What Cast Album Would You Take to a Desert Island? | Playbill

Polls What Cast Album Would You Take to a Desert Island? The arrival of winter has the Playbill.com staff dreaming of white sandy beaches and blue seas. We asked readers to tell us which cast album they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island. Choosing just one was, expectedly, problematic for many.

RL Mirabai: Just One? Sorry. Cannot be done.

Missel Leddington: Just ONE? That’s impossible, if I’m going to be all alone on a desert island I need at least 10.



Caroline Richer: Rent no doubt about it.

Travis Wilson: RENT!!!

Ran Turner: Rent. I saw the New York production six times. Also, it was my late partner’s favorite show. 


It's no surprise that Rent was a favorite choice among Playbill.com readers. The musical made its premiere Off-Broadway in 1996 at the New York Theatre Workshop, moving to Broadway later that same year, where it was an instant hit and won the Pulitzer Prize. It enjoyed a 12-year Broadway run, critical acclaim and a Tony Award, among many others. The musical tells the story of a group of artists living in New York City's East Village struggling to survive. 



Melissa Trierweiler: Wicked all the way. I’d miss my other cast albums, but we’re talking desert island here. Thomas M. Virgo: Wicked every day!!

Lindsay Morris: Wicked 100% it’s already almost all I listen to!

Justin Gallagher: Wicked – if I were to go crazy like Tom Hanks, I would have to sing Schwartz.

Cheyanne Leigh Owens: Wicked all the way! #TeamElphaba #IdinaMenzel 


Wicked was a first pick for many; the musical celebrated its 11th anniversary on Broadway last month and has played over 5,000 shows. Wicked is a re-telling of the original "Wizard of Oz" story from the perspective of the witches. Since its 2003 Broadway premiere, it has spawned a string of international productions and broken box-office records around the world. The cast album highlights include Elphaba's "Defying Gravity" and "The Wizard and I." 


Phantom of the Opera

Jo Carol Hopkins: Phantom, hands down. West Side Story, close 2nd.

Laura Kroll: I’m not sure I can pick just one…Phantom would be at the top of my list…

Phantom of the Opera holds the title for the longest run on Broadway and will soon have played over 12,000 shows in New York. The musical officially opened in October 1986 with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in the leading roles. A timeless love story, Phantom unites a man clouded by shame with his beautiful protegee. Favorite songs from the musical include the Phantom's heartfelt "Past the Point of No Return" and "Music of the Night." 


Chuck Berlin: West Side Story…with no reservation.

John Abbatepaolo: No debate, West Side Story…

Jennifer Garand-Crawford: West Side Story! For the whole body of work not just a couple of good songs.

Claire Bear: West Side Story because of all the attractive males

West Side Story

Set in New York City's Upper West Side during the 1950's, the classic musical looks at the rivalry between two gangs of different ethnic backgrounds, the Jets and the Sharks, and a love story that unfurls despite their conflict. West Side Story, produced on Broadway in 1957, was considered a turning point for the American musical theatre with its exploration of darker social issues. With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the album is one worth treasuring. 


M Sheileen Godwin: Into the Woods – without question!!!

Andrea Chilkiewicz: Into the Woods. Has so many life lessons to offer. 

Into the Woods 

Considered a contemporary classic, Into the Woods features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. It won several awards, including Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Book and Best Actress in a Musical, awarded to Joanna Gleason. Both Gleason and Bernadette Peters' performances in the original 1987 Broadway run brought critical acclaim to the production. The show is back on many Playbill.com readers' radars of late with the highly anticipated release of the film adaptation, starring Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick and many more. 


Julie Simmons: The 10th Anniversary of Les Miserables. That’s the dream cast if I ever heard one.

Marie Burns: Les Miserables!!!!!!!

David Boyd: Les Miz….More important than fresh water.

Laura Beth Dailey: Les Miserables. It never gets old and has great themes of love, hope and redemption. 

Les Miserables

Known affectionately by many as "Les Miz," this musical is based on the novel by French poet Victor Hugo, with its first production in Paris in 1980. It has since seen a long string of international performances including Broadway in 1987 and a film adaptation in 2012. It is ranked among the longest-running shows on Broadway and songs such as Fantine's "I Dreamed a Dream" are already classics. It is currently back on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre. 


David Shipley: 1) If I could only take one it would have to be the whole show and 2) it would have to be written by my hero, Stephen Sondheim so my selection would have to be “Sweeney Todd.”

Brian Sidders: I would DIE without Sweeney Todd. Haha get it? 

Sweeney Todd: The Demon of Barber Street

Sweeney Todd is a musical thriller with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Opening in New York and London in 1979 and 1980, respectively, it won the Tony Award for Best Musical and Olivier for Best New Musical for both its Broadway and West End runs. In 2007 a feature-film adaptation starring Johnny Depp was also released. Cast album highlights include "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd," "A Little Priest" and "Johanna." 


Gill Tee: Hairspray, I could sing and dance along all day

Christine Hughes: If I’m going to be stranded on an island, I need HAPPY music. I would take either Hairspray or Xanadu in that particular circumstance 


Based on the popular 1988 film, the musical's Broadway production opened in 2002 and ran for over 2,500 performances. It tells the tale of charismatic Tracy Turnblad, a plump teenager from Baltimore and her dreams of dancing on a local TV program. In 2003 it won eight Tony Awards out of 13 nominations. The cast album is popular due to its 1960's style dance music and "downtown" rhythm and blues. 

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