By Ashly Moore Sheldon • May 12, 2021
Inspired by the chill-inducing trailers for In the Heights (coming out June 11) and Stephen Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation of West Side Story (Can it possibly top the 1961 version?), we started thinking about some of our favorite movie musicals. There are so many we love, so we decided to focus on our top ten from the past twenty years. Here they are!
Julie Andrews may be the celebrated star of the stage and screen, bringing her glorious four-octave soprano to the likes of The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, but she’s also an accomplished author, having written several memoirs, including Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years. Along with that she’s penned a bunch of children’s books including one of our favorites, Mandy.
Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. is halfway to an EGOT, and recently earned Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for his role as Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami, but in his memoir, Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning, he opens up about the years of hard work it took to get there.
And speaking of Hamilton, before he was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda inspired his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. GMorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You is a collection of his favorites.
With humor and warmth, legendary musician, actress, activist, and icon Olivia Newton-John shares her fascinating life story in Don’t Stop Believin’, from her unforgettable rise to fame in the classic musical Grease to her battles with cancer.
In 1993, as the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent opened to thunderous acclaim, the cast was reeling from the sudden death (just the night before!) of the show’s creator, Jonathan Larson. During its run, star Anthony Rapp was also watching his mother battle the cancer that eventually took her life. He writes about this bittersweet time in Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent.
And here are a few more Broadway memoirs to consider:
Hopefully there’s enough razzle-dazzle and jazz hands here to tide you over until the releases of In the Heights and West Side Story. We can barely wait!