Promoted

8 Musicals That Don’t Actually Exist But Totally Should

Holla If Ya Hear Me didn’t last long, but these eight would totally stand the test of time. And Leon should be in all of them.

1.
John Gara / BuzzFeed
Tracy Clayton / BuzzFeed

“The original cast you fell in love with is back in Damn, Gina, a new musical based on the hit sitcom Martin. Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell put aside their differences to reunite as Martin and Gina, the pugnacious but lovable twosome anchored by a colorful cast of characters. Like the series, things get weird in the last 10 minutes when Campbell refuses to appear on set with Lawrence, but acclaimed actor Leon is so captivating in his emotional portrayal of Jerome, the pimp with a heart of gold, that you barely notice. Also featuring a riveting appearance by Tevin Campbell as the misunderstood Puppy Monster Thing that tries to eat Martin, Gina, and Pam on Chilligan’s Island.”

The New York Times, probably

2.
John Gara / BuzzFeed
Tracy Clayton / BuzzFeed

“True love, limitless harassment, and hypertension collide in this inspiring tale of a boy who completely ignores a girl’s repeated requests to be left alone in his quest for love. In what was surely an exhausting role, Hollywood great Don Cheadle dives headfirst into the worlds of both Steve Urkel, the well-meaning, line-stepping nerd, and his cooler alter ego, Stefan Urquelle. As Urkel chases true love, patriarch Carl Winslow runs from an early death, trying to stave off a case of high blood pressure caused by countless home invasions by his nosy neighbor. It’s an all-star cast: Michelle Williams ignites the stage for the 2 minutes that she’s on it in an Oscar-worthy run up the stairs; Bokeem Woodbine shines as the adorable 3J, a precocious adoptee saved from the streets to boost the show’s dying ratings; and Leon sparks Tony whispers with his moving portrayal of new-age village idiot Waldo Geraldo Faldo. An instant classic.”

—Maybe American Theater Magazine

Tracy Clayton / BuzzFeed

“Since black doesn’t crack and they weren’t doing anything anyway, most of the original cast of Living Single reunites in the hit musical In A 90s Kind Of World. The show follows a group of young, hip friends trying to make it in the big city with their sanity in tact. Leon gives Tony hopefuls a run for their money in his portrayal of Russell Montego, an editor at Kadijah’s magazine who often sexually harasses busty gold-digging diva Regine. Even with Leon’s chops, the true star of the show is Boris Kodjoe as Khadijah’s paramour, Scooter, who does every scene shirtless and has no lines. Bravo!”

—Famous Reviewer at Reputable Magazine

4.
David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed // Sarah Rara / flic.kr
Tracy Clayton / BuzzFeed

“Kiss Me, Claire” is a star-studded blast from the past. It’s a celebration of a show that celebrated a side of blackness rarely seen in its time, one where women call the shots and all the men are basically klutzes in spite of their medical degrees. As Theo, Darius McCrary stars in the role that he really wanted to play during his time as Eddie on Family Matters, settling easily into that awful Gordon Gartrelle shirt. But Leon is the true star of the show, tugging at heartstrings at Bud’s brother, the misguided misogynist we never got to see in the series. See it twice and be blessed.”

STAGE Magazine? Sure, why not

5.
John Gara / BuzzFeed
Tracy Clayton / BuzzFeed

“Ain’t we lucky we got ‘em? It certainly doesn’t seem like it, but it’s a beautiful journey nonetheless. “Damn, Damn, Damn,” based on the classic sitcom Good Times, is two hours of uncomfortable laughs at heavy topics, like extreme poverty, domestic violence, corrupt politicians, alcoholism, child abuse, and dented cans at the grocery store, but the nostalgia makes it all worth it. See Loretta Devine in the role she was born to play, baring her soul in a stirring duet with the with the punch bowl (Stoney Jackson) that feels her wrath as she’s brought to her knees by her husband’s death. Acting legend Leon reportedly spent weeks drunk in preparation for his stirring role as Ned The Wino in what is assuredly the role of his lifetime. Fun for the whole family!”

The San Francisco Chronicle or something

6.
Victor Tatum / BuzzFeed / New Line Cinema
Tracy Clayton / BuzzFeed

Craig N’ Smokey is a knee-slapping comedy that smartly buries real, issues like unemployment, bullying, and horrible weaves, in snappy songs and smart one-liners. Wayne Brady shocks the world with the life he breathed back into Chris Tucker’s Smokey, a young stoner who rarely looks past the current hour. Leon opens his arms and welcomes everyone into his very soul as Ezail, wisecracker and substance abuser. Also featuring Ciara in her Broadway debut as Felisha, the sweatpants-clad neighborhood crackhead. Say goodbye to the life you know before seeing this play because it will never, ever be the same again.”

Oprah or somebody important like that

Tracy Clayton / BuzzFeed

“It’s a timeless story about true love, materialism, and empty African stereotypes. She’s Your Queen To Be is a breathtaking story of a man who has it all and is willing to risk it all before he goes back to having it all again. You’d think JaRule would be the talk of the cast, but American treasure Leon is the obvious stand-out, leaving a wake of applause and Jheri Curl juice on each part of the stage he touches. The entire cast deserves individual Oscars.”

Ebony Magazine. Or perhaps Essence

Tracy Clayton / BuzzFeed

“Morris Chestnut and Paula Patton ignite the stage as Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert, hot and heavy collegiate lovers at prestigious Hillman College. It’s a magical place where students learn reading, writing, and respectability politics while celebrating the best of black life—music, friendship, and step shows. Ashanti does a decent job as Gina Deveaux, sounding the best she’s ever sounded in her rendition of “When The Saints Go Marching In,” but Leon is the true star, moving the audience to tears as Mr. Gaines, the country curmudgeon who occasionally pops out of the kitchen to give some grandfatherly advice. Musical of the year. No: the century.”

The Atlantic, mayhaps

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