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Planning the Soundtrack to “Rogers: The Musical” | Column from the Critic

“Hawkeye” was a fun show. It has great action and banter between Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld, and they have amazing chemistry. It also has fun supporting characters that flesh out the world.

And then you have “Rogers: The Musical,” which is a fun little feature to the MCU that feels like a break from the emotional baggage from Wandavision and the dialogue on racism and hegemony in Falcon & The Winter Soldier. As a theater kid, I speculated more about what a Steve Rogers musical would look like.

While I’m not one to write a musical, I can definitely outline the musical numbers. As a writer and a theater kid, this is the kind of thought experiment I live for.

Act One

A Kid from Brooklyn

This song would introduce Steve, Bucky and Peggy in a sequence that ranges from the beginning of Captain America: The First Avenger from the beginning to Steve joining the Army. Something on the lines of the opening songs from Hamilton and Heathers, this will set the stage for the rest of the show.

Star Spangled Man With A Plan

For the most part, this song will have the same feel of the number in the movie. But in-between verses and the bridge, we get a montage showing Steve longing to fight, his jump on the grenade and the super soldier serum.

I Can Do This All Day

This song would be a leitmotif for Steve, similar to “My Shot” in Hamilton. This will go from the rescue mission to save Bucky and cover the attacks on the HYDRA strongholds.

End of the Line

Set during the attack on the train taking Arnim Zola and the Tessarect. The song has Bucky and Steve bouncing lines off each other until Bucky’s fall. From there, the number turns bittersweet as victory is in reach-as well as Steve’s sacrifice. As Steve calls Peggy, a soft instrumental of “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” plays with a somber call that goes throughout the call until the train crashes into the ocean.

Man Outta Time

The stage goes to black. Steve enters to center stage as he interacts with the new world. Most of the scene is Steve interacting with the modern world with reluctance and shock at how much of a man out of time he is. The scene ends with Nick Fury walking on stage to calm him down and foreshadows the start of the Avengers.

A Few Rounds

This, along with another song in Act Two will be akin to the Cabinet Battles in Hamilton; with Tony Stark being the Jefferson/Burr to Rogers’ Alexander Hamilton. This song will be lyrical ping pong, with Tony hitting sharp and Steve challenging the playboy billionaire about the merits of heroism.

Save the City

Nothing really changes from the song we got in the show. The only thing I’ll do is have Adam Pascal reflect Captain America and show how those on the street level of the Battle of New York are as much heroes as Steve was in World War II.

Out of Reach

This song will be a more in-depth observation of Red Skull realizing his fate. It shows his reflection on Skorim as he is forced to watch over the Soul Stone. This song also teases Thanos and the events of Act Two.

On Your Left

It’s the Act One finale. And just like “Non-Stop” in Hamilton, the songs jump through the events of Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the first half of Captain America: Civil War. It starts with Steve doing laps and discussing his lease on life to Sam. From there, it cuts to events throughout the movies leading to Civil War, with Steve having Black Widow, Falcon, and Tony’s backs in major events. Near the end, Bucky’s return is teased as he tries to lift Mjolnir; a slight centimeter above the air and then lights go out. End of Act One.

Act Two

Kid in Brooklyn (reprise)

We return to Steve checking in with Bucky and helping him come to his senses and remember who he is.

Your Perfect Teeth

Tony and Steve return to their second song spat; this time about the Sokovia Accords and what to do with Bucky. The song ends with Steve leaving with Bucky because “he’s my friend.” And Tony watches and softly remarks, “so was I.”

Avengers…

Set during the airport fight and the Tony/Steve fist fight, this song is one part fight spectacle/Steve and Tony lamenting the dissolution of the Avengers.

Infinity War

This song opens with Steve in hiding. But as Thanos and his army invade Earth, he emerges as the beacon the world needs. Notes from “I Could Do This All Day” plays as the battle in Wakanda commences and grows more ominous leading up to the Snap.

Gotta Move On

Set five years into the world of the Snap, Steve tries to give the members of the support group to live for this world. Once they leave, he reflects on his inability to forget everything he’s endured.

One Round Trip

While the song is set around the time heist, this will more center on Steve as he returns to New York and fights himself and gets his hands on the Infinity Stones. Before returning to the present, he sees Peggy in the 70s and a few notes from “It’s Been a Long, Long Time.”

…Assemble!

After an attempted fight against Thanos, everyone who vanished from the Snap returns. This song feels like The Battle of Yorktown from Hamilton. From the heroine keep away game with the gauntlet to Steve finally picking up Mjolnir, this is meant to capture the spirit of the fight on the big screen with the technical constraints on the stage.

Finale

After Tony’s funeral, Steve returns the stones. The lights go out briefly and return to Sam and Bucky standing there. On stage right, Steve Rogers as an old man is seen on the bench. The song is a reflection of Steve’s mission and the thought process leading home. In between that, we get Avengers and others remarking on him. And the last shot is Steve and Peggy dancing.

While writing this, I couldn’t help but think about the cuts I had to make; and how much this makes the show more realistic. Hamilton wasn’t a shot-for-shot adaptation of Ron Chernow’s book or any history book. The main priority was to ask one question: How do you tell the story of Captain America? And looking at this is one of a veteran who holds the city upon a hill ideal America used to be seen as being. In many ways, Steve Rogers, in the world of the MCU, is a contemporary to the founding fathers. And ideally, this show outline captures the spirit of such a figure with the same impact Hamilton does.

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