Including this post and my previous repertoire list for nerdy teenage boy characters, I seem to be running the Breakfast Club gamut.  Truthfully, I’ve always been fascinated by the many ludicrous portrayals of American high school life in films, television shows, and musicals.  Director John Hughes ruled the teen film market in the 1980s with movies like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day OffPretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles.  The 1990s featured a series of self-aware, high school movie gems including Clueless, Scream, Drop Dead Gorgeous, 10 Things I Hate About You, Election, and others.  Since 2000, the teen movie genre has been somewhat stale- with the exception of a few cleverly written entries like Bring It OnMean Girls, Saved!, and Easy A.  There have also been several critically-acclaimed high school television dramas over the years (ex. My So-Called Life, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Freaks and Geeks, Veronica MarsFriday Night Lights, and others).  Yes, I’m a nerd.

Some contemporary musicals have taken teen film and television tropes to a whole new level.  The most [in]famous high school musical is probably Carrie: The Musical, a 1988 stage adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel which flopped on Broadway after five performances and went down in theatre history as being one of the most expensive disasters of all time.  However, the show developed a rabid cult following, and a reworked revival production was staged Off-Broadway in 2012.  Throughout the 1990s, the high school musical genre remained surprisingly dormant- with the exception of Footlose: The Musical and a strange but charming little cult show called Zombie Prom.  From 2000-present, a series of musicals centered around high school-age students have played both on and Off-Broadway (ex. Reefer MadnessHairspray, Debbie Does Dallas, FameZanna Don’t!, Bare, Spring Awakening, Saved, Cry-BabyBring It On, Lysistrata Jones, and Heathers).  Some of these shows take high school life quite seriously while others are camp-driven fun.

ANYWAY, I’m rambling- so let’s get to the good stuff.  In this blog post, I have compiled a list of contemporary musical theatre songs (2000-present) written specifically for preppy teenage girl characters.  Some of these songs play right into the catty popular girl stereotype, and others are a bit more nuanced.  Honestly, they’re all a lot of fun though, and older actresses shouldn’t shy away from these songs as long as they ‘read’ younger on stage.  In fact, many of the teen roles below were played by women in their 20s.  Fair warning: there is mild language in some of these songs.  “So fetch!”

P.S. If you need assistance choosing appropriate repertoire for yourself or for your students, please check out my new repertoire consulting business, The Repertoire Guru.

1. “The World According to Chris” from Carrie: The Musical [Revival]
Music by Michael Gore; Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Performed by Jeanna de Waal & Ensemble
Sheet Music: MusicNotes

2. “Candy Store” from Heathers: The Musical
Music by Laurence O’Keefe; Lyrics by Kevin Murphy
Performed by Jessica Keenan Wynn, Elle McLemore, and Alice Lee
Sheet Music: MusicNotes

3. “Killer Instinct” from Bring It On: The Musical
Music by Tom Kitt; Lyrics by Amanda Green
Performed by Elle McLemore & Ensemble
Sheet Music: MusicNotes

4. “Portrait of a Girl” from Bare
Music by Damon Intrabartolo; Lyrics by John Hartmere, Jr.
Performed by Jenna Leigh Green & Christopher Johnson
Sheet Music: MusicNotes

5. “More Than Meets the Eye” from Calvin Berger
Music and Lyrics by Barry Wyner
Performed by Krystal Joy Brown & Noah Weisberg
Sheet Music: Composer Website

6. “Where Am I Now?” from Lysistrata Jones
Music and Lyrics by Lewis Finn
Performed by Patti Murin
Sheet Music: NewMusicalTheatre

7. “Cooties” from Hairspray
Music by Marc Shaiman; Lyrics by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman
Performed by Laura Bell Bundy & Ensemble
Sheet Music: MusicNotes

8. “An Organized Life” from Vanities
Music & Lyrics by David Kirshenbaum
Performed by Anneliese van der Pol, Lauren Kennedy, and Sarah Stiles
Sheet Music: Samuel French

9. “Long Run” from Loserville
Music & Lyrics by Elliot Davis and James Bourne
Performed by Eliza Hope Bennett
Sheet Music: Contact Composer


10. “Small Town Girl” from Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical

Music & Lyrics by Erica Schmidt, Andrew Sherman, and Tom Kitt
Performed by Sherie Rene Scott
Sheet Music: Contact Composer (Andrew Sherman)

BONUS: “Seventeen is Swell” from But I’m a Cheerleader: The Musical
Music by Andrew Abrams; Lyrics by Bill Augustin
Performed by Nora Edie & Ensemble (first 5 minutes of video below)
Sheet Music: Contact Composer

 


Kevin Michael Jones

 

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