I’ve always loved traveling, but after being stuck at home (for good reason), the idea of going somewhere new and exciting is even more alluring than it was before – provided it is safe to do so. I’m well aware that even if I am able to get to France (I’m cautiously optimistic, but trying to keep my heart calm), while travel may be possible, it will most likely look different, and might not be a recommended activity. With all that in mind, I’ve been using music as a much needed distraction and escape for myself lately. Being the theatre person that I am, this has called for a lot of musical listening, and I thought I’d share the musicals that have been curbing my wanderlust (at least for the time being)!
Here I go again… not only does this classic musical take place in Greece, but the music just makes you feel like you’re on holiday! Whether you’re singing “I can still recall, our last summer” to yourself as you wallow in the fact that who knows when your next adventure will be, or jamming out to “Waterloo” (how could you not), this musical is filled with bops and songs that will have you smiling in no time. Not to mention, dreaming of a vacation to Greece to recreate all the scenes (I’m looking at you, snorkel boys). If I had a little more “Money, Money, Money,” I’d be drinking down by the beach, being a “Dancing Queen” from dawn ’til dusk (okay, maybe not, but I do love being a dancing queen at all times of the day). Greece is definitely on my travel bucket list, and this musical bumped it up a few pegs for me, solely so I can live out some Mamma Mia dreams.
I’m (hopefully) headed to France in a couple of months, so this one just makes sense! You can envision yourself wandering the streets of Paris with this soundtrack, and while “times are hard for dreamers,” picturing yourself drinking un café au lait on the cobblestones near the Seine, is a perfect little day dream (and a way to get through some days). Another, slightly less fun musical set in France? Les Miserables. While it may not have you smiling and envisioning an idyllic French life, you can see where the French get their (heart full of) love for their country, and it’ll make you want to do the same!
Leaping Lizards! Not only does this musical have an entire song dedicated to the city of NYC and its grandeur, but the iconic belting number “tomorrow” is the perfect one for looking on the bright side of any situation. Not to mention, the overflowing optimism of Annie herself is something to want to emulate and it’s always worth remembering that “you’re never fully dressed without a smile.” While we may not be able to literally visit “Easy Street,” this musical certainly makes me want to walk around Times Square and be part of the “whole world (that) keeps coming” to NYC.
This soundtrack is “practically perfect,” in every way. From the British accents that make you want to move to Cherry Tree Lane immediately, to the jovial classic of “Chim Chim Cher-Ee,” the songs are sure to bring a smile to your face. “Feed The Birds” will have you longing to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral and Mary’s disposition will have you firmly believing that “anything can happen if you let it.” Whether you listen to the classic Julie Andrews soundtrack, or the original London cast recording, you’ll be transported and wanting to “step in time” down the streets of London within a few songs.
Wanderlust doesn’t have to mean traveling across the globe – you can still visit some great places in your own backyard (I speak as someone from the US). For that reason, a great musical for curing your American wanderlust is Oklahoma! The clue is in the title alone with this musical, but the pride with which the characters sing about their home state might just have you wanting to hitch a “Surrey with the fringe on the top” all the way down South. Anytime “The Farmer and The Cowman,” comes on, it’s hard to not just dance, and not want to attend a barnyard function. Even if you have no knowledge of the state itself, this soundtrack might just make you want to swing by and visit!
Another musical that’ll make you want to visit New York, and specifically Broadway. While Broadway is closed for now, I can’t help envisioning what it’ll be like to go sit in a theatre again, and to watch beautifully choreographed numbers sung by phenomenal singers. The second the overture starts, I’m picturing myself watching the show, or even performing it myself! The “lullaby of Broadway” is enough to make you want to buy tickets to your nearest live performance immediately, but 42nd Street, on the whole, will also make you want to buy a pair of tap shoes and “shuffle off to Buffalo” (or your nearest fun place to visit).
Sound of Music
Every song in this musical will have you wanting to head to the Alps, and say “so long, farewell” to wherever you’re living now. The Oktoberfest vibes from “Lonely Goatherd,” and the serene encouragement of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” might lead you to wanting to pack up your bags much like Maria did. Just the opening swell from “The Hills are Alive” is enough to make you want to run through any field of grass, and to have the joy that comes with exploring a new place. Austria is also on my list of places to visit so I can attempt to recreate the high note scene in “Do-Re-Mi” (even if I can’t actually hit that note).
There are definitely more musicals out there to cure your wanderlust (or at least, to appease the desire to travel for the time being), but these are ones that stood out for me. Let me know if you have any other recommendations or if I missed any! I’m off to jam out to some good tunes and daydream about when we can travel again.