FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What’s Your Favorite (Gayest) Broadway Musical/Song?

feature image from playbill.com

Hi friends! Me again! How’ve ya been? Glad we got all that ice breaking out of the way so we can just jump right into it. Since the last Friday Open Thread I hosted I have been very busy. I’ve been lucky enough to see a bajillion (approximate number) musicals here in New York on Broadway and also one in Boston. And I go with a bunch of my queer friends and we flail about the ladies we loved or which storylines and songs we queered in our own minds and, sometimes, we even get to discuss legitimate gay storylines. Jagged Little Pill was as queer as it gets, and full of enough angst the ghost of my teenage self haunted me for days after. (Plus, its queer characters are played by queer actors!)

Lauren Patten poses with a bunch of over-excited queerdos

Jagged Little Lesbians with BREAKOUT STAR Lauren Patten who plays Jo in the musical Jagged Little Pill and will win a Tony someday soon, I’m sure of it.

Frozen the Musical was just as gay as the movie (as in, not explicitly gay, but not NOT gay, yaknow?). Mean Girls made Janis Ian the lesbian she was always meant to be and gave me a new term for my identity (Space Dyke).

Poster for Mean Girls the Musical

I didn’t think I could possibly love the show move than the movie but I did by the end of the first song.

This Musical Montage of my very own has me thinking a lot about the musicals I loved all my life. The ones that were explicitly queer like RENT or the ones with women I fell in love with like Les Mis. The newer, gayer musicals – whether they failed (It Shoulda Been You) or succeeded (Fun Home). Songs I still wish had two-lady covers (Sunrise from In the Heights), or songs that are definitely lesbian love songs don’t @ me (For Good from Wicked). There have even been not-straight women in theatre for all eternity; Sara Ramirez was the Lady of the Lake long before she came out, and out queer actress Ariana DeBose is currently killing it, bouncing from Original Broadway Cast to Original Broadway Cast.

When straight people talk about the gay community and Broadway, they usually mean gay men. Which is fair. But it’s not just for them. I know so many queer women who love showtunes as much as I do. Stonewall Karaoke on Friday nights always has a wide range of genders singing Broadway songs. (Side note: I have a 100% success rate of making out with whoever I sing Take Me or Leave Me with.)

So I want to hear from you. What songs fill your gay heart with glee? (No shame if you learned them from Glee.) What are your favorite LGBTQ+ characters from Broadway’s long history? What soundtrack to you listen to nonstop? What are your favorite characters to queer in your heart of hearts? Did you do musicals yourself? Did you have a crush on the girl who played Reno Sweeney in your high school’s production of Anything Goes in your junior year? Tell me everything.

Highly recommend seeing Broadway shows in June if you can. Because RAINBOWS. // Photo from Playbill.com


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Just a nerdy, TV-loving, Twitter-addicted Hufflepuff who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 121 articles for us.

165 Comments

  1. I 💛 musicals, but I’m not a big fan of Broadway so most of my favourites are neither very queer nor very well known internationally.

    J’en appelle (Le Roi Soleil) always gives me witchy queer vibes. She’s technically obsessed with keeping a man, but the whole pulling on the power of the universe, the Earth, the stars, willing to surrender part of herself, while in a sensual dance with “unnatural” mythical beasts gives me big “I know I like girls, and I’ll do anything not to be like this, but it’s a force of nature” vibes. Maybe that’s just me.

    My favourite musical, Notre-Dame de Paris, isn’t very queer (except for the gay man’s dream choreography on Déchiré) but it’s an entire musical just about blatant misogyny, that kills, which fits with stereotypical queer lady politics.

    • “Bohémienne, c’est écrit dans les lignes de ma main”!

      In high school, my friend had a DVD of that show and while I couldn’t quite get on board with the staged production, the music was gorgeous and I listened to it constantly.

  2. I’m not really into a lot of musicals. But there are a handful I’ve enjoyed. I got to see Fun Home at a smaller local theater near me, and it was oh so so amazing. I love the darker musicals, like Sweeney Todd and Les Miserables, but I do long to see Mean Girls. My most magical musical moment was when I saw Hair. It was showing for free in Central Park the summer I turned 14, and my mom and aunt and I woke up at 3am to get in line. And it POURED rain. But we held our ground, because if you moved you lost your spot. So we took turns going to local coffee shops to shake off the water. And we got our tickets plus two extra for my cousin and her friend, and we returned at 7pm and we had awesome seats. We got about 2 minutes into the show and it POURED…to the point they had to stop and wait it out. And we all just sat there getting soaked, and then the show went on! And it was just such a good production. So much life and energy and love and it made me so happy. After it all ended we got to go up on stage and dance and I was a pretty reserved kid, but my cousin and her friend dragged me up there and I jumped around with mud in my sneakers and it was glorious. So I guess I sorta like musicals??

  3. What are some of your favorite random lyrics?

    One of mine is from Legally Blonde (a very underrated musical): “I thought losing your love was a blow I could never withstand. But look how far I have come without anyone holding my hand.”

