Top 10: Broadway's Best Cast Albums Ever

BY Winston Gieseke

January 24 2012 5:00 AM ET

OKLAHOMA COVER X560 | ADVOCATE.COM7. Falsettos (Original Cast Recordings, 1981 & 1990)

Though technically two separate one-act shows (March of the Falsettos opened 1981, followed by Falsettoland in 1990), they are generally performed together and the cast albums are available as a double CD, so I’m counting them as one. By far my favorite gay-Jewish musical, the songs run the gamut from absurd (“Four Jews in A Room Bitching” and “My Father’s A Homo”) to moving (“I Never Wanted to Love You” and “You Gotta Die Sometime”). Beginning with an almost Ionesco-like tale of a man who encourages his wife to seek counseling after he leaves her and their son for another man — never imagining that his gay lover will leave him, his ex-wife will marry the psychiatrist, and he’ll wind up alone — and ending with a botched bar mitzvah and a tragic death from AIDS, the show is almost primarily sung and filled with bizarre and sometimes awkward melodies that go right to the heart, usually in off-the path circuitous ways. When the wife sings “The only thing that’s breaking up is my family / But me, I’m breaking down,” you won't know whether to laugh or cry.

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