My Top 5 Showtunes: Lee Dillon Stuart
We caught up with Lee to find out the musical numbers he couldn't live without
Lee's previous theatre credits include Oliver! (UK tour), Carousel (Landor) and Les Miserables (Queen's). He is currently starring in The White Feather at Union Theatre.
We caught up with Lee and asked him: "If you were stranded on a desert island, which five showtunes could you not live without?"
"Finishing the Hat" from Sunday in the Park with George
In my opinion Stephen Sondheim is hands down the best musical theatre writer of all time. I love how in this song he blends simple storytelling so we understand the character, whilst also musically representing the pointillistic style of the painting. Mandy Patinkin's performance of this song is just incredible!
"Marry Me A little" from Company
Sue me, it's another Sondheim! The man's a genius! This number always gets me, the melody and lyrics just work perfectly together, capturing the real essence of the character. Genuinely, I could watch Raul Esperaza's performance of this over and over again- it's a true masterclass!
"Soliloquy" from Carousel
As an actor, this is an incredibly crafted dramatic piece to really get your teeth into! It reads like a monologue that just happens to be set to music and provides a performer with something really meaty and inherently masculine to explore and deliver. Rodgers and Hammerstein definitely knew their craft inside out!
"Prologue: The Old Red Hills of Home" from Parade
As an opening number in my opinion, it doesn't get much better than this. Right from the word go, the instrumentation sets the scene beautifully; the chiming bell chords foreshadow the courthouse scenes and the grisly outcome of the story, whilst the use of the snare and rhythmic melody instantly transport us to a military setting in the Deep South of America. It's just stunningly atmospheric!
"Dance at the Gym" from West Side Story
Ah they just don't write them like this anymore! This, which is arguably the most awesome orchestration in the musical theatre canon, showcases the genius of Bernstein at his very best. The blend of different musical styles, rhythms and melodic themes to reflect the two gangs and cultures are just utterly infectious! This entire sequence always makes me want to just get up and dance and shout along! Mambo!