By Brandon Gleklen, Cast ’15
One of the saddest parts about performing in a Mask and Wig show is that as soon as a show is over, we know that it will never be performed again. Although characters like “Pantso” and “Jeff the Dragon” may never see the stage again, we can still relive our shows through the soundtracks we record and put on Spotify.
For this blog post, I want to talk bout my five favorite songs of the last five years. If you haven’t heard them before, I recommend checking them out!
5. “Dictator” from Beautopia: A Face Odyssey
“Dictator” was an “eleventh hour” song, coming right before the end of the show. Typically, these songs are the true climax of a show, both musically and emotionally. Simply put, “Dictator” was freaking awesome. Its ’80s metal influence gave it a different sound from any other Wig song I’ve heard. Anchored by an incredible lead vocal from Zach Tomasavic, “Dictator” succeeded both in its hilarity and energy. The second act of musicals can drag if the writers aren’t careful, but this song made sure that audiences were rocking with us all the way to the end.
4. “A New Day” from A Reptile Dysfunction
“A New Day” was the second-act opener, or SAO, from my freshman year. This song is all about taking a snapshot of the current state of the town in the show, and it does so spectacularly. Different ensemble characters all had the chance to tell their own personal stories of how thing had been bad in the past, but the sun was gonna shine on this brand new day. These vocal lines all intersected in a triumphant a capella climax at the end of the song. “A New Day” was brilliantly written by the Cast Clubbies from my freshman year (led by Head Writer Adam Savitt), and I still listen to it today.
3. “Off the Island” from A Volcanic Corruption
This song is from a show in which I was never involved. I first heard it when Neil Radisch, our incredible composer, brought it up in a workshop he held with the cast as an example of great songwriting. It was the lone example he used in that session from Mask and Wig’s 127-year history, and after your first listen you’ll see why. Omar Maskati and the entire 123rd company sound great on this jazzy, show-stopping number. It’s also one of the most hilarious Mask and Wig songs in recent memory. I only wish I could have seen it live.
2. “Numberless” from Beautopia: A Face Odyssey
This memorable closing number was nominated for “Penn’s Best Joke of 2013” by 34th Street. The song was a complete non-sequitur that had nothing to do with the plot, but the concept was so strong that it worked. In Beautopia, citizens were given a number based off their attractiveness, which determined their place in the social hierarchy. “Numberless” jokingly reveals that our Head Writer Jonah Meyerson couldn’t get a phone number from a girl named Jessica, but he (like the characters in the show) is happy in the end to be “numberless.” The past two years while I’ve been involved in the writing process, Numberless inevitably comes up when discussing potential closers, and I am sure that will continue in the future.
1. “Going Down on the Ship” from Wishful Sinking
If you saw last year’s show, my number one pick should be no surprise. Performing “Going Down On The Ship” was the most fun I ever had performing on a Mask and Wig stage. Compared to the other songs on this list the music is fairly simple, but it still got the greatest reaction that I have ever seen on stage. The entire script built up to this joke, and the audience just went completely nuts. That’s all there really is to say.
So there you have it! My top 5 favorite Mask and Wig songs of the past five years. Comment below with your 5 favorite, or tweet @Maskandwigclub with the hashtag #MWTop5. Also come see this years show, A Comedy of Terrors, to see which songs could make next year’s list!