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Chapter 263: Defying Gravity

Modern showtunes

Perhaps recognizing the inherent absurdity of musical theater to modern audiences, today’s hit musicals sell the conceit by embracing comedy. Songs like “The Internet Is For Porn” and “I Believe” are well-structured standalone jokes that also riff on ancient stage tropes. But even as they embrace self-awareness, musical composers have the execution of the old-fashioned showstopper ballad down to a science. Whether powered by Leslie Odom’s tense raps or Idina Menzel’s clarion belts, when these songs aim to hit you in the feels, they don’t miss.
1. Nikki Blonsky

Good Morning Baltimore

2. Idina Menzel

Let It Go

3. Lin-Manuel Miranda

In the Heights

4. Stephanie D'Abruzzo & Rick Lyon

The Internet Is for Porn

5. Andrew Rannells

I Believe

6. Spring Awakening Ensemble

The Bitch Of Living

7. Keala Settle

This Is Me

8. Leslie Odom Jr. & Hamilton Ensemble

Wait For It

9. Kristin Chenoweth & Idina Menzel

Defying Gravity

10. Sherie Rene Scott

Still Hurting