    • Fun fact: My first musical was the Fantasticks in 9th grade. Since then the one that I’ve always loved is “Deep in December, it’s nice to remember: Without a hurt, the heart will hollow”

    • “To love another person is to see the face of God” from Les Mis. I’m not particularly spiritual, but as someone online aptly pointed out, more fitting words could be: “This is the part where you cry ev’ry single fucking time”

    • My favorite – also underrated – musical is “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Which…is what it sounds like. In “Woe is Me,” one of the contestants sings about having two dads and how her birth mother wants to meet her “when I’ve grown and burst like a comet / but I’m so stressed by my stress I just wanna up and vomit.”

      Me.

    • “I’m the witch, you’re the world” from Into the Woods. Not a very gay musical unless you’re pulling for the baker’s wife and cinderella to run away together because you can change in the woods.

      You’re so nice.
      You’re not good,
      You’re not bad,
      You’re just nice.
      I’m not good,
      I’m not nice,
      I’m just right.
      I’m the Witch.
      You’re the world.

  4. I bought “Subnautica” from STEAM on sale. It was 25% off, but it was also in a package deal with another game. I already owned the other game, but the average discount of the package was 35%, so I actually got it for lower than what it was on sale. It ended up being about $16, and that was such a good investment. I’m having so much fun with it. The main character is a dude, but you only see his silhouette, and I just pretend that I’m a woman with both sides of her head shaved and long hair styled up in the middle.

  5. Leapin’ lizards am I excited for this topic! I echo your sentiments on For Good, and especially on Mean Girls (the Musical!). My Broadway knowledge isn’t as vast as some, since my obsession started a bit later and centered around the “popular” musicals (like Wicked. Get it? Sorry.) But in the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to live adjacent to NYC, which gives me a lot of access to shows that not many people have. As far as soundtracks go, I’ve had Mean Girls on repeat nonstop since we saw it. Before that, it was Legally Blonde, even though I had never seen it. I’m not sure I’ve met a soundtrack I didn’t love.
    Words were never my strong suit growing up, so I turned to music to express my feelings. Even though the words weren’t my own, music helped me to process my feelings in a way that talking never has. Even now, I lean on songs like “I’d Rather Be Me” (yes, Mean Girls again) and “Being Alive” to explain who I am as a person.

    Also. For Good is super gay. Okay bye.

  6. sweeney todd & spring awakening will always be two of my favorite shows that i’ve gotten to see! gotta make it to mean girls one of these days.

    i feel hamilton should be mentioned, if only because of the loud and enthusiastic singalongs at a-camp.

    rent will always hold a special place in my heart.

    and i’ve never gotten to see it but the music of parade always makes me sob like a child.

  7. I’m just starting season two of “GLOW”, and it’s already a wild ride. I’m about two and a half episodes in and it’s so much better than “Luke Cage”. I had to force myself to watch the first four episodes of that before it started getting good, but right of the bat I’m enjoying “GLOW”. I’ll have some thoughts in the reply to avoid spoilers.

    • – Yo-yo is an out and proud lesbian. She doesn’t beat around the bush (in a manner of speaking). She lets the other girls know that she likes pussy. I like that they don’t have a coming out story here, and that the other girls aren’t judging her about that, but that’s kind of also a bad thing. This an 80’s period piece, so I’m mystified that the other girls don’t have a problem with it, and that Yo-yo IS so comfortable being out.
      – Reggie leaves. I know we were all hoping that she would a love interest for Yo-yo, but she’s gone.
      – Debbie seems to be VERY jealous and possessive of Ruth.
      – I’m not sure where this Justine storyline is going. She’s not rejoining the show as a wrestler since she’s actually 16, so what’s up.
      – I’m both disappointed and fascinated by Sam’s storyline about Ruth. When Bash lets him know that the TV studio wanted to replace him, he’s really threatened by how Ruth steps up. But that also leads to him punishing her for his insecurities. It feels authentic, but it’s also comes off as terribly sexist at the same time.

  8. I really never got over “RENT,” so I’m pretty sure it’ll be my fave forever and ever. It was the first musical I really felt connected to or interested in or moved by – and hilariously, I found out about it through Jai Rodriguez from the original “Queer Eye,” who I stanned when I was about 13, because he had a stint as Angel. Cut to me repeatedly falling asleep to the two-CD soundtrack at night (and burning out the batteries in my Discman like every two weeks – my parents were predictably delighted).

    “Angels in America” is absolutely not a musical but I’ve adored it since whenever the HBO adaptation first aired on British TV (Channel 4, if memory serves), and the image of the rainbow playbills in this post made me think of it.

    Uh somewhat relatedly, Beth Malone is a babe.

  9. I come from a long line of musical theater buffs and although I do not live in the theater capital of the world, I have been able to see many touring Broadway shows. The one that I feel was life-changing was the revival of Cabaret in 2000. It came to town right in time for my 16th birthday and I was instantly enthralled with the Kit Kat girls. It remains my favorite queer musical to date. As much as I love RENT, Cabaret holds my heart. Incidentally, I saw Joely Fisher play Sally Bowels, so that kind of upped the queer game.

    I hope when Mean Girls tours it makes a stop here!

    • Some of the best shows I’ve seen have been local productions of things!! Broadway-level talent isn’t only in New York!

      I saw Emma Stone in Caberet and I was very pleasantly surprised. Though Alan Cumming was there too, so that helped.

