Of course, when we thing of musicals our minds run directly to our favorites. The Wizard of OZ, The Sound of Music, and Grease are a few classics that come to mind. Of course, at one time these musicals weren’t considered classics, they were modern and new.
So take a look at some of our favorite contemporary musicals that we feel might make it to the classic list one day.
1. American Idiot
This rock opera and musical, with a story put to the music of the rock band Green Day, sets itself in the not too distant past in a suburb called Jingletown, USA. The inhabitants watch a ton of television and the youths of that area are sick and tired of the condition of the country. Johnny, who is dubbed “Jesus of Suburbia” joins his friend Will for a talk. Tunny, their other friend, and the three have fun drinking beer until they don’t have anymore.
The trio moves to the 7-Eleven to buy more and Tunny comments on how their lives are utterly meaningless. This is when Will’s girlfriend Heather, enters and she is pregnant and afraid. Meanwhile the three guys hop on a bus to visit the “city” with hopes to find something more exciting than suburbia. But before they could leave Heather tells Will about the baby and he stays behind.
Johnny and Tunny head for the city. A woman is sitting in her apartment window and Johnny sees her and is attracted. Tunny on the other hand is drawn to a commercial for the Army and enlists.
From there Johnny takes on another identity called St. Jimmy, who is a drug-dealer. This is when he tries heroin for the first of what will be many times. The woman in the window is revealed as Whatsername and the two have sex. They take drugs and fall in love.
Meanwhile Will and Heather have a new baby daughter. Heather makes a solid commitment to parenting while Will continues to drink and smoke pot. Tunny on the other hand is in an army hospital suffering mental hallucinations. He and a nurse fall in love and dance.
Addiction forces Johnny to choose drugs over Whatsername while Will longs for a life he never got to live. Tunny and the nurse are in the hospital while she takes care of him. Soon Johnny longs for Whatsername and has rejected drugs. The three male friends reunite to find that their lives are not what they thought they would be.
2. Legally Blonde
Based on the novel by Amanda Brown this contemporary musical is a story surrounding sorority president Elle Woods. Woods, upon graduating from UCLA expects her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, to propose marriage. The whole sorority is excited for Elle.
Instead of getting the proposal she wanted Warner breaks up with her claiming Elle isn’t “serious” enough. Elle is heartbroken but takes charge of her destiny and decides to apply to Harvard Law School so she can follow Warner with hopes of showing him how serious she is.
Elle studies and is surprisingly accepted into Harvard Law School. Once there though Elle realizes that her blonde hair is the problem and decides to color it brown. When she reaches the salon she meets Paulette, who sends her off to a costume party given by Elle’s arch nemesis Vivienne. She is still blonde but dressed as a playboy bunny.
When she arrives to the party Elle realizes that Vivienne has tricked her into looking foolish. She still makes an attempt to win Warner back but is rejected. Elle leaves the party devastated and runs into her new friend Emmett who convinces her that she is not gaining any respect while obsessing over Warner.
Woods decides to work harder and she begins to outshine Vivienne and Warner in their classes. When Professor Callahan lists the new interns for his practice next year Elle Woods is one of them.
Act two begins with Brooke Wyndham, who is a fitness mogul, being accused of murdering her husband. Brooke is unable to give Callahan an alibi but confesses to Elle that she was getting liposuction, which would ruin her career.
Elle vows to keep her secret and does so even when pressured by Callahan. It isn’t long before Callahan’s true intentions are revealed when he forces a kiss upon Elle. She slaps him and he fires her.
Brooke, who always hated Callahan, fires him and hires Elle to take over her case. Through intense questioning Elle forces Brooke step-daughter to confess to murdering her father. Brooke is set free and the step-daughter convicted.
Fast forward three years and Elle is giving her valedictorian speech while all the people who originally doubted her due to her blonde hair bask in her glow.
With songs written by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová this contemporary musical is based on the 2007 film by the same name. The story starts with a musician named Guy who is busking around Dublin to earn a living. IN other words, playing music on the street for tips.
Somehow he almost forgets his guitar and a young Czech female reminds him of it there. They begin to talk and she is curious about his music. She has bene listening to him for some time.
Guy tells her that he wrote all of his songs after his last girlfriend broke his heart by moving to New York. He has subsequently given up music and now works as a repairman at his father’s vacuum cleaner shop.
Girl tells Guy that she has a vacuum cleaner that needs fixing and if he would fix it she would play the piano for him. He goes to her house and she plays one of his songs for him while reading his sheet music. They do it together and Girl tells him if Guy played that song for his girlfriend in New York he would surely win her back.
They take the vacuum back to his Dad’s shop and she seems to get along with his father. Guy invites Girl up to his room but when he tries to kiss her she says no. The next day he finds her and apologizes for his assumption and they play music together.
This is when Guy meets Girl’s family including Ivanka, her daughter. The next day Girl finds Guy and drags him to see a banker whom she has set up a meeting with. After hearing his music, the banker is impressed and gives Guy a loan so he can go to New York with his music.
Guy realizes he is in love with Girl and tells her she and her daughter should move to New York with him. Girl explains that the father of her daughter is trying to reconcile with her and she feels that is the route best for her family. Guy is saddened and tries to convince her to spend the night with him. She refuses.
Guy contacts his ex-girlfriend in New York and she is happy about him moving there. Girl comes to her home to find a new piano with a red bow, and she knows this is a gift from guy. She plays it while Guy strums his guitar in his new apartment. They finish the scene thinking of each other and playing the same song.
Here‘s the national tour map for “Once,” check it out!
4. Book of Mormon
Written by the creators of the animated television show Southpark this contemporary musical has been a hit since it was first premiered. It begins at a training camp for the Later-day Saints in Utah where we meet Elder Price and Elder Cunningham. The pair are sent to Uganda to convert the locals to Mormonism.
The second they get off the plane the pair is robbed by soldiers of the reigning warlord General BFN. Still, Mafala Hatimbi, the chief of the tribe they have come to help, greets them. The chief tells the Elders about the conditions they live in under the regime of BFN. The General is a murderer who enjoys mutilating females.
They tell the two Mormons to join them in a song, which they do, only to later realize they are denouncing God by doing so. This area has been proven difficult for conversions and the pair meet the other missionaries that have been there trying to convert the locals for some time.
They all agree there are downsides to the Mormon life but also decide it is best to ignore those feelings. Elder Price tries to convince the tribe to convert but begins to believe himself to be a prophet. The tribe members are completely uninterested since they see no need for this religion and they find the Elder price irritating.
Suddenly the missionaries receive a letter stating that the president of the Mormon mission is expecting a progress report stating why they have not made any progress. This prompts Price to abandon Uganda and request a transfer to Orlando.
Once in Florida, Price rejoices but then soon realizes he is dreaming. He then reflects to time when he blamed his brother for stealing a doughnut he himself took. Due to his insincerity Price sees himself being damned to eternal Hell where he is tormented by the souls of Hitler, Dahmer, Johnnie Cochran and Lucifer himself.
Elder Price wakes up in the Uganda Village and succeeds in converting tribe members to Mormonism, he and Cunningham are celebrated as the most successful Mormon missionaries in Africa. Of course, their tactic was not on the up and up and for that they will have to explain.
Check here for tickets – and act quick, these are selling like water!