Self-indulgence? Haven’t heard of it. So I thought I might like to write about my favourite musical theatre roles that I would love to play on-stage. Male only although I might do a female one too, because why can I not thrust a broom in a make-believe world if I want to, right? Anyway, for structuring each section here I thought I would pick one song that that character performs to illustrate and support why I would love to do them. But first, honourable mentions: Jean Valjean (Les Miserables), Javert (Les Miserables), The Phantom (The Phantom of the Opera), Clyde (Bonnie and Clyde), Elder Cunningham (The Book of Mormon), King George III (Hamilton), amongst others.
Edit: I thought I would now bump it up to 7 only because I forgot my actual top dream role, ironically.
7. “Nicely Nicely Johnson” in Guys and Dolls
This character is just great fun. I was first introduced to him not so long ago in 2016 when I saw the latest West End revival. I love this show and how “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” was performed in this production was an energetic show-stopping masterpiece. Gavin Spokes was incredible:
6. “Fiyero” in Wicked
It would be impossible to turn down any role in my favourite show let alone the romantic male lead. Fiyero is a great character with a depth to him that not many people find unless you know the show very well. And he has great songs. “As Long As You’re Mine” is my favourite love song and it is very hard to match what Oliver Tompsett and his vocals brought to the role. Here is Tompsett with my ultimate Elphaba and Frozen‘s Broadway Elsa, Caissie Levy:
5. “Jamie Wellerstein” in The Last Five Years
Jason Robert Brown is such a musical and lyric genius, and in one of my favourite works The Last Five Years, the characters of Cathy and Jamie are though out so skilfully through the unique structure of this piece. For my favourite song of this character I went with “If I Didn’t Believe in You”. The lyrics and structure of this song, what it makes you go through with these characters is just so clever and powerful. Jeremy Jordan’s version in the film is to die for:
4. “Dan Goodman” in Next to Normal
The highly emotional show is one of my favourites too. It’s perfect, and the role of Dan is a must; there is such a lot to do with him. “I’ve Been” is such a haunting composition, just the opening chords get me every time and lyrics such as “mine is just a slower suicide” are so resonant and powerful in summarising the show and the character’s journey at this moment – not to mention the rest of the score is just as perfect. It is an emotionally taxing role, but it would be such a great challenge:
3. “Shrek” in Shrek the Musical
This show is in my top 2 musicals of all-time. It was one of the first shows I became obsessed with and means an awful lot to me; at that time, I related so much to this strong character that feels like an outsider and is judged by his appearance. It’s still so resonant, and this show, much like the film, is fun but also has that incredible message. And the songs are to die for – “Who I’d Be” remains one of my favourite songs and to perform that every night would be the dream if I wouldn’t be able to kill it like Brian d’Arcy James:
2. “Mark Cohen” in Rent
Because why would you pass up the idea of being in Rent? For me personally, I think Rent is the best thing ever written for the stage for so many reasons. Mainly because it makes me feel something I’ve never felt with anything else. It taps into me emotionally on so many levels. The orchestrations and vocals arrangement in “Halloween” inspire me to want to play this role so much. It’s a perfect composition, encapsulating character and subtle emotion but with huge gravitas:
1. “Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde” in Jekyll & Hyde
To be able to sing this score every night would be the dream! I love this show so much. The Broadway production was of course not the best version of the show that Frank Wildhorn had envisioned, but other productions have done the material justice. My favourite album is the full Concept Album that was made in 1989 or thereabouts. It’s masterful and my favourite musical score, you can tell it was Frank’s passion project. “The Confrontation” is the accumulation of this multi-layered character’s story, the writing and staging of this song is unlike anything else. The role challenges you from a vocal and an acting perspective that it requires a real pro: