Broadway followers realized final week that the Tony Awards might be going virtual this year, which prompted a few of us to consider the musicals we would like to see on stage now, had COVID-19 not put the theater world on pause.
With the Republican conference developing this week, we thought it would be time to revisit some musicals whose themes are notably resonant within the age of Trump. This is 10.
Some would say the title alone makes this musical, which opened on Broadway in 2011 and was impressed by a Inexperienced Day idea album, notably related within the age of Trump. However the present additionally options a number of themes which might be germane to the present political setting — together with nihilism, the noise that saturates visible tradition, and the methods some individuals who have greater than others nonetheless view themselves as victims.
Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson
Native Individuals have referred to as out the present’s offensive stereotypes, and it’s a musical that’s not often carried out. Even so, it’s price noting that Trump selected to hold a portray of Andrew Jackson within the Oval Workplace, signaling that he identifies with a populist president famend for his violence in opposition to Indigenous folks. The musical primarily based on the lifetime of America’s seventh president opened on Broadway in 2010.
Impressed partly by the Puccini opera La Bohème, Hire opened on Broadway in 1996. Created by Jonathan Larson, it imagines a gaggle of bohemian artists struggling to outlive in New York Metropolis amid the HIV/AIDS disaster. The musical explores poverty and homelessness in addition to police harassment and protesting throughout a time when political leaders had been ignoring a public well being disaster — one thing many would say Trump’s administration is doing with COVID-19 at this time.
Famed musical theater duo Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty discovered inspiration in Horton Hears a Who and different tales by beloved youngsters’s creator Dr. Seuss. Their musical premiered on Broadway in 2000, with songs that commemorate “the thinks you may suppose” and the concept “an individual’s an individual irrespective of how small.” Solely Horton listens arduous sufficient to listen to tiny creatures in misery, reacting with compassion that stands in stark distinction to the cruelty Trump’s personal sister has named amongst his many flaws.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Think about Trump performing in a center college spelling bee, and also you’ll admire why this musical is an effective match for the present age. It is stuffed with characters whose personal tales mirror Trump’s in a roundabout way, from youngsters pressured by mother and father to reach conventional methods to a former spelling bee champion turned realtor and spelling bee moderator. The musical opened on Broadway in 2005, 12 years earlier than Trump’s well-known “covfefe” tweet.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
It’s troublesome to think about the principle character Quasimodo with out recalling the best way Trump mocked a reporter with a joint situation that impacts his motion throughout a 2015 rally. This musical additionally addresses prejudice in opposition to the Romani folks, which has clear parallels in Trump’s strategy to immigration. The musical, which options music by Alan Menken and lyrics of Stephen Schwartz, relies on each the 1831 novel by Victor Hugo and the 1996 Disney movie. To this point, it hasn’t been carried out on Broadway.
The Music Man
We’ve acquired bother: That’s the message a con man named Harold Hill brings to the folks of a small city on this Meredith Wilson musical that opened on Broadway in 1957. Hill insists that making a band is the one option to preserve the city’s boys out of bother, then units about promoting the mother and father musical devices and uniforms he by no means intends to ship. When the varsity board questions Hill’s credentials, it’s a straightforward psychological leap to the hucksterism of Trump College.
The Scottsboro Boys
The Scottsboro Boys relies on an Alabama courtroom case involving 9 Black teenagers accused of raping two white girls on a prepare in 1931. All-white juries convicted the kids in a collection of rushed trials, though convictions had been overturned and pardons had been issued a few years later. The musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2010, prompts reminiscences of Trump calling for the loss of life penalty within the case of the Central Park 5, and his refusal to confess his mistake even after the kids accused of beating and raping a jogger had been exonerated by DNA proof.
The Will Rogers Follies
Whereas some want Trump would cease speaking and tweeting altogether, others seem to share an strategy captured on this musical’s music titled “Give a Man Sufficient Rope,” which means that some persons are lots good at touchdown themselves in bother with out a lot assist from others. The musical, which explores the lifetime of famend humorist Will Rogers, opened on Broadway in 1991. Coincidentally, Rogers was requested to run for president, however by no means did. Set in opposition to the backdrop of the Ziegfeld Follies, the present additionally echoes the reality-show nature of Trump’s political profession.
Think about a water scarcity so extreme that there aren’t any personal bathrooms. As a substitute, a large company regulates public bathrooms, the place folks should pay to pee. That’s the gist of this musical in regards to the haves and the have-nots, which opened on Broadway in 2001. It’s a story of greed, corruption, and short-sighted public coverage that resonates within the Trump period partly as a result of the blame doesn’t lie merely with the company and political leaders who monetize human wants, but in addition with those that allow them.
Based mostly on Gregory Maguire’s novel, which retells Frank L. Baum’s famend story of the Wizard of Ozfrom the witches’ views, the Stephen Schwartz musical opened on Broadway in 2003. It’s simple to see the racism of the Trump period mirrored in reactions to Elphaba’s inexperienced pores and skin, and the best way a college’s sole animal professor is silenced. However there’s additionally the second the Wizard of Ozis outed as a mere man pulling levers behind a curtain, moderately than the omnipotent being that led many a follower to compromise their morals.