2018 has been some year—it felt more like a decade than a season of love—but thankfully, these five cast recordings helped get us through the year. From those killer new Once On This Island arrangements to Beth Leavel in all her belting glory, these were albums on repeat in 2018.
This is a feel-good album you want to blast cleaning, getting ready, commuting, etc. The orchestrations are killer, and the insane vocals from Bonnie Milligan and Andrew Durand are just next level good. I could listen to "Our Lips Are Sealed" on loop for an hour at least.
4. Jesus Christ Superstar Live!
I may never be over Sara Bareilles on this album. Her “Everything’s Alright” and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” are the now quintessential renditions of each ALW standard. Also, Brandon Victor Dixon SLAYS his Judas.
I could listen to the first two tracks of this album every day and still get emo and overwhelmed. It’s perfection. This score didn’t even know what it could be until this album, gloriously arranged by Tony nominees Michael Starobin & AnnMarie Milazzo. The performance shout-out here goes to Alex Newell and that Broadway bop “Mama Will Provide”.
2. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
I can’t stop listening to this hit musical from London. That opening number is so fresh and catchy AF; I live for a little “Loco Chanel”; and Josie Walker’s key changes on “He’s By Boy” take my breath away Every. Single. Time.
1. The Prom
A late 2018 entry comes in and takes it all. Maybe I just love musicals about gay kids going to their prom, but I think this album is the best of the year. It feels like Hairspray or In the Heights, those albums you play on repeat until you can’t listen any more, but then you still go back for certain selections. We could debate for all of 2019 on which track Beth Leavel sounds best on, “The Lady’s Improving” or “It’s Not About Me”. #DeedeeTakesLocalYocalsByStorm
And now a playlist featuring highlights from all five albums.