In celebration of Memorial Day coming up on Monday, I thought it would be fun to celebrate our troops by visiting musicals that feature characters that are soldiers in the military. These are just a few of my favorites. To all of the guys and gals out there who have fought or are fighting for the good ol’ USA, this one’s for you!
1.) Hamilton – Hamilton is the story of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant who came to America and joined the revolution. The show features many of America’s Revolutionary War heroes.
2.) Miss Saigon – This musical adaptation of the famous Madame Butterfly opera is set during the Vietnam War. An American soldier falls in love with a Vietnamese woman. He promises to take her back to America with him, but tragedy strikes when Saigon falls to Viet Cong.
3.) South Pacific – Set during World War II, South Pacific follows soldiers and nurses stationed in the Polynesian Islands.
4.) Bye Bye Birdie – This musical is about a rock star who is drafted into the army. As a publicity stunt, he will kiss one lucky teenage girl before he departs for war. A small town is swept up in the chaos of the hype.
5.) White Christmas – A classic tale of two World War II war buds who take their vaudeville act on the road!
6.) On the Town – On the Town is about a group of soldiers who descend on New York City for 24 hours of shore-leave shenanigans.
7.) American Idiot – In the hit show based on the hit Green Day album, a young man named Tunny enlists in the Army, is wounded in battle overseas and falls in love with his nurse.
8.) Dogfight – Set in the 1960’s, a rambunctious group of marines fresh out of training descends on San Fransico for a night of fun before they ship out to Vietnam. They are participating in a “dogfight,” a cruel game where they each find the ugliest date to bring to the party.
9.) HAIR – The musical HAIR is another powerful musical set during the Vietnam War and is widely known for its honest portrayal of wartime.
10.) Bandstand – This musical tells the story of a group of World War II veterans try to make it big with a musical bandstand act.
About the author:
Lyric Burt is a local artist and social media director. He studied Theater Production at Portland State University’s College of the Arts School of Theatre & Film. He’s usually found with a camera in his hand taking photos and capturing video, or in a corner tweeting about the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.