Shaun's Jukebox #3: Rap, Rock & Raw Beauty

To ease back into this long-forgotten series, I thought I'd spend today talking about three shows that are taking Broadway by storm at the moment: the destined-to-be Tony-winning Best Musical of 2016 'Hamilton', ALW's stage musical adaptation of one of my favourite films of all time (which you'd know if you follow me on Twitter) 'School of Rock: The Musical', and the original cast recording and what might just be the most intimate and beautiful historical musical ever: 'The Color Purple'.
Hamilton won over the public and critics alike when it had its run at the Public Theatre off-Broadway earlier on this year and following a sell-out run, the show transferred to the Richard Rodgers on Broadway this summer and continues to play to 100% capacity every single performance. The story follows the famous Alexander Hamilton who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the Lin Manuel-Miranda written score is entirely R'n'B and rap based... it's super cool! My friends know how obsessed I am with the music of this show and nothing excites me more than the rumours of the show's West End transfer in early 2017. My favourite picks from the album? It's a hard one because I love them all so much, but three that I love that are each very different are 'The Schuyler Sisters', 'Helpless' and 'The Room Where It Happens'

I have loved School of Rock ever since my Dad brought the DVD home from work one day when I was much younger and the film has become something we quote to each other every time we speak, so you can understand both of our excitement when the musical was announced to be heading to Broadway this December - even more so now we know the show is coming to the London Palladium next Autumn! I was elated when they released the cast album on Soundcloud a month or so ago and even happier now that the album is available for download. Lloyd Webber manages to return to his rock days of shows like Jesus Christ Superstar with this score that compliments the film's original music perfectly. My top three picks are 'Stick it to the Man', 'Where Did The Rock Go' and the film's main original song, 'School of Rock (Teacher's Pet)'.

The Color Purple is one of the best Broadway musicals of the 21st century in anyone's eyes; this beautiful musical adaptation of the beloved classic film and novel pleases both fans of the original story and Broadway fans in general with its moving and gorgeous story and score. The recent Broadway mounting of the 2013 Menier Chocolate Factory production stars UK actress Cynthia Erivo (who I saw in I Can't Sing! and had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to after the show), Grammy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson, and OITNB star Danielle Brooks and the five-star reviews show how amazing this tale really is. My picks from the original cast album, ahead of the revival's album in January? 'Push Da Button', 'Hell No' and 'The Color Purple (Reprise)'.

Do you like any of these albums, or are you even planning on heading across the pond to catch the shows themselves? Let me know your thoughts at @shaunycat on Twitter!

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