Kinky Boots

The 12 Best New Songs on Broadway in 2013

The cast of "Kinky Boots," the 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Musical
The cast of “Kinky Boots,” the 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Musical

There weren’t that many new musical scores on Broadway in 2013, but there were still some excellent songs. What follows are my 12 favorites in no particular order. (Since I haven’t yet heard the music from “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” I was unable to include it in this list.)

“Kinky Boots” – The 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Musical with a score by Cyndi Lauper:

1. “Sex is in the Heel” – A rousing tribute to sexy high heeled boots.

2. “I’m Not My Father’s Son” – A moving duet between two different men, lamenting their difficulty in following in their fathers’ footsteps – one a regular guy and the other a drag queen. (It’s the only song remotely like it I’ve ever heard!)

3. “The History of Wrong Guys” – A hilarious number about bad dating choices.

“Matilda” – The import from the West End of London based on the book by Roald Dahl with a score by Tim Minchin:

4. “Naughty” – Matilda sings about the necessity of sometimes being “a little bit naughty.”

5. “Telly” – Matilda’s idiot father sings this funny tune about the importance of television. “All I know I learned from telly.”

6. “Revolting Children” – A high energy anthem of rebellion.

“Big Fish” – An ill-fated show that I loved with a score by Andrew Lippa:

7. “Time Stops” – A gorgeous song about love at first sight.

8. “Fight the Dragons” – A tune in which a man attempts to explain who he is to his young son.

9. “I Don’t Need a Roof” – A tear-jerker in which a wife proclaims to her dying husband that all she needs is him. It’s my favorite song of the year.

“First Date” – A short musical starring Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez with a score by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner:

10. “The One” – A funny opening number in which the cast recounts their dating war stories and hopes of meeting “the one.”

11. “Bailout Song” – This recurring theme was the highlight of the show for me, as the main female character’s gay best friend calls her repeatedly to try to bail her out of her date.

“Hands On a Hardbody” – Another short-lived musical with a score by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green:

12. “Used To Be” – A number lamenting the proliferation of chain stores.

Bonus: While not technically on Broadway, another new song from the year that I loved came from The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park musical production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” The tune, “Love’s a Gun,” is a lyrically clever and emotionally satisfying piece by Michael Friedman, who brought us “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.”

There were, of course, some great new musicals off-Broadway in 2013, including “Murder Ballad,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Fun Home.” In the interest of narrowing down the choices, I haven’t included them in this list.

I look forward to songs from the new crop of musicals in 2014, such as “If/Then,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” and “Rocky.”

Meanwhile, enjoy another bonus video below from “Big Fish” – “Fight the Dragons” sung by the great Norbert Leo Butz.


13 responses to “The 12 Best New Songs on Broadway in 2013”

  1. My latest article: The 12 Best New Songs on Broadway in 2013

  2. Jane Boursaw Avatar

    Great great great. Your Broadway pieces always make me want to jet to New York for a show or two.

    1. Melanie Votaw Avatar
      Melanie Votaw

      Well, you must! We’d have such fun.

      1. Renée Camus Avatar

        I was actually just there for Christmas, visiting family, but I only got to see one show (Big Fish, plus the Big Apple Circus). I wish I thought to look you up while I was there! It would’ve been great to meet in person.

        1. Melanie Votaw Avatar

          Yes, that would have been nice. Did you enjoy “Big Fish”? I saw the show 3 times and loved it.

          1. Renée Camus Avatar

            To be honest, no. I found it a little disappointing. I know you enjoyed it–in fact, it was partially on your recommendation that I wanted to see it, but I actually drifted off during it, and just found it a little ho-hum. I hate to say it, especially because Norbert Leo Butz is (and was) amazing.

  3. RT @melanievotaw: My latest article: The 12 Best New Songs on Broadway in 2013

  4. Thanks Melanie Votaw from @reellifejane for this roundup! The 12 Best New Songs on Broadway in 2013

  5. RT @tamarakrinsky: Thanks Melanie Votaw from @reellifejane for this roundup! The 12 Best New Songs on Broadway in 2013…

  6. Melanie Votaw Avatar

    Wow, I’m sorry you feel that way, Renee. The reviews were mixed, but everyone I know who saw it loved it.

  7. RT @melanievotaw: My latest article: The 12 Best New Songs on Broadway in 2013

  8. RT @melanievotaw: My latest story: The 12 Best New Songs on Broadway in 2013 @BigFishBroadway @MatildaBroadway @Kink…

  9. […] and newcomers Misty Copeland, of American Ballet Theatre, and Billy Porter, Tony-winner of “Kinky Boots,” join them each for a day in […]

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