It is, after all, my favourite OCR of all time - and will likely end up being my favourite production of all time once I see it in 2020. For those who don’t know, this musical’s all about the American founding father, Alexander Hamilton, and how he fits into the story of the American Revolution and the inception of America as an independent nation. Prior to this soundtrack, my knowledge of the American Revolution was minimal at best. But Hamilton has actually made me more interested in learning about the Revolution! Each and every member of this cast is incredibly talented. They bring their own style to the characters, transforming historical figures into multi-dimensional people who you might sometimes hate or love, depending on the musical number. Lin-Manuel Miranda did a phenomenal job with this musical, as it’s so innovative and original. I love how diverse the cast is as well. The history of the war is not diverse at all, so I think that this representation was a crucial addition!

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DEAR EVAN HANSEN

Favourite Lyric: “All we see is sky for forever. We let the world pass by for forever.”

Wow. Just, wow. This soundtrack is AMAZING. Ben Platt’s voice is angelic in every sense of the word. I cannot believe that he was only in his early twenties when he played Evan Hansen (he’s still only 25!!). I remember seeing him in Pitch Perfect, honestly I never expected that he was this talented from that role. This musical discusses teen suicide and mental illness, which is an extremely serious topic and I think they handle it quite well. I’m completely dying to see this live, as it’s currently in Toronto, but it’s so expensive so I’m living vicariously through other people seeing it and through the OCR lol. I think it’s really interesting how a play with such a serious subject matter can have an equal measure of serious tunes, light-hearted ones, and straight-up fun jams (like Sincerely, Me which is one of mine and my boyfriend’s favs).

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

Favourite Lyric: “My cold dark tower seems so bright, I swear it must be heaven’s light.”

I’ve loved Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame since I was a teeny tiny little girl. It was always one of my favourite Disney films, although it is highly underrated and not all that talked about. I’ve always thought the movie was exceptional, visually and musically. So it’s really not a surprise that I love the musical soundtrack as well. Here we’ve got Patrick Page, an absolute treasure, playing the nasty Frollo and doing the part so much justice (even going above and beyond the original film) and Michael Arden being utterly fabulous as Quasimodo. Everyone in this musical is fantastic and the additional songs that weren’t in the film are really really well done, they felt like they fit in perfectly and were well justified. Of course, my favourite song is Out There because duh but also Heaven’s Light/Hellfire is AMAZING as well!!!

HADESTOWN: THE MYTH, THE MUSICAL

Favourite Lyric: “Orpheus, all the pretty songs you sing ain’t gonna shelter us from the wind, the wind, the wind.”

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A RAILROAD LINE. This soundtrack is incredible. I listen to it so often that my boyfriend automatically assumes this is what I’m listening to when I say I’m jamming to musicals. I ain’t even mad. I love everything about this - the mythology, the jazz-inspired tunes, the storyline, EVERYTHING. And Patrick Page is once again in this!! He plays a phenomenal Hades, I really can’t see anyone doing such an incredible job. I love how they modernized the story of the gods and turned hell into “Hadestown,” this neon factory under Hades’ control. On the whole, Hadestown is so lyrically and musically beautiful, I’m absolutely in love with it. And, most of all, I have to mention how completely shocked I was to find out that Chris Sullivan (who plays Toby on This Is Us) plays Hermes in Hadestown!! I’ve said non-stop to my boyfriend for months now how much I adore Hermes’s voice in this OCR and to find out it’s Chris Sullivan really surprised me. Who knew he had such an incredible voice?

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HEATHERS

Favourite Lyric: “I wish you’d come with me… I wish I had more TNT.

If you’ve ever seen the 1988 cult classic film Heathers, you’re probably doubtful that it could ever be adapted into an effective let alone entertaining Broadway musical. I get it. I was a non-believer too! But give the soundtrack a listen, and you’ll realize the impossible is extremely possible when put into the right hands. The OCR of Heathers has easily joined the ranks of my favourites in the last month or so. Barrett Wilbert Weed is the perfect Veronica Sawyer and her voice is amazing. And, of course, we cannot leave Jessica Keenan Wynn out of the mentions, because she’s absolutely incredible as Heather Chandler. Every song of this soundtrack is perfectly done (although Dead Girl Walking does sit a tad bit above the rest!).

