Musicals With A Grammy Award: Putting “Music” in “Musical Theater”

On Sunday, January 26, the 62nd Grammys will award the best musical theater album based on recordings released last year. When a new album with a cast takes home the title, check out the 10 most recent recordings to win the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. 

2010 – West Side Story (New Broadway Cast Recording)

Spanish lyrics and dialogue intertwine with musical numbers from the original Broadway cast and a new score. Todd Whitelock was developed and produced by David Caddick and David Lai, and the prize was won by the cast of the Broadway production “Les Miserables” at the New York Theatre Company. The original cast, which includes original music and lyrics, previously won a Grammy for best musical-theatre album for “La La Land” (1987) at the 1986 Grammys. 

2011 – American Idiot (Featuring Green Day)

The rock musical, based on the Green Day album of the same name, was developed by Chris Dugan and Chris Lord Alge and produced by David Caddick, Joe DiPietro and David Lai. The music was composed by Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool, arranged by Tom Kitt, and the recording includes songs from the original cast of “Green Day” as well as new songs from the cast. 

2012 – The Book of Mormon

Actors Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad were honoured with the award, as was lyricist and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricists Anne Boleyn and David Fincher. Other 2012 nominations included “Anything Goes” and “How to be successful in this business if you really try. The Book of Mormons “has won numerous awards since its opening, including the Tony Award for Best Musical-Theater Album and the Drama Desk Award. Music and lyrics by David Caddick and Chris Lord Alge, director and producer David DiPietro and mixer Frank Filipetti, with music by Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool. 

2013 – Once: A New Musical

The Grammy winner – who won for best musical theater album for “The Book of Mormon” – has won three Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards and a Drama League Award for best cast album. 

2014 – Kinky Boots

Derik Lee and William Wittman developed the album for the musical with Billy Porter and Stark Sands and contributed the score as composer and lyricist with Cyndi Lauper. Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti were soloists, Steven Epstein and Martin Lowe produced, and Richard King developed and mixed the albums. The production’s winning streak continued when the cast – which included the original cast of “The Book of Mormons” and a cast from the 2007 film – presented the award for best musical theater album to the third Drama League. Music and lyrics for the stage version were written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, with music by Robert Redford, texts by George Gershwin and Mark Wahlberg and a film score by Michael J. Fox, as in the 2009 film. 

Howland and Stein also developed the album for the musical with Billy Porter and Stark Sands. Other nominees for 2014 include “Matilda,” a Motown musical, and “The Book of Mormon,” an adaptation of Joseph Campbell’s novel. 

2015 – Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Other nominees for 2015 include “The Book of Mormons,” an adaptation of Joseph Campbell’s novel, and “Matilda,” a Motown musical. Tim Latham and Derik Lee developed and co-produced the album for the musical with Billy Porter and Stark Sands. The cast, which includes David O’Hara, Michael J. Fox, Jennifer Hudson, John Cusack, Toni Collette and Michael C. Hall, has been lauded as one of the best musical theater albums of all time and is expected to be a hit at the 2016 Tony Awards. 

2016 – Hamilton

Frank Filipetti, engineer and mixer, helped capture the avenue throughout the production. Dear Evan Hansen won several coveted Tonys the following month, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical and Best Original Score. Other 2016 nominees include “The Book of Mormons,” an adaptation of Joseph Campbell’s novel, and “Matilda,” a Motown musical. The revival, which also stars David O’Hara, Michael J. Fox, Jennifer Hudson, John Cusack, Toni Collette and Michael C. Hall, won the Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Musical” at the 2015 Tony Awards and won a Grammy for the album produced by Tim Latham and Derik Lee, along with Billy Porter and Stark Sands. 

2017 – The Color Purple (2015 Broadway Cast)

The original score by Pasek and Paul was compiled and mixed by Neal Avron and Derik Lee, and the album was produced by Tim Latham, Anthony Rapp, Billy Porter and Stark Sands. The original cast of “The Book of Mormons,” including David O’Hara, Michael J. Fox, John Cusack, Jennifer Hudson, Toni Collette, and Michael C. Hall, is featured on the album, as are John Landis, Richard Dreyfus, Roland Emmerich, and Jennifer Lopez. 

2018 – Dear Evan Hansen

The album was also produced by Dean Sharenow and co-written by Pasek and Paul, as well as the original cast of “The Book of Mormons,” and Dean Sharenow is also producing the album. The award is presented by David Yazbek and the band Visit, after winning the best musical theater album of the year awards at last year’s Tony Awards for “Hamilton” and “Les Miserables.” Yazek is the founder and executive producer of Broadway in New York City and a former musical director at the Lincoln Center Theater on Broadway. 

The name “Musical theater” says it all. Many of the shows provide music of such high level, that most songs have chart-breaking potential. Here are the most recent musicals that won a Grammy award!

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