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LOVE

The Ultimate Broadway Breakup Playlist

Love life got you down? Get through it Theatre Nerd style with this Broadway soundtrack for the broken hearted thespian. A song for every type of romantic rejection.

1. The Misfortunate Romance

“We Do Not Belong Together” from Sunday in the Park with George

This gut-wrenching musical masterpiece about a love that isn’t, but should have been, is enough to shed a tear from anyone with a pulse. George, seems incapable of loving anything but his art and Dot laments how he is complete on his own but she needs more, therefore, she must leave him to seek out true companionship.

We do not belong together/ And we should have belonged together/ What made it so right together/ Is what made it all wrong

2. The Dramatic Downfall

“Without You” from RENT

Apart, Roger and Mimi sing this duet as they reflect on what they’ve lost by losing one another. Fitting for any couple questioning their separation.

Without you/ The tides change/ The boys run/ The oceans crash /The crowds roar/The days soar/ The babies cry/ Without you/ The moon glows/ The river flows/
But I die without you

3. Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride

“Tell me on a Sunday Please” from Song and Dance

During this ballad, Emma sings about the way she’d prefer to hear the news of her inevitable breakup. She humbly requests a beautiful day in the park instead of a phone call or letter. Anyone who’s ever neared the end of a doomed relationship can relate to this hauntingly beautiful melody.

Don’t leave in silence with no word at all/ Don’t get drunk and slam the doorThat’s no way to end this/ I know how I want you to say goodbyeFind a circus ring with a flying trapezeTell me on a Sunday please

4. The Epiphany at the End

“There’s a Fine Fine Line” from Avenue Q

The lightening bolt moment of insight where you realize your relationship just wasn’t what you thought it was. In this number, Kate realizes that there’s an infinite space between something that’s real and something that isn’t.

There’s a fine, fine line/ between a fairy tale, and a lie/ And there’s a fine, fine linebetween “you’re wonderful” and “goodbye”/ I guess if someone doesn’t love you back/ it isn’t such a crime

5. The Satiric Split

“Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music

Send in the Clowns is the perfect tune for any fool for love. A reflection on love’s losses and ironies sung by Desiree after being rejected by the man she loves, whom she herself had once rejected long before.

Just when I’d stopped opening doors/ Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours/ Making my entrance again with my usual flair/ Sure of my lines/ No one is there

6. Hope for the Hopeless

“Maybe This Time” from Cabaret  

Okay, not exactly a breakup song, but for those unlucky in love this song will give hope to the hopeless as Sally Bowles power ballads out about how perhaps, this time, her love affair will last and she’ll finally be a winner.

Maybe this time/ I’ll be lucky/ Maybe this time/ He’ll stay/ Maybe this time/ For the first time/ Love won’t hurry away

7. The Reconciliation

“I’d Give It All For You” from Songs For a New World

A rapprochement for the couple that split and then realized they were wrong. In this duet, the lovers sing of how they chased after their dreams and told themselves it was better without the other one, but now they’d give it all up to be together again.

No, I’d give it all for you / I’d give it all for you by my side once more /Oh, I’d give it all for you/ I’d give it cause the mountains I climb / Get higher and higher / I’m running from time/ And walking through fireAnd dreams just don’t come true/ But now there’s you

8. Unrequited Love

“On My Own” from Les Misérables

This Eponine tune tugs at the heartstrings for anyone who has ever loved unreciprocated.

I love him, but every day I’m learning/ All my life, I’ve only been pretending/ Without me, his world will go on turning/ The World is full of happiness that I have never known/ I love him, I love him, I love him/ But only on my own

9. The Sexually Frustrated Single

“The B*tch of Living” from Spring Awakening

The perfect song for the solitary. The young men in this number lament about the struggles of sexual frustrations, puberty, crushes, and confusion. This will have you rocking around your bedroom and singing into your imaginary microphone in no time.  

See, each night it’s like fantastic/ Toss and turning without rest

‘Cause my days at the piano/ With my teacher and her breasts/ And the music’s like the one thingI can even get at all/ And those breasts, I mean God/ Please just let those apples fall

10. The Defiant

“And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dream Girls

In this famed hit, Effie lets her man know she isn’t going anywhere without him. It is the anthem of the woman who stands by her man, even when he doesn’t want her there. Perfect for the person who refuses to let go.

No, no, no, no way I’m livin’ without you/ I’m not livin’ without you/ You see, there’s just no way/ There’s no way.

11. The Post Mortem

“Still Hurting” from The Last Five Years

A great piece for anyone struggling for closure. Cathy reflects on the relationship lost as she sings of her ex-husband’s moving on while she is still encased in emotional turmoil.

Jamie is over and Jamie is gone/ Jamie’s decided it’s time to move on/ Jamie has new dreams he’s building upon/ And I’m still hurting

Have some Broadway breakup jams to add to the list? Leave a comment below…

Written by Lisa Kay Jennings

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Lisa is a voice over actress and writer with her B.F.A in Acting from Wright State University. Lisa lives in Los Angeles and when she's not writing or performing she's usually drinking wine and dressing up her Shih Tzu in funny outfits.

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  1. How about some more energetic, positive ones? “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” from South Pacific and “Forget About the Boy” from Thoroughly Modern Millie 🙂

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