What Broadway OCR do you absolutely adore?

November Favourites

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Hello everybody! As it we are now in the first official week of December, I've got a November favourites post for you all today.

The very first thing that I've been loving this month, which is a very new addition to my beauty product collection, is the L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay Shampoo. I've been loving this shampoo. In the winter time, my scalp gets very dried out, which gets only worse with product use. I've been on the hunt lately for scalp-friendly shampoos and came across this in the shop the other day. The idea here is that this shampoo deep-cleanses your roots so that your scalp doesn't get oily which as a result stops you from overwashing which dries out your hair. I did find that this shampoo kept its promises for me and my scalp definitely felt cleaner post-use than it did after using other shampoos. I'd also like to mention that this is the first shampoo that left my hair tangle-free post-wash, which I love.

I recently picked up the Essie "With the Band" Nail Polish at my local drugstore. I love a classic red nail but I wanted something that strayed a bit from the typical bright red shade I use. Which is exactly what "With the Band" is. It's hard for me to describe the shade exactly so I looked at the site and they describe it as a toasted spice burgundy, which I believe is the best description of it. I love this colour so so much. It's beautiful and personally, I think it compliments my skin tone nicely. The one thing I will say, which I find with all Essie nail polishes, is that it requires a top coat in order to keep it from chipping off. It does chip quite easily, so you'd need to be cautious of that.

The next item is one I mentioned in a Friday Thoughts post awhile back: the e.l.f. Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow in "Rose Gold". I was kinda skeptical at first at how well this product would work but I was genuinely so amazed. It feels very strange to apply, as it's essentially a lip gloss tube and applicator that you put on your eyes.... But the result is lovely. It's a very shimmery, beautiful pinky shade. I find it looks particularly nice as a final touch to a pink/berry eye look. I look forward to experimenting more with this bad boy and seeing what other looks I can create with it.

It's kind of odd that I haven't mentioned this product already before, as I've been using it for a couple months now and I've even had to repurchase it already. It's the Maybelline New York Better Skin Concealer. I've had a few bad experiences with cakey concealers prior to this one (I'm shuddering just thinking about them haha) so when I came across this one and tried it out, I was so relieved. It does an incredible job of hiding undereye circles, as well as masking the horrid acne scarring I've been trying to hide for a while now. It's very easy to blend and it doesn't come off looking very pale or cakey.

I know I've already mentioned this product in a post this month and I'm sure I'll mention it again after this, but I just had to include the Lush Sleepy Lotion in my favourites post. I know this is known to be a hit-or-miss product, but it was a definite hit for me. I have horrible re-occurring insomnia, especially lately - I'm talking staying up until three, four, even five o'clock in the morning because I can't sleep. I've tried a bunch of different things including Melatonin, different pillows, darker room, reading before bed, etc. Some have worked better than others, but this lotion has made a major improvement to the dilemma. On top of its magical sleep-inducing qualities, it has a lovely yet subtle scent and it is very hydrating on the skin which is an added bonus especially for the winter months upon us.

Another product I've mentioned recently that was worth re-mentioning is the Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Room Spray. As you may or may not know, I do suffer from anxiety and that majorly impacts a lot of areas of my life but specifically my sleeping patterns. I've found that spritzing this spray in my room, above my bed where I'll definitely catch a whiff of it, has really helped my anxiety lately. It calms me down enough that I can actually have a chance at falling asleep (this is the part where the Sleepy lotion takes over!). At first, I was a bit iffy on the eucalyptus and spearmint scent, but I've actually come to really like it. I also have a candle of the same brand and scent that I love just as much as this spray.

Steering away from beauty-related favourites, the last thing I've been loving this month is the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack. 500 Days of Summer has one of my favourite soundtracks of all time. It has songs by Hall and Oates, The Smiths, Simon and Garfunkel.... all some of my favourite bands. There's not one song on the soundtrack that I don't enjoy. I've been listening to it often this month and I've been loving it so much that I actually purchased it on vinyl this week! I cannot wait to receive the record in the mail :) My favourite song off the album has probably got to be "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" by The Smiths because it's one of my all-time favourite songs.

What have you guys been loving this month?

Felicia x