Whipping up a new musical from scratch is an ever-evolving recipe, that is, until it’s not. A group of artists unite to bake a story into its ultimate Broadway form, and while music assists in telling tales in ways most devices cannot, every song doesn’t always make it into the oven. As a show rises into its ideal state, material cuts are practically inescapable. It’s especially heartbreaking when the deleted songs tend to be wonderful, but just don’t serve the story well enough.
In honor of all the fallen tunes out there, we’ve rounded up 10 songs from contemporary musicals that you should add to your library ASAP!
1. “I Don’t Remember Anything At All” – 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
It’s our favorite cut moment of the bee! William Finn gifted us so much character-driven music in this colorful show that it’s hard to imagine more. Long before Broadway, Ms. Rona Lisa Peretti had a ballad smack dab in the middle of the show, belting out her glory days at the bee. Not to mention, you should jump at any chance to listen to Lisa Howard’s otherworldly vocals.
2. “The Clouds Will Drift Away” – SPRING AWAKENING
This song existed in the original demo recording of Spring Awakening, which was performed by Duncan Sheik. It was later replaced with the haunting “Those You’ve Known”. Here’s the full demos and cut songs playlist.
3.“Beacon of Positivity” – LEGALLY BLONDE
This is the original seed that eventually grew up into “Positive.” While we love the way things wound up, there’s something catchy and inspiring about this rough repetitive tune. It’s especially worth listening to for the booming ending!
4. “Costco” – NEXT TO NORMAL
It’s hard to picture any other music existing in this breathtaking Pulitzer Prize winning dram-sical, especially a song about Costco. And yet, a frenzied ode to the wholesale store was in the tracklist shopping cart straight up until its Broadway checkout. Thank the Youtube Gods that you can still see Alice Ripley slaying the number Off-Broadway.
5. “Family Home Evening” – THE BOOK OF MORMON
This tickling demo, sung by none other than Trey Parker, gives us a cute look into the Mormons “home” life. Crank it up if you’re a BOM fan in search of more laughs!
6.“The Truth About the Moon” – NEWSIES
What a title, eh? Compared to many of Alan Menken’s magnificently fashioned songs, we understand why this one didn’t make the cut. It doesn’t totally seem necessary as it heavily relies on the show’s main anthem “Santa Fe.” However, it’s still a beautiful song and worth the listen!
7. “Word You Never Heard” – SOMETHNG ROTTEN!
So many “rotten” tomatoes were tossed out of this musical comedy that there could be a whole alternative show – oh wait, there is! Something Really Rotten was presented at the glorious sub Broadway hub 54 Below, showcasing all of the songs that did not make the cut from this quirky Shakespearean world. “Word You Never Heard” was hilariously performed by Christian Borle, who won a Tony for his performance as Will Shakes. Another recommendation is the beautiful “Lovely Love,” which almost made it into the Broadway run.
8.“Congratulations” – HAMILTON
This Lin-Manuel Miranda piece is especially exciting for the Angelica stans out there. “Congratulations” puts our pink-dressed Schuyler sister in a fiery spotlight as she strongly scolds Alexander Hamilton for writing The Reynolds Pamphlet. As many faniltons will tell you, a small slice of this still exists in the blockbuster hit’s song “The Reynolds Pamphlet” today.
9. “In The Bedroom Down The Hall” – DEAR EVAN HANSEN
WARNING: Get ready to feel all the feels. Just in case the original DEH soundtrack doesn’t well your eyes with enough tears, the team has released several cut songs from their award-winning show. Oscar and Tony Award-winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s provide particular insight into our map seeking mammas with “In The Bedroom Down The Hall.” This cements yet another reason for seeking out deleted material – you get to know the characters better! Check out this playlist for more cut songs. Sincerely, Theatre Nerds.
10. “Down at the Diner” – WAITRESS THE MUSICAL
To end this listicle on the same sugary note we started, here’s a sweet cut confection from the musical, ‘Waitress’. “Down at the Diner” was originally the show’s opening number, welcoming audiences into Joe’s Pie Diner with that signature Sara country twang we all love.
BONUS: “Someone Gets Hurt” (Original) – MEAN GIRLS
While the current “Someone Gets Hurt” is a fetch dream, we think this original iteration is also, like, really pretty and wanted to include it here. It lives more in the film version of the story, but is chock full of LOL instances that have Tina Fey’s humor permenant-markered all over them.