13 Musical Theatre Halloween Songs: A Playlist
Halloween is just around the “coroner” to quote the Addams Family lyric you’ll encounter later in this playlist and I thought it would be fun to assemble a musical theatre playlist that embraced all things wicked and wonderful. Maybe this group of musical ditties will help put you in the mood for ghosts, goblins, and treak-or-treat.
“Come Look at the Freaks”
From Side Show
Though its place in the musical Side Show is meant to introduce audiences to freaks of a traveling side show, the song is a great way to kick-off our list as a celebration of all things bizarre.
"Ghosties and Ghoulies"
From Meet Me in St. Louis
When Tootie and Agnes Smith are about to go trick-or-treating in their St. Louis neighborhood, their maid Katie, in-an-effort to heighten their excitement and anticipation, warns them of all the monsters who come out on Halloween.
"The Good Old Days"
From Damn Yankees
What is Halloween without a visit from old Beelzebub himself? “The Good Old Days” from Damn Yankees is his vaudeville-style stroll down evil’s memory lane, a longing remembrance of plagues, murder, and mayhem.
You knew it had to be on here. It may be one of the sadder entries on this list, but it’s a powerful musical theatre moment nonetheless. When emerging star Eve Harrington thinks back on a Halloween from her childhood, she recalls how her fairy princess costume of her own design brings on ridicule from an abusive father.
From Little Shop of Horrors
For some, there is nothing more horrific than climbing into a dentist’s chair, but when you are under the medical supervision of one Dr. Orin Scrivello, you are in the hands of a true sadist who probably won’t waste any time with Novocain.
"The Phantom of the Opera"
From The Phantom of the Opera
A spooky, disfigured, stalker-type kidnaps a young ingénue and brings her to his sewer lair so he can train her as a musician. If this doesn’t sound creepy to you, think about it while listening to the intense title song from the musical and you’ll know “The Phantom of the Opera is there…”
"And Eve Was Weak"
It’s from a musical based on a book by Stephen King, so you already know we are in the landscape of horror. When Margaret White finds out that her daughter Carrie has begun menstruating, she locks the girl in the basement and makes her pray for forgiveness. Nothing like a religious zealot mom to add to the Halloween fun.
"Poor Unfortunate Souls"
From The Little Mermaid
We must make sure we have out witches covered on our Halloween lost, and what better way to do that than to tip our hat to Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid. She may pretending to be helpful to the lovesick Ariel, making her wish come true with the aid of her magic, but we know there will be a price to pay.
"The Time Warp"
From The Rocky Horror Show
Any musical theatre Halloween list would be a shameful one if Rocky Horror was not represented, particularly not the ghoulish dance of abandon known as “The Time Warp.” Put on your Halloween costume and give it a try. It’s just a “jump to the left...”
"The Ballad of Sweeney Todd"
From Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Stephen Sondheim’s melody alone is likely to chill your bones, but when the lyrics, about a demon barber who kills his customers, start to unravel, your blood will curdle at the gruesome tale.
"Just Around the Corner"
From The Addams Family
I mentioned it earlier in the introduction, and here it is, the delightfully tongue-in-cheek celebration of the macabre led by Morticia Addams in The Addams Family encompasses all the blissful dark humor that is just right for Halloween.
From Jekyll & Hyde
Nothing like Jekyll & Hyde for a little overwrought intensity where musical theatre is concerned. The heightened state of fear is captured in “Murder, Murder,” which will certainly put you in the most frantically fearful Halloween mood.
"Puttin' on the Ritz"
From Young Frankenstein
And finally, even though there is nothing horrific about the song itself, the Irving Berlin standard “Puttin’ on the Ritz” will always be associated with Dr. Frankenstein and his monster performing a soft shoe number to it in Young Frankenstein. Really, Halloween is both scary and fun, and this song certainly captures the latter.