  10. Man from La Mancha will always hold a special place in my heart because it was almost how I realized I was gay.

    It’s 8th grade, and my tiny Catholic elementary school is on a field trip to the annual theater production put on by the nearby Protestant megachurch. It’s great! I love musicals! I am really digging Aldonza, who fits my favorite character Type to perfection. Except when she’s singing I also get a stomach ache. Or…it’s not really my stomach. Maybe I have to pee? Orrrrr nope. nope. nope. Definitely not anything else, because that would be ridiculous.

    I don’t remember anything from the second half of the play because I spent it talking myself out of a panicked spiral. I did in fact have to pee, but I so thoroughly convinced myself that was all, just a big fuss over nothing, that it took literally another 10 years before I realized.

  11. I will admit I don’t know too much about Broadway, partially because I am from LA, and partially because my family never went to any broadway plays or musicals. I think my parents saw a version of Fiddler on the Roof(not the movie) when dating in Iran, but that’s really it. I am a fan West Side Story and Yentl, but that could partially be due to the movie and stars of each film.

    How is everyone’s week going? Mines has been fairly solid. Weather hasn’t been terrible yet(no 90-100 yet in my part of town), and works a bit slow. I spent a couple of hours(8.5-ish miles) doing a solo hike Sunday trying to clear my mind. Kind of worked; I think the spirited drive through my favorite roads helped more. I had plans to go Rainbow skating the other night, but my friend hand to cancel as a few things came up.

    I meet up with the person I was seeing for dinner earlier in the week. It was nice, as we still get along very well & respect each other a lot. It her last weeks in town(for now) as it’s getting more expensive to live here and rent isn’t going to change at least in the near future. I may take a trip in to visit her in her hometown, but will see where life takes me. Right now aiming to move out living with my parents/roommates, but it’s hard as too many people, & again high cost of rent.

    Question: How many of you fellow straddlers kiss your friends on the lips? Is that even something friends do?

    Panoramic view of the coast from my hike.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my thread. Have a positive weekend!

      • There is also a heat/fire warning, but that’s mostly for the desert(+ nearby) and parts of the Valley. Thank you for the compliment. It looks better larger or better yet in person.

        I haven’t seen the Bold so not the reason I am asking; but, now thinking about watching it as it could be relevant.

  12. Hi, I’m crying happy tears reading this thread because I work professionally in theatre as a musical theatre writer, playwright, and producer, and I’m obviously hella queer, and this is making me so happy because I essentially breathe musical theatre. Y’all have mentioned some of my dear queer lady friends on Broadway. I’m currently writing a lesbian musical (as most of mine are), and now I feel seen, and my heart feels so warm. There’s actually quite a big community of queer lady & non-binary theatre folx; I ran LezCab for 5 years, which was a queer lady cabaret series/theatre company (I think the website still exists: http://www.lezcab.com). I love musical theatre, and I love being a queer lady, and I love combining both these identities. I love you all so much!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoox

    • This comment deserves the Love Fest award.

      I came out to my acting class freshman year of college, which quickly catapulted me into the role of “token lesbian” in the musical theater program. It was not the easiest thing. I later found out there were a few other girls in the program (older than me) who had dated or were dating each other and no one really cared or said anything about it. I just had to go overboard and announce it to my whole class, which was the way I handled everything back then.

      ANYWAY. All that to say, I wish I’d had a community of queer women in theater back then so I wouldn’t have felt like the only one.

    • Rachel, that sounds so so cool!! When I was younger it was my dream to work professionally in musical theatre as a writer, so you are #goals. And, good to know that if I had happened to make it on that path, there would have been/is (!!) a community of queer ladies in the theatre! 🙂

  13. I’m not having a very good week – it is burning hot in the UK and I hate it! Sorry! Plus, I fell off a chair in work today and bumped my head and gave myself carpet burn and a sore wrist, so I’m feeling grumpy.

    But! I admit to liking musicals, though I’m not au fait with Rent or Hair etc. I like older stuff and especially Andrew Lloyd Webber, so not gay. And I like film musicals a lot as well.

        • I am also in the UK and have found this week too hot, although I have been on holiday and have not fallen off a chair.

          I’m an atheist and watched the version of Jesus Christ Superstar with Tim Minchin in (on DVD) and also an am dram that a friend was in and was surprised at it, in that it seemed to be quite a critical portrayal of Jesus. So I liked it more than I expected.

  14. Musical theater is my very favorite thing. Nothing tugs my heartstrings quite so much as heartfelt singing.

    I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but here goes: I acknowledged I was gay when I was 12 because of Rent. I had been considering it for a few weeks prior because of fanfiction, but wasn’t certain. But then, midway through Out Tonight, I distinctly remember thinking “oh yeah I definitely like girls.” It was a revelation. (Also, it was Kids Night on Broadway, which I think adds texture to the anecdote.)

    My favorite musical is either Assassins or Fun Home or Into the Woods or Hedwig or Hamilton. And honestly that feels like it’s leaving out a lot of important ones like Company and Once on this Island and ofc Rent.

