Here’s a list of 5 of my favorite LGBTQ+ musicals that you should definitely check out if you’re a fan of musicals like me.
This musical tells a story based on a true-life story of a boy who dreams of being a drag queen but doesn’t really know how to go about it. And also isn’t ready to tell anyone about his dream yet. But it is in fact a feel-good musical. By the end of the musical, he does feel able to tell people about it.
This musical I think has the best of what a lot of musicals do, where there’s a lot of heart to it and a lot of sorrow and deep emotions, but also a lot of joy and celebration. It also deals with some quite tough topics, to do with class, religion, sexuality, and gender. Its roots in a lot of more specific kind of dramas around family and friendship, and around self-worth and bullying.
It is the story of two men who are a couple and have raised a son together. Their son, as an adult, comes back and breaks the news that he is engaged. But before he can get married, he needs his parents to meet her parents. Except, her parents are notorious conservatives.
This is complicated by the fact that one of his fathers owns a drag club and his other father is the head drag queen of the club. It is a show that not a lot of people have heard of, but you will probably have heard of at least one of the songs in it. It has this really brilliant message about found family and what really matters the most. The ending moment makes me weep, every single time I watch it.
This is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet set at a Catholic boarding school that is doing a retelling of Romeo and Juliet as their school musical. It is about, as the Romeo and Juliet idea suggests, this kind of hidden romance between these two boys. But it also has these other ideas of drugs and unwanted pregnancy, and kind of wrestling religion in various ways as well.
On a happier note, this is the campiest musical you will ever watch in your life. It is set in a world in which everyone is gay and being straight is seen as wrong. It is set in a high school in which they’re doing a musical. The musical is called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, it’s a musical of the students’ own devising.
It talks about the plight of the straight soldiers in the army and the Don’t ask, don’t tell policy. Con you see how this is very tongue in cheek? So the title character Zanna has the magical power of matchmaking people together, but it is very complicated when the two leads in the play who are playing two straight people in the army turn out to be straight themselves.
This musical is based on the autobiographical graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel. It tells the story of her own coming out process alongside her gay father’s suicide. It is incredible. It’s one of the first portrayals I’ve seen that captures this young girl who sees a butch woman for the first time and feels that affinity with her, and feels seen and present. I feel like we don’t have many presentations of butch women in media that aren’t too two-dimensional.