6 Most Memorable Broadway Show Tunes
What are the heart-tuggiest, snappiest, toe-tappiest tunes from the Broadway musical stage of all time? Let’s look at the top six:
My Fair Lady – On the Street Where You Live
Interestingly, this beautiful melody was not sung by either of the show’s leading characters, Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. It is sung by Freddy Enysford-Hill, a supporting character who sings it in the street outside Eliza’s window after meeting her at the Ascot races. Despite the fact that My Fair Lady is full of hit songs, this one stood out on its own and climbed the charts in a variety of versions according to American Musical Theatre Academy. Male pop stars Andy Williams, Eddie Fisher, and Vic Damone recorded their versions of it soon after the show’s opening in 1956.
Cabaret – Cabaret
The title song from one of Broadway’s most popular shows, this one by Kander & Ebb evokes the divine decadence of Berlin before the war. This spring, Oscar nominee, Michelle Williams will star in a production of Cabaret when it returns to Studio 54. Natasha Richardson won a Tony for her performance as the reckless Sally Bowles who sings this show stopper; while Liza Minnelli won an Oscar for her portrayal of the character in the film version of the musical.
Pippen – Magic To Do
Setting the tone for the miraculous Pippin, this vibrant opening number, sung by the seductive Leading Player and her troupe sets the tone for the show, and introduces the audience to the wonders of the stage. Tonys were awarded to Ben Vereen for the original production in 1972, and to Patina Miller for the revival in 2013.
A Little Night Music – Send in the Clowns
Written for Glynis Johns, this tender, beautiful ballad about missed opportunities was first featured in the 1973 Broadway production. Providing a voice for the character Desiree as she laments the timing of the affair between herself and Frederick, the breathy quality of this number which is almost spoken allowed for actresses such as Catherine Zeta-Jones (2009) and Elizabeth Taylor to perform the song. The song won a Grammy for Best Song, and was the only Billboard chart-topper for Stephen Sondheim. Both Frank Sinatra and Judy Collins made a smash hit of this one with their versions.
Annie – Tomorrow
Covered by a wide variety of artists, including Elaine Page, The Manhattans, and Grace Jones, this hope-filled anthem sung by the little orphan Annie has been a favorite of little budding actresses everywhere. In the original production of the musical, Andrea McArdle gave a soaring performance, and in the 2012 revival of the show, Lila Crawford’s rendition was a highlight.
The Phantom of the Opera – The Music of the Night
As the showcase song for the musical, The Music of the Night has sold millions of copies worldwide. Introduced both on Broadway and West End by Michael Crawford, the number has now been translated into several languages. On Barbra Streisand’s album “Back to Broadway” Crawford sang the song as a duet with Streisand. A legal suit for plagiarism (which was settled out of court) was brought by the estate of Giacomo Puccini due to its similarity to an aria from his opera Girl of the Golden West.
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