  15. I’m half-convinced I’ll be the only human alive who will remember Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 for the rest of my life and I’m totally fine with that. Seriously: an electropop dinner theatre operatic adaptation of a 70-page section of War and Peace? What is gayer than electropop, opera, or taking a Classic Lit class only to skip most of the reading?! From a really beautiful score I’ll always pick “Charming” as my designated jam, since the entire song goes something like “You are so beautiful and young and hot and I am so glad you are here to get your sexytimes on… with my brother! (But also me later, probably)” and Amber Grey of the OBC has the sultry, smoky tones of a rockier Eartha Kitt reincarnated. But if clicking with Tolstoy’s designated promiscuous vamp Helene doesn’t work for you, there’s also the existential crisis of protagonist Pierre (“They say we are asleep until we fall in love/And I’m so ready to wake up now”), the good-time gay mood of ladykiller in love Anatole (“All I care for is gaiety and women/And there’s no dishonor in that!”), or the raw queer energy of Marya Dmitrievna, best remembered for 1) being played in the OBC by Grace MacLean as every young theatre lesbian’s root for years to come and 2) passionately kissing Helene onstage in the chaotic elopement scene every night (or is she? The trickiness of the double casting within the show makes it hard to say, but HELENE DEFINITELY KISSES A LADY WHO IS PLAYED BY MARYA’S ACTRESS). Also cool about the show is that its original Broadway production featured several out queer ladies in the company, plus gender-neutral tracks for the ensemble — meaning that what a guy did at one show could be done by a lady at the next, including the explicitly romantic ballroom dances and kickass instrument/dance solos (that’s right — the ensemble was composed of theatre geeks AND band geeks, AKA the ultimate queer kid experience alliance).

  16. Idina Menzel was 100% my lesbian awakening. I got into the Wicked soundtrack when I was in 7th grade (2004ish) and memorized it immediately then pursued everything else Idina had ever been in. Then I started reading Wicked fanfiction and accidentally read Gelphaba slash fic and secretly loved it. Then I joined an Idina Menzel fan forum and met real life internet lesbians. So. Thanks Broadway!

    • If this is the Zoe I think it might be, hi. 🙂

      If it’s not, I know a Zoe I met on an Idina Menzel fan forum. I also met my now-wife on the same forum. I knew I was queer way before then, but I feel like I still owe Idina a toaster. (Is that how that joke goes? I’m old.)

  17. My first girlfriend and I re-wrote “Popular” into a song about being gay.

    “You’re gonna be super gay, it’s all about being gay!
    You’ll hang with the right cohorts, you’ll be good as sports, know the slang you’ve got to know!”

  18. I SMILED SO BIG WHEN I SAW THIS YES BROADWAY

    The problem is I can’t really tell you if any musicals are gay because as soon as the lights go down I go in with the mindset of everyone’s gonna be gay and I don’t care if they try to convince me otherwise so

    Next to Normal is one o fmy all time favorites because I listened to it nearly every day while in therapy and In the Heights!!! My sister and I love that musical and we sing the intro song whenever I’m having an anxiety attack!

    We were really blessed in high school to be able to go to New York and see some shows and I LOVED THEM ALL (except West Side Story). A Little Night Music?? Don’t get me started on how much I love Sondheim that’s my homie he doesn’t know it but we’re homies. But Billy Elliott was the first show I’d ever seen on Broadway and there was this little black girl tapping the SHIT out of her routine and I LOVE IT ALL SO MUCH it was the first show I saw where it was like “It’s hard being gay BUT YOURE GONNA MAKE IT” and seeing that as a closeted sophomore in high school?? LIFE CHANGING

    Can we talk about Wicked like CAN WE TALK ABOUT WICKED I watch Alli Mauzey and Donna Vivino’s Popular all the time because for eight minutes the world mAKES SENSE like I’ve saved that shit in Dropbox my hard drive and my phone just so at any point in time it’s but a click away.

    I haven’t finished The Color Purple yet, but that’s because I don’t have a good two days cleared yet where I can just cry straight through it. But I can already tell you What About Love is gonna be in my top ten favorite songs ever.

    Also, like. it is well known that Spongebob Squarepants is one of my favorite things in the universe and I just got to see it and SANDY IS BLACK AND A SCIENTIST AND PATRICK AND SPONGEBOB FINALLY SING A LOVE SONG TO EACH OTHER actually it’s one of those things where it’s not gay but it’s GAY.

    Gypsy is a favorite just because when Laura Benanti looks in the mirror and goes, “I’m pretty, Mama.” WHAT??? WHAT????? rips my heart open every time. I mean for other reasons too bUT THAT ONE PART

    The Prom musical is good fun and I loved it a lot because they……..knew they were gay??? and MORE GAY PEOPLE COME TO HELP THEM??? the dream

    I love RENT but sadly all I can every quote is Take Me or Leave Me but I feel like that’s all I really need going out into the world you know?

    Firebringer. Can I talk to you about Firebringer. It’s free on youtube and I love love love it because 1) it’s foolish 2) IT TURNED GAY its a great way to spend a night in and I’m about to scour ao3 for fic recs

    Beautiful from Heathers??? CARRIE!!!!!!!!!! THE LION KING!!!! Cinderella!!! Chicago!!!! Spring Awakening!!! Anastasia!!!!! everything frOM MATILDA THE MUSICAL WHEN MS. TRUNCHBULL SAYS: “You have to keep things in order. Even when they scream.” WHAT??? THE WIZ WITH UZO ADUBA AND SHANICE WILLIAMS????

