Musical Theatre Villains and Their Unforgettable Songs

Musical Theatre Villains

Musicals are all about the high notes, the heartbreak, and the heroes, right? But hold on a sec – what about the baddies? The ones who make our heroes look even better and, let’s be honest, often steal the show with their wickedly catchy tunes.

Here’s a cheeky nod to the bad guys and gals of the musical world, and the songs that make us love to hate them.

Scar from The Lion King – “Be Prepared”

Oh, Scar. With a chip on his shoulder bigger than Pride Rock, this lion’s tale of jealousy and power grabs gives us the bop “Be Prepared.” It’s the kind of song that has you rooting for the underdog, even if he is a bit of a scoundrel. It’s catchy, it’s dark, and let’s face it, it’s a villainous masterpiece.


Miss Trunchbull from Matilda the Musical – “The Hammer”

Miss Trunchbull: the headmistress we love to loathe. In “The Hammer,” she reminisces about her hammer-throwing heydays, drawing a not-so-subtle line between her athletic achievements and her dictatorial reign over the school. It’s a song that’s as hilarious as it is horrifying.


Javert from Les Misérables – “Stars”

Javert, our favourite law-obsessed inspector from Les Mis, gives us “Stars” – a ballad about his unwavering belief in law and order. It’s deep, it’s moving, and it makes you almost sympathise with him. Almost.


The Phantom from The Phantom of the Opera – “The Music of the Night”

Ah, the Phantom. Mysterious, misunderstood, and a musical genius to boot. “The Music of the Night” is his moment to shine, literally serenading his way into our hearts (and Christine’s). It’s creepy yet captivating, just like him.


Ursula from The Little Mermaid – “Poor Unfortunate Souls”

Ursula’s “Poor Unfortunate Souls” is basically the anthem for every villain who’s ever sweet-talked their way to the top. It’s sassy, it’s sinister, and it’s sung by a sea witch who knows how to work a room. What’s not to love?


Hades from Hadestown – “Hey, Little Songbird”

In Hadestown, Hades is the underworld’s CEO, using “Hey, Little Songbird” to lure in his next employee. It’s smooth, it’s sultry, and it’s sung by a guy who definitely knows how to negotiate.


Judge Turpin from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – “Pretty Women”

Judge Turpin, oh how we despise thee. In “Pretty Women,” his creep factor reaches new heights, all while getting a shave from Sweeney Todd himself. It’s a song that’s as smooth as it is sneaky.


Velma Von Tussle from Hairspray – “Miss Baltimore Crabs”

Velma Von Tussle, the queen of mean in Hairspray, belts out “Miss Baltimore Crabs” with all the grace of a bull in a china shop. It’s a song that’s chock-full of snark and sass, making Velma a villain you can’t help but giggle at.


Macavity from Cats – “Macavity: The Mystery Cat”

Macavity, the feline felon of Cats, is shrouded in mystery and a knack for mischief. “Macavity: The Mystery Cat” gives us the lowdown on his criminal escapades, making him out to be the Moriarty of the alleyways. It’s catchy, it’s quirky, and it’s all about a cat burglar (literally).


Heather Chandler from Heathers: The Musical – “Candy Store”

Heather Chandler rules the school in Heathers, and “Candy Store” is her declaration of dominance. It’s bold, it’s brash, and it perfectly captures the essence of high school hierarchy. Plus, it’s an absolute bop.


Orin Scrivello from Little Shop of Horrors – “Dentist!”

Orin Scrivello, the dentist from hell, makes dental appointments terrifying in “Dentist!” It’s a song that’s as hilarious as it is horrifying, proving that even villains can have a sense of humour.


Miss Hannigan from Annie – “Little Girls”

Miss Hannigan from Annie gives us “Little Girls,” a song that’s equal parts funny and sad. It’s a peek into the mind of a woman who’s just had enough, making her one of the most memorable baddies in the musical biz.


Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame – “Hellfire”

Judge Claude Frollo delivers “Hellfire” with a fervour that’s both chilling and awe-inspiring. It’s a song that dives deep into the psyche of a villain torn between desire and duty, making it a standout in the world of musical theatre.


The Witch from Into the Woods – “Last Midnight”

The Witch from Into the Woods gives us “Last Midnight,” a song that’s as magical as it is menacing. It’s a powerful moment that showcases her frustration and power, reminding us that not all villains wear black hats.


So, here’s to the villains – the characters who give our heroes a run for their money and do it with a song in their heart. They might not always win, but in the world of musicals, they’re absolutely unforgettable.

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About the author: Rachel Wise

UK based freelancer journalist Rachel contributes regularly to Stageberry with features and interviews from the hottest new shows and stage stars.


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