In preparation for this Friday's This Is Your Musical, we asked the group's artistic director and BIT co-founder Andy Yeoh to contribute his top 10 songs from musicals to our ever-growing Spotify playlist!
Have a read below of Andy answer's and a little bit from him on why he chose each song.
It Feels Like Christmas The Muppet's Christmas Carol
I. Love. The. Muppets. Every single year we sit down as a family and watch this film and I've yet to find a film or song that more accurately captures that warm, hygge-like, social feeling of the holiday season. Plus Michael Cain is a delight, not least because, as far as acting is concerned, even though his screen partners are puppets, he is never less than 110% committed throughout.
Telephone Wire Fun Home
In this heartbreaking, true-life musical, main character Alison Bechdel (she of the famous Bechdel test) fails to communicate with her Father about love, life, sexuality and secrets on the last drive they'll ever take together. A touching song for anyone who's ever had trouble confiding their true feelings within a web of complicated relationships.
All-American Prophet Book of Mormon
The creator's of South Park are the kind of multi-talented cross-genre (controversial) producers that make me so mad, but their musical about a young Mormon dumped into a Mission in Uganda is worth all my personal frustration. In this song, our hero is trying to convince the local population about taking up a new religion and the story of Joseph Smith and his followers is as compelling and foot-stompy as it is a clever send up of organised religious doctrine.
Spring Time For Hitler The Producers
Even kings of offence Trey Parker & Matt Stone must still pay homage to Mel Brooks, the master of skirting the line. I'll be honest, not all of Brooks' stuff has aged well, but this musical adaptation of the original 1967 film, led by Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick is a masterpiece from start to finish and climaxes with the opening of their fictional musical "Spring Time For Hitler" which the film's characters have designed to fail for tax reasons. Unfortunately for them, it's so bad, it's amazing.
Marry Me a Little Company
Theatregoers in the 1970's, looking for an evening of escape and distraction were horrified to find that Stephen Sondheim's musical, Company, had put their social and love lives on stage for them to watch – and all before Tinder. In this musical about 30-something-singlehood and it's subtle soup of pressures, expectations and needs, Bobby, the main character wants to be free, but also safe – and oh boy does he have trouble with commitment.
Feed Me Little Shop of Horrors
As I used to play in a rock and blues band, I love anything with a bit of soul to it and this song, which heralds Audrey 2's (that's the plant) entrance into the musical as a sinister, singing and oh so sentient force is as catchy as it is horrifying.
Bells of Notre-Dame Beauty and the Beast
Just like "Belle" from Beauty and Beast, I absolutely love the structure of this song as a narrator driven Disney opening. It's a glorious world building number, a song that declares 'this is a musical'. Given recent events in the news, I appreciate this song and film have taken on a very sad edge. However, though the real life Notre-Dame may have been temporarily catastrophically damaged, the power, prestige, epic-ness and grandeur of that building remains undiminished and this musical is a homage to why it is so loved.
Heaven on Their Minds Jesus Christ Superstar
Probably the best no-holds-barred opening in musical theatre. When it comes to telling stories, the Bible is a pretty epic place to pitch your narrative tent and by all accounts this Jesus fellow was a fairly big deal. Only this musical isn't really from Jesus's perspective, is it? Most of the story is actually told from the point of view of Judas, that much maligned figure. This is his opening song. He's not happy from the start and it gets much, much worse.
As If We Never Said Goodbye Sunset Boulevard
Forget Cats, forget Phantom of the Opera, yes even forget Jesus Chris Superstar: Sunset Boulevard is (in my opinion) Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest musical. A young Hollywood writer ends up cavorting with an ageing film-star, but who is exploiting whom? The damage being done becomes apparent when the once great Norma Desmond visits the studio lot and all the memories come flooding back into her a tragic, reality-detached mind.
One Last Time Hamilton
It was a real battle between this and "It's Quiet Uptown" as both never fail to reduce me to tears every time I give this amazing musical a listen through (about once every six months). However George Washington's song about stepping down as the first president of the United states speaks about humility, letting go and the need to serve something greater than yourself while taking care of your own needs for a peaceful soul.
Part of Your World Little Mermaid
Last but not least, we have The Little Mermaid. This musical goes right to the very core of my childhood. It's the only song I ever managed to properly learn all the way through on the piano and my absolute favourite in the Edinburgh Fringe karaoke bars, where I sing it to the other performers in the room with an honest zeal. Plus there's nothing like a bit of Disney feminist protagonist, expressed in what we in This is Your Musical call the "I want song". And what an I want song it is! Heartfelt and plaintive yet light and free. The hopeful, joyous ending to a perfect musical theatre listening session!
For those keeping track, Hamilton has extended its lead with each cast member choosing it in their playlists (You'll be Back, Satisfied, Burn and One Last Time), closely followed in second place with The Book of Mormon (Hello, I Believe and All-American Prophet).
This Is Your Musical is on Friday 19th April, 8pm. Doors and bar open from 7.15pm. Tickets are £7 and can be bought HERE.