    Falsettos! Fun Home! 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee! Amelie! Mean Girls! Les Mis! I’m actually gonna go sit down somewhere and like collect myself I got really too hyped THIS WHOLE PAGE MAKES ME SO HAPPY THANK YOU VALERIE

  19. ok this isn’t a gay song BUT it’s an out-and-proud actress sooooo i humbly nominate ‘me and the sky’ sung by jenn collela from come from away

    as a theatre queer who is also a space queer with a lifelong love affair with the sky this song was basically written for me

    • This is the only song I’ve heard from Come From Away and it got me RIGHT in the feels. I also got to see an interview with the pilot the song was about–she said a lot of the lyrics were taken verbatim from the interview she did with the writers. What a bamf.

  20. Yes to this!

    I played the piano for my high school’s productions of Working, West Side Story, and Ragtime, so these musicals have a special place in my heart. As does Rent – well, the movie version anyway. My siblings and I got the selections OST for Christmas during my junior year…which was the year I really realized I was gay. Fairly certain Maureen and Joanne’s relationship had something to do with that. 😛

    And yes, I’ve also had my Ring of Keys moment… no wanting to change my major, though.

    But my favorite musical ever is The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. It’s so nerdy and random and wonderful and I love it. It just fits every part of me lol. Plus as the regular token POC, I very much see myself in Marcy Park (“recent transfer.”). Check it out if you like fun nerdy things.

    Also Wait for It from Hamilton makes me feel all the feelings

    and peggy

    • OMG I was just listening to Spelling Bee yesterday (after a strangely long hiatus)! Much like Olive, I too spent time reading my dictionary (though not on the toilet). I had forgotten how emotionally devastating the “I Love You Song” was …

      And I ugly cried the first time I heard “Wait For It”

      • Hahah that’s awesome! Pit orchestra too or somewhere else? Omg, I bet that was awesome. I saw Spelling Bee on a regional tour after interviewing the actor playing *sings* the comfort counselor for my college paper and that was fantastic.

        😉

        • stage manager 🙂 and it was awesome! i had tickets with a friend to see the original cast of spring awakening (!!!) and afterwards we hit up TKTS to get whatever else we could afford. i didn’t really know spelling bee but am so glad i got to go, was a blast!

        • stage manager 🙂 that sounds awesome! always amazing to get to interview people and then see them perform all at once.

          i had tickets with a friend to see the original cast of spring awakening (!!!) and afterwards we hit up TKTS to get whatever else we could afford. i didn’t really know spelling bee but am so glad i got to go, was a blast!

  21. THIS is the open thread I have been waiting for!! My fav musicals are Legally Blonde and Falsettos. Mean Girls was SO GOOD omg and the music in Once on this Island is literally the best Im listening right now. All of the musicals ever are so good and I literally dream about playing medium Allison. A fun story is that I met the original Angel from Rent and he was like ‘Im so glad Rent means so much to you’ but I hadnt seen Rent yet OOPS (I watched it the next day and then 500 more times). Anyway musicals are incredible and wonderful and very very very gay.

    Side note: a v v gay song is Freak Flag from the Shrek musical! “Im wood! Im good! Get used to it!” have a lovely day

  22. So I have so few skill points in Musical Theatre that I can’t even really answer the question about a favorite, but I do wonder if I am alone in my experience of “Let It Go” from Frozen. First time I watched the movie, I was absolutely thunderstruck by the song, and even more so by the fact that it was in a _Disney_ movie. I mean, here’s a heroine who grew up with her parents telling her she must hide the most amazing thing about herself, then her parents died while she was still young, then she spent however many years alone in her room isolating herself from the one other person she truly loved, becoming more and more afraid that she wouldn’t be able to hide this awful (amazing) thing and that everyone would reject her for it, then the worst happens and they do find out and reject her, and then she runs away from her duty and her people and what she’s been taught is the whole purpose of her life, she must be just about suicidal with grief and isolation and shame, so she sings about how unhappy she is and letting go of any hope for connection with others and tries to pretend she doesn’t need anyone else but that’s so transparently not true, and wow, Disney, that is one hella dark song.

    Then everyone else interpreted it as this girl-power ballad and I was like “…what?”

    Then my daughter and her friends sang it, badly, three gazillion times, and now I am very over it.

    That is all. 🙂 Happy weekend, everyone!

  23. I have SO MANY answers to this question, but so many of them have been said already, so I’m just going to leave you with a few videos of my musical theatre crushes:

    JENN COLELLA YOU GUYS:

    What a voice!

    THIS IS THE BEST BROADWAY BACKWARDS VIDEO:

    (I don’t even like Damn Yankees, but this is the gayest thing in the world.)

