12 Times Original Cast Recordings Made Us Cry Ugly Tears

Written by Tatiana Rodriguez

July 5, 2017

Whether it’s a classic musical soundtrack or a newly discovered masterpiece, there are several heartfelt musical productions that have managed to make us shed a tear. Few, however, have managed to make us cry more than once. If you’re looking to reminisce on the musicals which pulled on our heartstrings, this is a list for you. (The following contains spoilers.)

1. “He’s Not Here” from Next To Normal

After watching his wife sing “Happy Birthday” to their son, Dan holds Diana and calmly reminds her that their son died sixteen years prior when he was a baby.

2. “Kindergarten Boyfriend” from Heathers the Musical

A heartbroken Martha sings about her love for classmate Ram after his sudden death. Mislead by years of bullying and isolations, Martha contemplates a dream unlike the world she’s in.

3. “Pretty Funny” from Dogfight

Hurt by Eddie’s betrayal, Rose runs to the comfort of her bedroom. Alone and surrounded by rejected outfits from earlier in the day, she replays her experiences, blaming herself for believing that things could actually turn out alright.

4. “Best Kept Secret” from Bare: A Pop Opera

After almost kissing Jason while dancing, Peter tells him about wanting to come out, and about revealing their relationship to others. Jason refuses, because he’s afraid of being condemned by the church and losing connection to his friends and family.

5. “Leave” from Once the Musical

Dublin Busker, identified only as “Guy”, performs a heart wrenching ballad of unrequited love at his local bar. Without knowing it, his performance of the song changes his life forever.

6. “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” from Les Misérables

A wounded Marius mourns the lives of his fellow students after witnessing the aftermath of their failed revolution.

7. “Burn” from Hamilton

After learning of her husband’s infidelity, Eliza heartbroken and distraught, burns the letters he wrote her over the years. While burning the letters, she claims aloud that she has chosen to erase herself from his story and life.

8. “We Do Not Belong Together” from Sunday in the Park with George

During a tumultuous argument, Dot confronts George about their failed relationship, exclaiming that their differences have proven they cannot and should not be involved with one another.

9. “She Used to Be Mine” from Waitress

Jenna, a pregnant waitress in an increasingly distressed relationship, reflects upon the changes she has seen in herself. As she evaluates her standings, she comes to the conclusion that in order to give herself a better life, she must leave her unhappy marriage and reclaim her independence.

10. “With You” from Ghost the Musical

Molly grieves over the loss of her long-time boyfriend Sam after his sudden murder.

11. “Come Back” from Dogfight

Reliving the harsh memories of his past, Eddie Birdlace calls out for his fallen soldiers. As he cries out, he admits that he no longer knows how to live life after war.

12. “Words Fail” from Dear Evan Hansen

A distraught Evan Hansen visits the Murphys while they argue over why Connor really killed himself. As everyone grows increasingly upset, Evan finally decides to admit that he fabricated his relationship with Connor because he was afraid of loosing the connection he had found with their family.

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Tatiana Rodriguez is a student and a writer, currently studying at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is working to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Theater, as well as a certificate in Multicultural Theater Practice. She is a stage manager, a playwright, and an aspiring director.