Musicals Thread (What Could Have Been)

Welcome to the Musicals Thread, the Avocado’s space for anything and everything related to musical theatre! Every month I’ll post a discussion prompt, but please feel free to comment on other topics, from new discoveries to old favorites. If you have ideas for future prompts or would like to write a feature for the thread, let me know!

To quote Alfie Byrne (and Lynn Ahrens), “Several hundred good ideas may come and go/To serve the show”. In this era of Hamildrops and annotated librettos, we seem to have more access than ever to all the work that went into – or was left out of – our favorite musicals. This month’s prompt, then, is: What’s your favorite cut song? Do you think the creators were right to leave it out of the finished product?

One I appreciate is “In The Bedroom Down The Hall” from Dear Evan Hansen. (Content warning in my comment below) Two mothers reflect on their efforts to care for their respective teenage sons. In the show proper, this basic idea is moved to the opening number, “Anybody Have a Map?” – planted early, put aside for the plot, then paid off near the end right when the main character needs it most. “Requiem” also takes this song’s place – Cynthia’s thoughts as she looks through Connor’s room – but includes more characters and communicates more information. I suppose the change was the right move, but I find the two women’s heartbreaking desperation – not to mention their harmony – really powerful in this take. “Anything to make you happy/Anything at all…”

Alternatively, is there a show that you feel is missing a song? What would you add if you could? In Miss Saigon, Kim is included in plenty of numbers already, but I remember wishing that we could hear her thoughts on her relationship with Chris at its very sudden beginning – a companion ballad to his “Why God Why?”