    LENA HALL WHAAAAAT:

    Lena as Hedwig:

    This isn’t from a musical, obviously, but I’ve decided this song is extremely gay:

    AMBER GREY CAN GET IT:

    I’M blushing:

    CYNTHIA ERIVO IS A BEACON OF PURE LIGHT:

    She’s the only performer I’ve ever seen who’s received a standing ovation mid-show:

    Also, as a final note, I think seeing Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Chicago movie musical may have been my sexual awakening? I mean:

    • Um, I had such a thing for Catherine Zeta-Jones in the late ’90s-early ’00s. I dragged my whole family – mom, dad, and younger sister – to see Chicago with me in the movie theater and it was VERY hard to keep a neutral face the whole time. I also watched that movie she did with Sean Connery approximately 88,000 times, just for the scene where she’s navigating the laser maze in a unitard. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers this movie.)

  24. None of my favorite musicals are gay but I love Gypsy and West Side Story a lot, I also love the movie versions of those too. I’ve only seen local stage productions or caught them on TV, I’ve never actually seen a Broadway production but it’s on my bucket list.

    • Nah, WSS is totally gay. First, Anybodys the tomboy is definitely family. (“I ain’t never gonna get married! Too noisy.” Yeah, sure Anybodys, that’s why you don’t want to marry a boy…)

      Also, it’s about people struggling to be with someone they love against the social restrictions which are rooted in hate. When Anita acknowledges that “your love is your love” and accepts Maria for who she loves. So gay. (And this is after encouraging her to find “one of her own kind” by which I’m pretty certain she means a woman. 😛 ) Sure, it’s technically an opposite-sex couple, but the queer themes are there.

      • Agree about Anybodys. I was in WSS in jr high and I vividly remember my reaction to the scene towards the end where Tony says to her something like “you’re a girl. Be a girl.” And she’s supposed to get all dreamy, like she’s just gotten a massive crush or fallen for him.

        Reading that scene made me SO mad. 12 year old me could not have explained why, but I just knew Tony was wrong. And that the stage directions were wrong too – no way she’d fall for some jerkface who implied she wasn’t a “girl” just the way she was.

        Argh. 48 year old me is getting worked up just thinking about it.

      • Also agree about Anybodys. I loved the WSS film as a 13 year old but didn’t give much thought to Anybodys until I saw a touring production as a college student. HUGE Ring of Keys moment. <3

        Also, seeing a Broadway production is on my bucket list too! 🙂 *sings* Somedaaay!

      • Also agree about Anybodys. I loved the WSS film as a 13 year old but didn’t give much thought to Anybodys until I saw a touring production as a college student. HUGE Ring of Keys moment. <3

        Also, seeing a Broadway production is on my bucket list too! 🙂 Someday we'll make it! (*WSS voice* "Somedaaaay!")

  25. The Lippa version of The Wild Party has a song called “Lesbian Love Story” that speaks to me, as someone with a bad tendency to fall for straight girls.

    Also “Ride ’em” from Zanna Do is a fun one about 2 girls meeting.

  26. I fell in love with theater by falling in love with performers working backstage in high school. This translated into my first career as a stagehand.

    Favorite songs:

    “Turn Back O Man” from Godspell isn’t exactly queer, but it’s the sexiest anti-war song out there.

    “Find Your Grail” from Spamalot because Sara Ramirez.

    “He Had it Coming” from Chicago because patriarchy.

    The current family favorite Broadway soundtrack is Matilda the Musical. “We Are Revolting Children” because revolution.

    • I did Godspell in high school and really enjoyed it.

      I love your song choices so much! I also love Matilda! “Naughty” is another good revolution song, in its own way. “Even if you’re little, you can do a lot, you mustn’t let a little thing like little stop you!”

      I also love Watch What Happens from the Broadway version of Newsies: “But all I know is nothing happens if you just give in, it can’t be any worse than how it’s been, and it just so happens that we just might win. So whatever happens, let’s begin.” (I disagree that it can’t be worse but I appreciate the sentiment.)

  27. I’ve been more or less eating and breathing the Be More Chill soundtrack lately (hyperfixations, whee). I like to call it the anti-Grease, and best of all, nobody dies (especially not the canon bi character!)

  28. I haven’t watched as many musicals as I’ve liked but I’d have to say one of may favourite (gayest) broadway musical song would have to be ‘La vie Boheme’ from RENT (‘Hey mister, she’s my sister’, ‘Sisters?: we’re close.’, ‘Brothers!’)I saw a student production of it at my university which reignited my love for the musical. I managed to get ticket’s to the 20th anniversary production in London which was AMAZING!

  29. This past weekend I went to go see Melissa Benoist as Carole King in Beautiful on Broadway (it was an excellent show, if you can make it to one of Melissa’s show this summer do it or even when another Carole steps in) and at the end they sing I Feel the Earth Move under my feet and I started singing along but with the second verse I added the Hand in My Pocket chorus from when they did the mash-up on Glee for Brittana’s engagement.

    And I also have tickets to Mean Girls next month, I want to also get tickets to Head Over Heels and (don’t judge me) The Cher Show when it comes to Broadway.

