Musical Mondays #48

Welcome back to Musical Mondays!

In case you’re new here, this column is a peek into the depths of the Musical Theatre archive, where I will showcase a few musicals that I think deserve a little more love. You can read my past posts by clicking here!

They’re the smaller, niche shows that not everyone will be familiar with – and that’s the point! They deserve just as much love as the big name shows, so every second Monday I’ll list a few, give you some comparisons, and a few examples of songs for you to check out. This is our final instalment for 2021, so all our shows are holiday themed! We hope you have a lovely holiday season and new year – starting in 2022, the column will be moving to the first Monday of each month.

The original Broadway production of Here’s Love

Here’s Love is a musical adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street, with book, lyrics, and music by Meredith Willson. The source film is often regarded as one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, so the stage production is a wonderful experience for any fans of the movie. It follows a skeptical young girl who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, and a department store Santa who claims to be the real deal. The original Broadway production premiered in 1963, and it hasn’t seen much stage time otherwise. There was a 2007 Toronto revival, and the show has been staged under different titles including It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical. It is a surprise to me that this show hasn’t been as successful as other ‘classic’ Christmas musicals (such as Holiday Inn and White Christmas), particularly with such famous source material. But I suppose, that’s the joy of Broadway – you never quite know what will happen with a show!

Standout track/s: Here’s Love; Expect Things to Happen; Nothing in Common

You’ll like this if you enjoy: Other Meredith Willson shows like The Music Man and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, musicals about Christmas

Click here to listen to the Here’s Love cast recording.

Anna and the Apocalypse is a Christmas Zombie musical film (yes, you read that correctly) following the titular Anna defeating a Zombie apocalypse over the holiday season. The plot originated as a short 2010 film titled Zombie Musical, written by Scottish creative Ryan McHenry, who some of you may know from the hilarious Vine series “Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal.” The short film earned him a BAFTA nomination, so it was expended into the full-length feature in 2017. Sadly, McHenry passed away from an ongoing battle with cancer, and Anna and the Apocalypse was released posthumously. An absolute tragedy, as I really would have loved to see what else he could have written. The movie poster for Anna and the Apocalypse claims it’s “Shaun of the Dead meets La La Land” and I could not agree more. It’s absolute chaos, but genuinely a really fun couple of hours of viewing.

Standout track/s: Hollywood Ending; It’s That Time of Year; What a Time to Be Alive

You’ll like this if you enjoy: Zombie Prom, Reefer Madness, The Toxic Avenger

Click here to listen to the Anna and the Apocalypse cast recording.

Patrick Page in How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is exactly what you think it is. In fact, I don’t think this one needs too much of a synopsis. It’s not a direct adaptation of the novel nor the iconic Jim Carrey movie, but rather takes pieces of both and mixes them into a new interpretation. If you are a fan of the story, you’re sure to enjoy this. And if you needed any more convincing, Patrick Page originated the role of the Grinch. Yes, Patrick Page. Of Hadestown (and Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark, but we don’t talk about that show). Other well-known actors have taken on the role too, including Stefán Karl Stefánsson, Gavin Lee, and Matthew Morrison. The latter starred in a live TV special in 2020, and is probably available somewhere online if you search around.

Standout track/s: Who Likes Christmas?; One Of A Kind; You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch

You’ll like this if you enjoy: The Grinch, of course!

Click here to listen to the How The Grinch Stole Christmas cast recording.

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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