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BroadwayWorld Celebrates Pride: Top 10 LGBTQ+ Musicals!

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From Head Over Heels, to Fun Home, Rent, and more, learn more about some of our favorites in honor of Pride Month!

June marks the official start of Pride Month! This year, BroadwayWorld is celebrating pride with a series focused on some of our favorite LGBTQ-themed musicals, plays, characters, and songs!

This week, check out our top 10 favorite musicals featuring LGBTQ+ characters or themes! Let us know what your favorites are by leaving us a comment on our Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook pages!


Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels is a jukebox musical comedy with music and lyrics from the catalog of The Go-Go's, with a plot somewhat based on The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia written by Sir Philip Sidney in the 16th century. The musical opened on Broadway on July 26, 2018, at the Hudson Theatre.

The characters of Mopsa and Pamela, two females, are revealed to be WLW (women-loving women) when they profess their love for one another midway through the show. Additionally, the character of Pythio (played on Broadway by transgender actress and drag queen Peppermint, of RuPaul's Drag Race fame) is non-binary, and uses they/them pronouns, revealing this in their first scene, before singing 'Vision of Nowness.'


The Prom

The Prom is probably what most think of when they think of a modern LGBTQ+ musical. The Broadway musical made history when it displayed the first LGBTQ+ kiss on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2018. It then went on to be adapted for the big screen, in a Netflix film starring the likes of Meryl Streep, James Corden, Ariana DeBose, and Andrew Rannells.

The musical centers around a lesbian couple, Emma Nolan and Alyssa Greene, who are banned from going to their high school prom together. A group of Broadway stars come into town to help the girls out and shake things up along the way.


Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Hedwig has carved itself a place as a cult favorite among theatre fans since its off-Broadway debut in 1998. The musical tells the story of outrageous transgender singer Hedwig and his rock-n-roll band, the Angry Inch, a name inspired by Hedwig's own botched sex change operation. The production is performed by Hedwig as a rock gig/stand-up comedy routine, backed by his band.

The role was originally played by John Cameron Mitchell, and was even further popularized by Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, Darren Criss, and Taye Diggs, when it arrived on Broadway in 2014.


Fun Home

Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir of the same name, Fun Home introduces us to Alison, a lesbian, at three different ages, revealing memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family- her mother, brothers and volatile, brilliant, enigmatic father- that connect with her in surprising new ways.

The musical, the first on Broadway with a lesbian protagonist, features music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, and direction by Sam Gold, all of whom won 2015 Tony Awards for their work on this production in 2015.


Rent

Everyone who knows musicals knows Rent, and how it broke boundaries in many ways since its premiere in 1993.

The rock musical features music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson, and is loosely based on Puccini's 1896 opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in Lower Manhattan's East Village in the thriving days of bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.


Falsettos

William Finn and James Lapine's Falsettos first premiered on Broadway in 1992, and consists of two separate musicals, March of the Falsettos (1981) and Falsettoland (1990).

The musical revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his wife, lover, about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbians next door. It's a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family... and a beautiful reminder that love can tell a million stories.


Bare: A Pop Opera

Bare: A Pop Opera is a coming-of-age rock musical with music by Damon Intrabartolo, lyrics by Jon Hartmere, and a book by Hartmere and Intrabartolo.

The story focuses on a group of high school students, mainly a love story between two teen boys, and their struggles at their private Catholic boarding school.

The musical debuted at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles, running from October 14, 2000 to February 25, 2001. The New York production of Bare at the American Theatre of Actors Off-Broadway, ran from April 19 to May 27, 2004.


Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a musical with music by Dan Gillespie Sells and book and lyrics by Tom MacRae, inspired by the 2011 television documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 directed by Jenny Popplewell. The musical follows a 16-year-old teenager Jamie New as he overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness to become a drag queen.

The musical premiered at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on 13 February 2017, and transferred to the West End at the Apollo Theatre from 6 November 2017. A film version of the musical is scheduled to be released on 17 September 2021 by Amazon Studios.


If/Then

If/Then is a musical with a libretto by Brian Yorkey and a theatrical score by Tom Kitt, directed by Michael Greif. It opened on Broadway on March 30, 2014, after a run in Washington, D.C. in 2013.

The musical follows Elizabeth (played by Idina Menzel on Broadway) who returns to New York City for a fresh start. She meets her friends Kate and Lucas in the park. Kate suggests that Elizabeth start using the name "Liz" and seek out new experiences. Lucas suggests that she go back to her college nickname, "Beth," and start making professional connections in the city. The musical then shows both possibilities playing out.

The musical features two LGBTQ+ couples, Lucas and his boyfriend David, as well as Kate and her girlfriend Anne. Lucas sings "You Don't Need to Love Me" to David, and the pair sing "Best Worst Mistake" together. Kate and Anne are featured heavily in the songs "Love While You Can" and "No More Wasted Time."


The Boy From Oz

The Boy From Oz is a raucous musical biography about the life of the most famous gay man from Australia - entertainer, singer/songwriter, Peter Allen - featuring songs written by him and with other collaborators. The musical follows Allen, a man who began in the outback and rose to fame under the supervision of Judy Garland and the love of her daughter, Liza Minnelli.

The musical originally premiered in Australia in 1998 starring Todd McKenney, and opened on Broadway in 2003 with Hugh Jackman in the title role.


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