I have done this plenty of time with K-Pop, so why don’t we mix it up now and bring a little Broadway to the challenge? So I’ve pit opening numbers from some of my favorite shows against each other in this edition of save one, drop one.
In The Heights from In The Heights vs. Alexander Hamilton from Hamilton
The battle of the Miranda musicals. While Hamilton is one of my favorite musicals ever, I think In The Heights is a better opening number. It sets the scene very well and introduces all of the characters nicely, while Alexander Hamilton is just a brief summary of the early history of the man. So I am saving In the Heights.
Ex-Wives from Six vs. The Whole Being Dead Thing from Beetlejuice
I really like both of these as opening numbers for their respective shows. We get character introductions as well as a good overall vibe intro in Ex-Wives. The Whole Being Dead Thing is a perfect introduction to what the overall show is going to be like. Even though I like Six as a musical more, I really enjoy The Whole Being Dead Thing. I especially enjoy how at every live performance for TV or the Tony Awards they adjust the lyrics to fit where they are. So I’m saving The Whole Being Dead Thing.
The Ballad of Sweeney Todd from Sweeney Todd vs. Look Down from Les Miserables
I’m saving Look Down because I think it does a better job of introducing Valjean and the overall tone of the show through storytelling, versus The Ballad of Sweeney Todd doesn’t advance any plot.
Good Morning Baltimore from Hairspray vs. Beautiful from Heathers
I’m saving Good Morning Baltimore because it is more fun and shorter. Despite the amount of plot we get in Beautiful, it just feels never ending and I get tired of it.
Road to Hell from Hadestown vs. No One Mourns The Wicked from Wicked
Wicked didn’t stand a chance against Hadestown no matter the song honestly. Of course I am saving Road to Hell, which is the perfect introduction to the show and the characters. No One Mourns The Wicked is fine and serves its purpose well, but definitely not the best song in Wicked and not as good as Road to Hell in my opinion.
Welcome To The Rock from Come From Away vs. Prologue from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
This one is a hard choice actually because I like both. They are both good opening songs for their respective shows. I think Welcome To The Rock makes a stronger impact. And I honestly don’t have a lot of familiarity with Great Comet beyond the Prologue. So since I know Come From Away better and understand the impact the opening number has, I’m saving Welcome To The Rock.
All That Jazz from Chicago vs. Queenie Was a Blonde from The Wild Party
Both 1920’s shows with jazzy flare. It is undeniable that All That Jazz is iconic and quintessential Broadway. Even though it doesn’t really introduce the characters or a backstory clearly, it sets the tone for the show perfectly. Queenie Was a Blonde is longer than it needs to be in my opinion but does set the tone for the show well as well. But I have to save All That Jazz.
Just Another Day from Next to Normal vs. Intermission Song from A Strange Loop
I’m saving Intermission Song because I find it a more interesting start to a show musically. Plus it manages to introduce the setting and lead character along with the overall tone of the show. Just Another Day is just another song in my opinion and isn’t one I gravitate towards in Next to Normal.
What opening numbers would you pick? Let me know in the comments.
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A really fascinating idea and also I applaud the selection of musicals here.