  30. Next to Normal is one of my all time faves and I feel like it’s super underrated, especially Alice Ripley’s performance in it because holy *shit* how do you listen to You Don’t Know or Didn’t I See This Movie and not just be amazed by the emotion in it but everyone else I know that likes the musical is mostly into Aaron Tveit. Next to Normal’s soundtrack was really cathartic for me when I was going through a really rough period in my life.
    And of course I love Fun Home and like every other GNC person that likes showtunes I love Ring of Keys SO MUCH.
    In a related anecdote from my last few weeks s/o to the nurse that played showtunes for me in the recovery room right after I woke up from top surgery.

    • NEXT TO NORMAL IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES. Alice Ripley rips my heart out every time I listen to the soundtrack. I also have some mommy issues of my very own so Superboy and the Invisible Girl really broke my brain when I heard it and I connect with it really deeply. I also think it helped me understand my mother a little bit, especially the line, “I love you as much as I can.”

      TMI? TMI!

  31. When He Sees Me (from Waitress) speaks to my lil queer heart in a way that almost no other song has, even though it’s sung by a presumably straight woman. The nervousness about going on a first date – what if I don’t like them? Or worse, what if I like them and they don’t like me? is super super relatable

    • YES. One time when I was singing along to it in the shower I changed the words just enough to make it gayer and HAD FUN DOING IT. I love that song. Something like eating Oreos wrong is the exact kind of thing I would declare a dealbreaker because of all the exact insecurities Dawn sings about.

  32. Hi, my name is Ava, and I was a RENThead. I went to performing arts high school so was always into musicals in the performing them sense, but RENT was the first show I really obsessed over. I got the cast recording when it came out and my friends and I used to sing La Vie Boheme over and over until we’d memorized all the lyrics.

    The first time I saw the show on Broadway was right after I started college. I took a 9-hour bus ride from Pittsburgh to NYC to see my [first ever] girlfriend, who was there to visit some RENThead friends of hers and see the show. I tagged along, and it was magical. I was slowly creeping out of the closet at the time and that trip was the first time I felt really comfortable being out. My girlfriend and I walked around the city holding hands. We kissed in the back of the theater during the show. Broadway became my safe place, my home. This was 20 years ago and almost all of the people I am still friends with today (including my wife) I met, by varying degrees of separation, because of RENT.

    I can’t possibly overstate how much RENT changed my life, but Broadway/theater in general was my saving grace during some difficult times. No matter how much I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my future, or how scared I was to come out to my family, I knew I could come to the theater and find friendly people who made me feel accepted and loved. I honestly don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t found Broadway.

    ANYWAY. That was really sappy. Besides RENT, the shows that will always top my list of favorites are: Cabaret, Ragtime, Miss Saigon, [title of show].

    I also really like any duet for two women. Even if it’s not at all gay, which they usually aren’t, I will make them gay in my head. Examples include: “I Still Believe” from Miss Saigon, “I Will Never Leave You” from Side Show, and “In His Eyes” from Jekyll and Hyde.

  33. My favourite is and will forever be Bare: A Pop Opera. It’s poignant and beautiful, hilarious and heartbreaking. I discovered it while struggling with myself and desire to come out. It’s truly a musical that changed my life.

  34. Fun Home for me — Ring of Keys in particular.

    Want to give a shout out for Head over Heels – just saw it last night and it is super duper queer. I hope everyone goes to see it and that it has a super long run!!!

  35. As promised on Twitter…

    My embarrassing story:
    I’ve loved RENT since I was very young, my cool older cousin gave me the soundtrack and she had also introduced me to Les Mis so I trusted her musical judgement. I loved RENT and listened to it regularly for years. Once, in high school (probably the most embarrassing fact of this story), I was doing that thing where I LISTENED to the words of a song I had known forever. This happens to me a lot with the musicals I memorized when I was like 10, I hear/understand new things every time I listen. So I was particularly hung up on this verse:

    To yoga, to yogurt, to rice and beans and cheese
    To leather, to dildos, to curry vindaloo
    To Huevos Rancheros and Maya Angelou

    Okay so we’re mostly talking about food plus leather and Maya Angelou, great. But there was one word I didn’t recognize…so I decided to ask. “Mom, what’s a dildo?” The horrified look on her face told me everything I needed to know and I ran back up to my room and locked the door and vowed to only ask my friends what words meant forever and ever amen.

    My guilty pleasure:
    Technically just a movie musical but I’m obsessed with Repo! The Genetic Opera, which has Giles from Buffy, the girl from Spy Kids, and Paris Hilton in it and it’s weird and twisty and maybe not even that good BUT I DON’T CARE, IT’S PERFECT

  36. To me, the gayest musical is Annie because it’s all about chosen family. I’ve only seen the movie, never on stage. And I don’t care if it’s for kids; it totally holds up all these years later.

    I love when Daddy Warbucks sings “Maybe I’ll forget how much she meant to me, and how she was almost my baby…maybe.” I cry every time.

  37. Oh man I’ve waited for this for so long!! I’m a huge Broadway buff. I saw Fun Home which broke me and out me back together many times over, and it’ll always have a place in my heart.

    I know it definitely has its issues, but “Midnight Radio” and “Wicked Little Town” from Hedwig and The Angry Inch I think are incredible queer songs, about us finding each other and learning to be proud of our own skin. The “lift up your hands” lyrics always make me cry.

    Come From Away’s “Me and The Sky” because Jenn Colella is a poly queer goddess.

