Ready to feel all the feels? Want to sob uncontrollably for the next 10 minutes? Keep scrolling for the most feels-inducing theatre moments – both happy and sad!
10. ‘Electricity’ – ‘Billy Elliot’
This song is Billy’s answer to the question, “What does it feel like, when you are dancing?” He replies that dancing makes him feel like flying, like he’s lost himself and found himself in one motion, and like there are sparks inside him just beginning to burst him open. If you’ve ever had a deep passion for anything you love to do, especially performing arts-based, this song is sure to make you smile and feel all fuzzy inside.
9. ‘Far From the Home I Love’ – ‘Fiddler on the Roof’
In this song, Tevya’s daughter, Hodel, sings him her struggle of loving Perchik and leaving her home. She loves her family, and once was perfectly happy to remain by them, but now that she is in love, she would go anywhere with Perchik, even Siberia. It’s a simple song, but one that especially hits hard if you’ve recently moved away from your own family.
8. ‘She Used To Be Mine’ – ‘Waitress’
In this stirring song, Jenna Hunterson laments losing her true self over the years. Her abusive husband Earl has just taken all the money she had hidden for her yet-to-be-born child, presumably to spend it on alcohol. She eventually concludes that her baby is reawakening a fire inside her, convincing her to fight for a better life for them both. It’s a beautiful and sad tribute to our hero’s past self and one that never fails to make me misty-eyed.
7. ‘You Will Be Found’ – Dear Evan Hansen
At the launch of The Connor Project, Evan Hansen gives a moving speech. Although this speech was based on Evan’s made-up friendship with Connor, it still has a huge impact on people even outside of the show. With lines like, “Let that lonely feeling wash away; Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay,” and, “you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again,” it’s an emotional, uplifting piece about friends being there to help you through dark times.
6. ‘Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tell Your Story’ – ‘Hamilton’
After Alexander Hamilton’s death, those who knew him gather in a finale to reminisce on their enemy, brother, and husband. They remind us of his genius, and that he didn’t live long enough to tell his story. In the end, it’s Eliza, his wife, who preserves his legacy. A notable emotional moment is when Eliza is talking about the children in her orphanage: “In their eyes I see you, Alexander.” Tears. Every. Time.
5. ‘For Good’ – ‘Wicked’
The farewell scene between Elphaba and Glinda has always been a tear-jerker. The two witches sing about how each has changed the other for the better, and exchange apologies for their past disagreements. They then part ways, never to see each other again. Who knew one day I’d be crying over the “Wicked Witch of the West”?
4. All of ‘Les Miserables’
“Les Miserables” is the perfect name for this sad novel-turned-musical. There is hardly a 15-minute span without death or other melancholy moment through the entire show. For example: “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Fantine’s Death/Come to Me,” “On My Own,” “A Little Fall of Rain,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” …you get it. If you’re deep in your feels and craving a sung-through tragedy to cry/sing to, this is your show!
3. ‘Finale’ – ‘The Phantom of the Opera’
In the finale of the longest-running Broadway musical, the Phantom realizes that he cannot force Christine to love him, so he sets her and Raoul free. Christine returns to give back a ring that the Phantom had placed on her finger. Overcome with emotion, the Phantom confesses his love for her as she rejoins Raoul. As he wails that the music of the night is over, he disappears, leaving only his mask. I may have listened to the cast album more times than I could count, but I break down every time at the finale!
2. ‘A Part of Us’ – ‘Once On This Island’
Mama Euralie, Tonton Julian, and Little Girl mourn Ti Moune, the little orphan girl from the tree. In the story told to the Little Girl, the gods rewarded Ti Moune for her love and perseverance by giving her a peaceful end and preserving her for all time as a boundary-breaking tree. Although I knew what to expect from this story, my heart broke and was healed in less than three minutes.
1. ‘I’ll Cover You (Reprise)’ – ‘Rent’
The musical “Rent” is laden with emotion, but this song especially gets me into tears. During Angel’s funeral, Collins brings back the song “I’ll Cover You” with heart-wrenching anguish, promising Angel that he will love him even in death, for “all my life.” BRB, sobbing.