PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Zoe Sarnak, Jason Gotay, Allison Case and Cast of Years Between Pick Defining Songs of the Millennial Generation

By Michael Gioia
February 27, 2014

Songwriter Zoe Sarnak will premiere songs from The Years Between, a musical described as "an exploration of New York's millennials as the latest lost generation, set to a score of rock, folk, pop and soul," March 13 at 54 Below. In anticipation of the concert, members of the cast pick songs that define children of the Millennial Generation as part of this week's Playbill Playlist



Joining Sarnak at the 9:30 PM concert — which will be recorded as a live concept album — will be Aaron Albert, Allison Case (Hair), Laura Dreyfuss (Once), Meghann Fahy (Next to Normal), Jason Gotay (Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark), Marcus Paul James (Rent), Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot), Taylor Noble (A Lasting Impression), Preston Sadleir (Next to Normal) and Kacie Sheik (Hair), among others.

Mia Walker (assistant director of Pippin) will direct The Years Between, which is produced by Jen Hoguet and 54 Below.

In anticipation of the concert, Sarnak and members of the cast pick songs that define the Millennial Generation — individuals born between birth years from the early 1980s to the early 2000s — as part of Playbill.com's Playbill Playlist and tell us why they made the list. 

Sarnak wrote the book, music and lyrics for The Quad, developed and performed at Harvard’s Loeb Experimental Theatre. Sarnak has four full-length musicals in development, including Mixtape, PainLess and A Lasting Impression. Read more about her work in Playbill.com's Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know.

54 Below is located at 254 W. 54 Street. For more information and tickets, visit 54Below.com.

Zoe Sarnak: "Unwritten" (Natasha Bedingfield). Trying to pick a single artist/song is nearly impossible. I would start with Nirvana, swing by Britney Spears, stop in at Sara Bareilles, Jeff Buckley, Adele… You get the idea. That said, this song popped into my head because of the lyrics just as much as the jam. "Staring at the blank page before you… the rest is still unwritten." I think it represents our generation, searching.

Marcus Paul James: "Royals" (Lorde). There are a great number of people trying to hammer down who they actually are in this life. And, contrary to what we are told is the preferred lifestyle, reality is we will never be Royal but we can rule.

Aaron Albert: "A Time to Love" (Stevie Wonder). We're so busy everyday spending time judging, hurting and criticizing people. Love makes the world go round. With a little more time to practice a little more love, we could all be a little (a lot) better off!

Allison Case: "All You Need Is Love" (The Beatles). I think our generation has some of the most open-minded, curious, loving and caring people. This song is such an inspiration for all people to live by, and I really think so many from our generation have taken the message of this song straight to heart. The Beatles are, of course, of an earlier generation, but I think it's a good example of how our generation looks both back and forward to learn things and new ways to make this world a better place.

Meghann Fahy: "Same Love" (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis). I like to think that "Same Love" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis defines our generation. It speaks to a world that is fighting for equal rights. For justice.

Jason Gotay: "One Day" (Matisyahu). Gotta go with "One Day" by Matisyahu. This has become a sort of anthem for my friends and I. It sends a message of hope and positivity in a time of war and suffering for tons of people around the world. I think it captures our generation's voice and our struggle to move forward with the belief that things can only get better.

Krista Pioppi: "We Can't Stop" (Miley Cyrus). Miley Cyrus has sort of taken over our generation, so I'm going to go with "We Can't Stop." Love her or hate her, homegirl is a force to be reckoned with!

Preston Sadleir: "The Macarena" (Los Del Rio). I kind of think we're talking about two different things here — songs that are ICONIC vs. songs that provide a meaningful representation of a page in history whilst maintaining a certain social commentary. I took the challenge to see if I could find a song that accomplishes being both iconic AND referential… My response? "The Macarena" by Los Del Rio. You think I'm joking, although I am not.

Taylor Noble: "Run the World (Girls)," (Beyoncé). When thinking about artists and songs that define our generation my mind went right to the Queen B's… Britney and Beyoncé. But I have to stick with my main girl and say Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)." It's powerful, sassy and doesn't apologize for it - what else defines our generation better?

Laura Dreyfuss: "Best Day of My Life" (American Authors). Because my boyfriend wrote it, and it's awesome.