Summer Nights: 10 summer showtunes to add to your playlist

Every theatre enthusiast needs the right soundtrack for the season in the sun

The 2014 company of In The Heights
The 2014 company of In The Heights
© Robert Workman

The sun's out and, for any musical theatre enthusiasts, the right songs are needed for the right moment. Fear not, as WhatsOnStage has picked the best summer tunes.

As you can imagine this is only the tip of the summer iceberg so if you've got your own suggestions or favourites, let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

"Gold" – Once

Once is the 2012 folk musical to end all folk musicals, and "Gold" is the perfect song for those relaxing Sunday afternoons hanging out in the sun, or for visiting your favourite local Irish bar to belt out the acoustic tunes. If you want to go even mellower, try out the a capella reprieve that comes later in the second act.

"June is Bustin' Out All Over" – Carousel

Let's take things back to the glorious technicolour past with "June is Bustin' Out All Over", featuring an exuberant dance sequence from the 1956 adaptation of Carousel.

"Too Darn Hot" – Kiss Me, Kate

If there's one thing that Brits complain about, it's the weather, and "Too Darn Hot" embodies this sentiment completely, but it does happen to have some rather spectacular dance sequences and blues infusions to boot.

"Paciencia Y Fe (Patience and Faith)" – In The Heights

Lin may have stolen the collective theatre world's hearts with a certain founding father, but for sheer summer goodness In The Heights can entertain you in spades. Washington Heights is a location bursting with musical verve and excitement – ready for all those summer nights.

"Benjamin's Calypso" – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

The brief moment of fun and revelry among the darker half of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the calypso is full of cheeky humour and larger-than-life dance numbers – what more could you ask for from a summer showtune!

"When I Grow Up" – Matilda the Musical

A tranquil, nostalgic trip down memory lane makes our list – haven't we all had days of relaxing in the sun, playing around on swings, letting Tim Minchin's songs wash over us?

"Summer in Ohio" – The Last Five Years

A boisterously exuberant solo number from Jason Robert Brown's two-hander – some nice and whimsical instrumentation rubbing shoulder-to-shoulder with the tongue-in-cheek lyrics about artistic frustration.

"Summer Nights" – Grease

Any list of summer showtunes can only be complete with an inclusion of "Summer Nights", the definitive soundtrack for the warm months. You'll hear it ironically sung in clubs, during pre-drinking sessions, or as inspiration for lovelorn romantics fantasising about near-drownings.

"Summertime" – Porgy and Bess

After the rampant jubilation of Grease, something a bit slower is always nice for the sunny afternoons (as The Kinks know well). We've gone with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong's version of Gershwin's classic because, after all, they're both legendary and the perfect summer fit.

"By the Sea" – Sweeney Todd

A bit of a left-field final choice, but the quirky and surreal interlude in Sondheim's musical is a refreshing trip to the seaside and away from the smog of London. The interplay between Lovett and Todd, the former really coming into her comedic own during this scene, also works nicely. Angela Lansbury nails it in the Broadway production.