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Illustration by Ramiro Bustamante Torres

Gauntlet Mixtape Vol. 8: Musical madness

By Kara Koblanski, Roog Kubur, Valery Perez, Aymen Sherwani, Namratha Badawadagi, Mackenzie Ashcroft, Ramiro Bustamante Torres, Lamara Jaber, Sophia Lopez and Cristina Paolozzi, March 15 2022—

The pandemic’s over (kinda, not really) and we’re now back on campus, baby! What’s a better soundtrack to your in-person debut than a compilation of the Gauntlet’s favourite musical numbers


“Defying Gravity” in Wicked

This song represents the best of broadway belts. It’s about taking risks and believing in yourself and refusing to conform to what holds you back. Bonus points if you can simultaneously sing both Elphaba and Glinda’s parts.

“Non-Stop” in Hamilton

This song is arguably the best Act 1 finale song in all of Broadway. Lin Manuel Miranda is a genius as he eloquently weaves numerous motifs into one singular song.

“She Used to be Mine” in Waitress

The ultimate heartstring tugger. This song expresses a handful of different emotions and is a phenomenal emotional release song. If you feel like crying, this one’s for you.


“L’Assasymphonie” from Mozart, l’opéra rock

Listen…diversify your musical tastes friends. Mozart L’Opera Rock was a huge musical in France and with good reason. Florent Mothe sang his heart out on this track and it’s way too good for international audiences to just not know about it. 

“La gloire à mes genoux” from Le Rouge et Le Noir

If you’ve ever wanted to live out the fantasy of slowly becoming the villain in a musical, listen to the entirety of Le Rouge et Le Noir. It’s based on the classic novel by Frank Stendhal, The Red & The Black but you don’t need an intimate knowledge of French history — or honestly even the language — to appreciate what was going on here. This musical is the soundtrack to the aforementioned villain fantasy.

“Stalemate” from Death Note: The Musical

Sometimes you need to indulge in a musical so dramatic, so left-field, so random that you almost don’t believe it exists. Introducing the perfect intersection between cult-classic animes and musicals: Death Note: The Musical. The musical, sadly, only ever made it to Japanese audiences but when you’ve got names like Jeremy Jordan and Frank Wildhorn on the record, you’d be a fool not to indulge.


“Run and Tell That” from Hairspray:

Ever since I was a little kid, and before I could understand what racism was, I was obsessed with this musical. I would cuddle up in front of the TV and boogie the entire time. Every single song in the album is amazing in its own way — if I could pick them all I would.

“Sweet Transvestite” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show:

When I first watched this movie I was so confused. Like, sooo confused. I did not understand the artistry of it all until my teenage years. Señor Curry put his entire heart and soul into the performances in this musical and I love- I love- I love him. 

“Think of Me” from The Phantom of the Opera:

The Phantom of the Opera (2004) was a masterpiece. The soundtrack’s grandiose and majestic sounds filled my heart and soul with so much joy. This song specifically got stuck in my head for months after — the high notes and delicate control of the voice of the actress, who is in Shameless by the way, left me enraptured. 


“Seize The Day” from Newsies:

It’s giving hustle and bustle.

“Beautiful” from Heathers: 

This song from Heathers is straight from my high school playlist and perfectly encapsulates the feeling of just wanting to be seen and the chaos that the beginning of adulthood looks like.

“Bend and Snap” from Legally Blonde (musical):  

I’m not embarrassed to say that I sing this song in the shower. Iconic. 


“Non-Stop” from Hamilton: 

For the late-nighters, cramming-for-tomorrow’s-midterm, starting-a-term-paper-the-night-its-due — whole-heartedly embrace your delusions of academic grandeur tonight before you wake up in the morning and realize that you ain’t shit.

“Roxie” from Chicago

You’ve just come out of the shower, all wrapped up in a towel save for the seductive reveal of your thigh. With the hairbrush as your mic and a foggy reflection as your only audience, you prepare to deliver the performance of a lifetime — who better than Roxie Hart as your partner-in-crime?

“The Phantom of the Opera” from The Phantom of the Opera:

Not going to lie, I only come here for the instrumental intro — no lyrics are needed for this masterpiece. 


“El Tango de Roxanne” from Moulin Rouge

It’s has an intense climactic vibe, and it’s surprisingly fun for karaoke. You may or may not get work done listening to this song, but you will enjoy yourself either way. 

“Come What May” from Moulin Rouge

It reminds me of the first time I saw the movie musical with my boyfriend, and it hurts in the best way. 

“Santa Fe” from Newsies:  

It reminds me of my friends from highschool, and it’s again just a nostalgic, dreamy snippet of emotion. 


“Journey to the Past” from Anastasia:

I loved Anastasia (1997) since I was a kid, and when the musical came out I was so excited to see it. This is a throwback to my childhood with a Broadway spin that really makes it even better.

“When He Sees Me” from Waitress:

Waitress is an amazing musical who had Sara Bareilles, one of my favourite artists, write music for it so naturally I really like this musical. What I also enjoy from this song is Dawn singing about all the little things that worries you before you meet someone and paired with a wonderful orchestra pit, it really cements this song. I really enjoy Glenn’s voice and her emotion on many of the phrases.

“Memory” from Cats:

I know Cats gets a bad reputation from the 2019 film adaptation — although Jennifer Hudson did an amazing job regardless — but I really love Grizabella’s reprise and the significance it holds in a very chaotic and weird musical. It’s a classic for a reason and I hope others can appreciate it too.


“City Of Stars” from La La Land:

I’m not a huge broadway fan, but this song just hits different. Got me wanting to dance in a yellow dress.


“Meant to be Yours” from Heathers: 

Heathers is a great musical all around, but the UK version with Jamie Muscato hits different. Whether you discovered this version on TikTok, or have been a fan for much longer, this song makes me think that I would seriously consider opening up that door for JD. 

“God I Hate Shakespeare” from Something Rotten

No, I don’t actually hate Shakespeare. But this musical details the journey two playwriting brothers take to make it big in Shakespeare’s London. This is a song all about the frustration you feel seeing everyone around you succeed. It’s also super funny for the English lit fans out there. 

“Sincerely Me” from Dear Evan Hansen

I know this musical is not everyone’s cup of tea  — lying about how close you were to the family of a kid who just unalived themselves is definitely up there on a list of uncomfortable things to sit through. That, and the “Scott’s Tots”episode from The Office. But this number has great harmonies and moves the dark storyline along in a weirdly upbeat way.   

“Foolish to Think” from A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder

The title of this musical is exactly how it sounds — which makes for an interesting story and pretty catchy tunes. If you’ve recently been snubbed by your super rich relatives and are plotting the ways to get revenge, and some of the family jewels, this is the song for you. 


“What Once Was” by Her’s: 

This song is literally what nostalgia sounds like. The meanings behind these lyrics, for me, capture the meaning of longing for something or someone that “once was.” 

“Stubborn Love” by The Lumineers:

 For me, this song brings a lot of solace. Everyone will interpret the lyrics differently and I think it captures feelings of “despite it all” you keep going with someone, some issue, or some thing. 

“Sodus” by Cemeteries:

This song reminds me of change. It paints a picture of those summer nights, no worries, just wasting time as the sun goes down. 

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