One of the most important aspects of performing on stage is embodying a character. From classics such as Chicago to modern favorites like Finding Neverland, musicals are packed with colorful characters to explore. Why not try getting into the heads of some of the characters that make Broadway musicals come alive? Read on to discover which musical theater character you should look to for this year’s solo-spiration!
1. For an upbeat soloist with crazy leaps:
Consider bringing the mischievous Peter Pan to the competition stage! In the 2015 musical Finding Neverland, he was played by Season 8 “So You Think You Can Dance” winner, Melanie Moore! The (usually female) performers that have portrayed Peter used harnesses to fly high above the stage. We dancers don’t need fancy equipment to fly, just plenty of plié!
Songs to consider: “Fly With Me” by the Jonas Brothers, “Never Neverland” by Scott Alan
2. If you’re a tapper:
I’m sure you’ve seen Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds’ upbeat tapping in the 1952 movie, Singin’ in the Rain. (If not, MOVIE NIGHT! It’s a classic.) Did you know that Debbie Reynolds had never tap danced before that role? She learned quickly, and the film has gone down in musical history. Channel Debbie’s 1950’s style with a flirty skirt and a sweet smile!
Songs to consider: “Good Morning” from Singin’ in the Rain, “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” or “A Cockeyed Optimist,” both from South Pacific
3. If you’re a bunhead looking to try something new:
Remember the Julie Andrews character who is “practically perfect in every way?” Mary Poppins, the magical governess, appears in the 1964 Disney movie as well as the 2006 Broadway play. With Jane and Michael Banks in tow, Mary goes on adventures with Bert, the chimney sweep, played in the movie to high-stepping perfection by Dick Van Dyke. Mary is ladylike and graceful, making her a wonderful choice for a ballerina dipping her (pointed!) toe into musical theater.
Songs to consider: “A Spoonful of sugar” or “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins
4. To the boys:
You may have something in common with Hercules, from the musical of the same name. In his powerful song, “Go the Distance,” Hercules declares, “I would go most anywhere, to find where I belong.” Some boys face teasing or even harassment simply because they are called to express themselves through dance. You guys work like crazy and find a place to belong in the world of dance. If this is you, I invite you to share your heart by embodying Hercules as a proud testament to your own resilience.
Songs to consider: “Go the Distance” from Hercules
5. If you’re a hardcore jazz dancer:
Look no further for inspiration than the 1975 musical, Chicago, and its infamous protagonist Velma Kelly. Chicago depicts 1920’s America and includes the iconic songs “Cell Block Tango” and “All That Jazz.” Bob Fosse’s distinctive choreography, characterized by isolations and unique body positions, has inspired generations of dancers. Showcase your hard-earned technique in a classy costume for a polished, dramatic performance.
Songs to consider: “All that Jazz” from Chicago
6. If you are a human:
Then you have your own story. There is something magical, worthwhile, and just plain fun about trying on characters like costumes! But…maybe you don’t need to examine previous generations to find the tale you want to tell. If there is a story inside you, don’t be afraid to nurture it and put it on the stage for the world to appreciate.