    Legally Blonde and Heathers are actually so underrated. Not sure if they’re gay at all (except Veronica who totally gives off queer vibes), just underrated and a joy to watch.

  38. ..I feel called out. I was in my high school’s production of Anything Goes my junior year and I was good friends with the girl who played Reno Sweeney and I might have had a low-key crush but mostly I just really wanted to be her friend and I thought she was so cool.

    For Good is super gay, but One Short Day is also a contender (particularly “we’re just two friends…two good friends…two best friends”), as well as What Is This Feeling?. Literally all of RENT. Changing My Major gets extra points for not only being sung by a woman about a woman but also being peak lesbian and falling in love after hooking up one time. I have so many more but I can’t think of any of them now except that Annie Get Your Gun and Kiss Me Kate hold special places in my gay heart because I saw them in the same year and both of them deeply affected 8 year old me, one because it led to my childhood obsession with Annie Oakley, the other because the scene where Lois/Bianca sings Always True to You (In My Fashion) made me feel things I did not yet understand at 8 years old.

  39. “Did you do musicals yourself? Did you have a crush on the girl who played Reno Sweeney in your high school’s production of Anything Goes in your junior year?”

    …well

  40. Those Pride Playbills are giving me life!! As is this post! Man oh man, these are my two favorite topics!

    My #1 queer ~feels~ musical is The Color Purple, specifically the New Broadway Cast Recording, because Cynthia Erivo is amazing. Obviously, the whole soundtrack is gorgeous and moving, but I think the one that gives me the most *budding queer romance tingles* is “Dear God – Shug.”
    I’m also obsessed with Heather Headley and Danielle Brooks in the Tony Awards performance: https://youtu.be/3k2xzQyT2bk.

    I also highly recommend that, if you give TCP a listen and also become obsessed, follow it up with a viewing of this: https://youtu.be/XMDkQrHatTs. Feat. Cynthia Erivo’s biceps.

    Lately I’ve also been listening to “Hot Patootie (Saturday Night)” from the New Broadway Cast of the Rocky Horror Show (2000), which counts because Lea DeLaria sings it and apparently lesbian rockabilly is my new favorite genre.

    • This is awesome! I am currently playing Eddie/Dr Scott at our summer stock in Rehoboth Beach, DE. I also just played Alison in Fun Home this past May which was an experience of a lifetime! I’ve played Mitch in spelling Bee too. And I got to sing Take Me or Leave Me in a revue a few years ago (with a straight girl).
      I am a drama teacher, so this thread really speaks to me!
      I agree that I make everything gay when I watch it! My wife thinks this is hilarious!
      Theatre was a powerful place for me. My mom started taking me to live productions at a young age, and I found I could relate. I loved the statement about a crush on the girl playing Reno– as one of my first major crushes was when I went to see Grease at my high school (I was in fifth grade) and I fell for the girl who played Rizzo. She played Reno the next year!
      Theatre is a wonderful escape or a chance to be who we really are. I love sharing this with my students.

  41. Yes! Loving this topic. Most of mine have already been said. Wicked is obviously gay and the funny part is that I didn’t realize this until wayyyy tooo late #heteronormativity? Having been obsessed with it since middle school, I connected to Elphaba as an outsider and think I saw something intriguing about such a close relationship with a woman. Making it my favorite show and obsession through the better part of college. It wasn’t until discussing it with a friend in adulthood and she was like “They are obviously gay and in love. Why does she even end up with a man?” I was shocked and realized I had never thought about this before. Then everything in my life made sense.

    RENT obviously. I remember blushing during La Vie Boheme when Maureen and Joann make out.

    Fun Home is fabulous. I really connected to middle Allison and Joan’s scenes. Something so powerful about seeing a version of yourself on stage for the first time.

    While not a queer lady narrative Tick… Tick… Boom (also by Jonathan Larson) is fun and I’d be lying if I hadn’t thought about Green Green Dress while fantasizing about a lady in my younger years.

    And lastly, my GF is loves old school musicals and is convinced that Calamity Jane is gay. I was skeptical but Doris Day in an all leather outfit, bandana, and cap singing about a “Woman’s Touch” with bae is pretty convincing. Never mind that they end up with men. Props to my GF for this discovery.

  42. My post got swallowed twice, it was long as my childhood contained the experience of being in 4 musicals one of which was Fiddler On The Roof.
    L’Chaim is my Broadway song of unspecific joy for multiple reasons. Some of it is I guess a bit specifically queer because I performed in it “drag”. The costumer was sad “such a pretty girl” was going to be put in boy’s clothes so she chose shirt, pants, and vest in varying shades of salmon or peach. I furnished my own hat which I still have to this day and pair with my seersucker vest which was one of my first adult with some cash who buys what they want moments.

    One of the other musicals I was in was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Had one of those floaty butterfly crushes on our Cinderella. In an attempt to I guess be closer to her I tried on one her “glass slippers” which fit me perfectly leaving me with a complicated relationship with clear plastic high heel shoes.
    Plastic stripper shoes make the song Centerfold viscerally relatable…

    I’ve always queered Marian the Librarian from the Music Man and because of that don’t enjoy that musical because he doesn’t deserve her.

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