Sarah Beard By Sarah Beard • February 23, 2019

A (Broadway) Playlist for Taking On New York City

Having lived in New York for over a month now, I’ve found that a good playlist and a pair of working earbuds are vital in my day-to-day commute, and I can only imagine many of my fellow students can relate. With that in mind, I decided to compile a little playlist made up of a few songs that I feel embody taking on the New York Arts experience.

Also, they’re all from Broadway musicals, because of course they are. The opportunity was staring me in the face, and who among us doesn’t love a good musical?


 “Just Arrived” from Copacabana
Your name may not be Lola, and you may not be a showgirl, but I’m sure we can all relate to the classic “bright-eyed dreamer from a small town” mood.

“My Shot” from Hamilton
Real talk, the worst thing about turning 20 for me was no longer getting to chant “I’m only nineteen but my mind is older” with such self-referential vigor. May we all have the gumption of a young Alexander Hamilton.

“One Short Day” from Wicked
More like “four short months,” but who’s counting?

“I See Stars” from Mean Girls
This song always puts a smile on my face! It’s so heartfelt and uplifting, and I think it speaks a lot to the camaraderie of us students. We’ll light each other’s way!

“When I Grow Up” from Matilda the Musical
When I find myself wondering about what the future will hold, this song helps me take inspiration from my inner child to move forward with optimism.

“Roxie” from Chicago
And sometimes it’s fun to indulge in a good old fashioned “I’m gonna be a STAR” fantasy. You never know! (Warning for some explicit language.) (Also, please don’t follow Roxie’s example. Murder is definitely NOT an art and won’t do you any favors in your independent project.)

“Defying Gravity” from Wicked
Okay, yes, I included Wicked twice in this playlist, but listen. Listen. How could I NOT? This is possibly the most iconic Broadway song of the 21st century, and it deserves a spot on this playlist for that much alone, but moreover it’s inspirational as heck. Get out there and defy gravity, gosh darn it!

“Anything Can Happen” from Mary Poppins
This song means a lot to me, personally. I was able to see this musical on Broadway years ago during my second ever trip to NYC. I can still remember the beautiful set transformation that took place during the instrumental part near the end. Plus, it’s true! Anything can happen if you let it!

“Livin’ It Up on Top” from Hadestown
Alright, so this one is a little self-indulgent. I mean, obviously this whole playlist has been pretty self-indulgent since I’m the one who put it together, but this song is especially so. I’m so, so excited for this show to come to Broadway in late March. Just hearing all these new songs that weren’t on the 2010 concept album has got me buzzing, and I hope to pass that feeling along to you all. Plus, it’s a bop, plain and simple.

“King of New York” from Newsies
I’ll top this playlist off with a song that speaks for itself.

Admittedly, I’m not a huge Broadway buff, so these are all pulled from my fairly limited musical knowledge. I’m sure my more theatre-savvy peers could think of a dozen other songs to fit this list, so feel free to customize it to your heart’s content!

Happy commuting!

Written by: Sarah Beard