The Living Is Easy

I’ve been posting on this blog every week since the beginning of quarantine. Who knew it would take a global pandemic for me to get into a consistent routine? I feel proud of myself for keeping it up and I hope to continue bringing you weekly content for a long time to come.

This summer is different than previous summers. It is tinged with fear, aggravation, sorrow, and more melancholy than we expected from our January proclamations that this was our year.

Theatre does not look the way it used to, but thanks to the internet we have access to so much more than we would have during past plagues. I’ve been leaning heavily on musical theatre during this time. Here are six songs to help you get through summertime sadness.

“Carnaval del Barrio”, In The Heights

This song always makes my heart swell. It encompasses the hot, feverish, fun of summers in NYC. And there is also such beauty in the people singing so proudly and joyfully about their heritage.

“Livin’ It Up On Top,” Hadestown

Hadestown is my favorite musical score from the past few years. I so hope it returns when Broadway reopens so I can see it live. This song is a celebration of summer and of making do with what you have.

“La Vie Boheme,” Rent

This technically doesn’t take place in the summer, but the fun it encapsulates reminds me of a hot July afternoon. And it makes me long for the days when I could gather with a large group of friends. Who knew our last brunch would be our last for so long?

“And All That Jazz,” Chicago

Another moment that doesn’t actually take place in the summer, this musical theatre classic screams theatre camp to me. Something about the jazz hands and the t-strap heels. Plus, I could go for some cold gin right about now.

“I am Moana,” Moana

While technically not musical theatre, this song makes me cry every time. Maybe because Moana’s grandmother reminds me of my late Nana. Maybe because I’m a sappy water sign. Maybe because I just love the idea of a young girl of color finding her own way. Besides, what’s more summery than an ocean adventure?

“Summertime,” Porgy and Bess

There’s not much to say about Audra McDonald and her absolutely insane vocals that hasn’t been said. This is the ultimate achingly beautiful, sad summer song.

What musical numbers have you been listening to this summer? I’d love to hear them in the comments. Hang in there, theatre folks.

Love and theatre,

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