Clare Lockhart ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
December is filled with roast dinners, family, snow, and some of the best holiday music one could ask for. From Festivus to Chanukah to Christmas there’s music for everyone! And the biggest and best Broadway stars deliver some albums to put you in the holiday mood:
These are classics everyone already knows and loves, the albums that have stood the test of time.
The Judy Garland Christmas Album (Judy Garland)
Starting with Judy’s all time classic Christmas tune, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas there are two medleys that include her daughter Liza Minelli. This is the classic Christmas album.
Christmas with… Julie Andrews (Julie Andrews)
The darling of stage and screen, Julie’s Andrew’s Christmas album is not one to be missed. Julie’s album focuses more on the traditional and religious aspect of Christmas. Her take on The Bleak Midwinter is stunning and peak Julie Andrews.
A Christmas Album (Barbra Streisand)
We can’t talk about Broadway Stars and not mentions Babs. And this 1967 album is Barbra’s first foray into Christmas music. This two-sided album (remember those?) has almost every Christmas classic you can imagine, from White Christmas to O Little Town of Bethlehem.
Noël (Josh Groban)
We can now proudly claim Josh Groban in our community as he is now starring in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway. This already classic album was the overall best-selling album in the U.S. for all of 2007, and for good reason. Noël is a classic Christmas album with songs like Silent Night and Ave Maria. Groban also had Christmas singles with more modern songs such as I’ll Be Home for Christmas.
New Classics / Soon to Be Classics
These albums from 1990 on are either on their way to becoming classics or should be.
Lea Salonga: The Christmas Album (Lea Salonga)
The magic of Lea Salonga’s Christmas album is not only her pitch perfect voice but her use of Philippine music with such songs as Sana Ngayong Pasko (A Christmas Wish) and Pasko Na Sinta Ko (It’s Christmas, My Love). For Christmas songs old and new, this album is a wonderful listen.
A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas (Kristin Chenoweth)
This first Christmas album from Chenoweth was inspired by Barbra Streisand’s first Christmas album. It was a big success with a mix of classic songs and more unknown holiday ditties. For instance she has a country inspired song Come On Ring Those Bells alongside a cover of Sing by The Carpenters. This album is a great mix of every Christmas song you can imagine.
Holiday Wishes (Idina Menzel)
Menzel, who is Jewish, said of making a Christmas album, “”a lot of famous Jewish people have written Christmas songs, so I’m going to try out some of their songs on the album.” And thank goodness she did! Her big hit from the album is a duet with Michael Bublé on Baby It’s Cold Outside – the album is funny, beautiful, and a soon to be Christmas Classic.
Merry and Bright (Liz Callaway)
Although this album is very short, it packs a punch with Callaway’s beautiful vocals. An especially fun song is an a cappella arrangement of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, which was in fact arranged by and sung with her son Nicholas Callaway Foster.
Simply Christmas (Leslie Odom Jr.)
A new Christmas album this year, Simply Christmas is reminiscent of a Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby album with a jazz twist. His opening song, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, is simple and lovely. Odom Jr.’s foray into Christmas is classic, tasteful, and completely portrays his personality.
A Merry little Christmas (Megan Hilty)
Another newcomer to Christmas Albums is Megan Hilty with her album A Merry little Christmas. Hilty picks perfect songs for her range and personality, such as Santa Baby and Count Your Blessings. She injects fun and jazz into her album while also singing classics beautifully.
Musicals centered around the holidays or are closely associated with them.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
This may be a controversial stance, but White Christmas may be the most classic Christmas story. And turning it into a musical only made sense. This will be sure to put you in the mood to count your blessings, and wish for snow.
A Christmas Story: The Musical
The Pasek and Paul musical is a musical reimagining of the classic movie A Christmas Story. It is a perfect meeting of young composers and a fun story the whole family will love.
Elf the Musical
Elf, the movie, is a new Christmas classic that has been turned into a musical! Elf the Musical keeps the joy, wonder, and (less raunchy) humor of the movie.
And of course there is the annual Carols for a Cure which has no category but it a lovely gathering of the Broadway community to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. This year there are songs from the companies of Fiddler on the Roof, Hamilton, The Color Purple, Waitress and so many more.