Top 10 of 2014

Assuming no iPods are allowed on desert islands and there’s no Wi-Fi there and the “sound cloud” isn’t overhead, here’s what I’d bring if forced to only bring ten cast albums from 2014 of those submitted for review. Besides their overall high quality and being able to hold up or reveal more strengths with repeat exposure, we can find some similarities: Three feature bravura performances by a male actor-singer playing numerous roles and a plot involving murder, two focus on central gay characters, two have a World War as the backdrop, two played Broadway this past season, and two of the Off-Broadway entries actually played those engagements in 2010, but weren’t released until this year. And two albums represent shows from the middle of the last century, but it took until this year for them to appear with all their songs. If you do the math, you’ll see that clearly some fall into two of those descriptive categories.’-Rob Lester