Cast, Creative Team, and Staff Playlist: The Great Leap

In honor of our current production, The Great Leap, the show’s cast and artistic team along with the Lyric Stage staff compiled a Spotify playlist of songs that remind us of the show. Here are some of our favorites:

“I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty

I won’t back down

Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out

I won’t back down

Hey I will stand my ground

And I won’t back down

“I Won’t Back Down” is the lead single off of Petty’s 1989 album titled Moon Fever, and its lyrics convey the fact that no one can stop or prevent you from reaching your goals. Though we experience negativity, rejection, and hardship, we have the ultimate power to triumph through these obstacles to get to where we need to go. Recommended by Director of Marketing Heather Darrow, this song parallels Manford’s character from start to finish–though he encounters obstacles throughout his journey from San Francisco to Beijing, he will do whatever it takes to succeed.

“Basketball” by Kurtis Blow

Basketball is my favorite sport

I like the way they dribble up and down the court

Just like I’m the king on the microphone

So is Dr. J and Moses Malone

“If we HAD an 80s-style Rocky-esque makeover montage, this would surely be playing behind Saul eating a donut while watching Manford do wind sprints up the hills of San Francisco” – Barlow Adamson, Saul

Released as a single in 1984, “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow is an ode to the sport of basketball and the legends that the sport has created, from Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Recommended by Barlow Adamson who plays Saul, this song encaptures the pure joy that basketball brings to people, and with a show like The Great Leap, no other song could be a more fitting anthem.

“We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” by The Animals

We gotta get outta this place

If it’s the last thing we ever do

We gotta get outta this place

‘Cause girl, there’s a better life for me and you

This song was originally written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for The Righteous Brothers, but was then acquired by The Animals’ management for release in 1965. Recommended by costume designer Seth Bodie, the song’s lyrics reflect the inner thoughts of Manford wanting to get out of San Francisco, and Manford’s mother leaving the CCCP.

“Always Rising” by NIKI, Rich Brian, and Warren Hue

I’m gonna set the world on fire

Dreams come alive when I lose my mind

Look in my eyes, you can see desire

Truth in a world that’s full of lies

The soundtrack for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings encompasses a plethora of Asian artists, with each track performed by at least one Asian artist, and “Always Rising,” a collaboration between NIKI, Rich Brian, and Warren Hue, serves as a grand and monumental opening for listeners. The lyrics reveal a message of someone having the power to change the world with strength and determination, aligning with Manford’s character throughout The Great Leap and his journey to get to Beijing.