Show Tunes to Work Out to

Thursday 8th May 2014

When I ran the London Marathon last year, someone asked what music I listened to en route. I replied saying, “Beyonce, S Club, 80s disco and, naturally, some banging show tunes!” Whenever I tell people this, they make a face as if to say, “How can you run to a show tune?” How can I not?! Don’t be fooled, folks. I’m not jogging along to 'Edelweiss' or 'Where Is Love?', I’m jogging to some of the most uplifting beats and lyrics out there. Whether you’re a musical theatre lover or not, here’s my essential ‘Show Tunes to Work Out To’ playlist. Try it for your next jog or gym session and let us know how you get on...

The above playlist features 30 tracks and almost 2hrs worth of music. I’ve only chosen one track per show, but encourage you to explore the cast recordings of each musical in their entirety, as there are many other work out (and non-work out!) gems in there!

Numerous musical styles exist in musical theatre, so this playlist is brimming with variety. 

The 50s rock and roll era gets a nod with ‘Born to Handjive’ from Grease, while 60s dance music is parodied in Hairspray’s ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’.  The 70s live and breath in ‘Spread the Love Around’ from Sister Act, the 80s are alive and well with Fame and 90s rock is honoured in the form of ‘Out Tonight’ from the iconic Rent.

Jazz has a presence with the ‘Hot Honey Rag’ from Chicago and a dash of Five Guys Named Moe, while Motown is represented with ‘Move’ from Dreamgirls and ‘Ease On Down the Road’ from The Wiz, two titles providing good inspiration on a long run! 

Tap routines always lend a steady and uplifting beat, and feature here in the form of ‘King of New York’ from Newsies, ‘Tap Your Troubles Away’ from Mack and Mabel and the title song from Anything Goes.

If you're a fan of Juke Box musicals, look out for hits from Jersey Boys, We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia.

More classic musicals are represented in West Side Story’s rousing ‘Gee, Officer Krupke’, ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ from Funny Girl, ‘Luck Be a Lady Tonight’ from Guys + Dolls and the always stirring Oklahoma.

It’s worth exploring the Musical Megamix, and I’ve always been a fan of the Starlight Express medley. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music also features in ‘Buenos Aires’, because you always need to run with a little touch of star quality. 

I’m a total High School Musical fangirl, so couldn’t leave out the title song from the third movie. I am not ashamed to say I clapped along to this during a half marathon once to get me through a tough mile. In spite of not knowing what I was listening to, the crowd joined in. 

Some ‘newer’ musicals feature with songs from Avenue Q, Shrek, Urinetown, 13, The Wild Party, Songs For a New World, The Book of Mormon and Legally Blonde. Personal favorites include ‘Freak Flag’ from Shrek and ‘Bend and Snap’ from Legally Blonde, a show filled with great songs to hit the gym with. 

If you’ve worked out to some other ‘banging show tunes’, let us know what they are by dropping us a comment below or tweeting us @starlingarts

‘Til next time!

- Anna