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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Playlist of the week: The Best of Broadway

    Official cover art for “Wicked”, the broadway musical.
    Official cover art for “Wicked”, the broadway musical.

    If you just saw Book of Mormon at Centennial Hall and only want to listen to show tunes, we’ve compiled a playlist full of Broadway’s best songs. Check out the Spotify playlist here

    “A Little Priest” — Sweeney Todd

    Songwriter: Stephen Sondheim

    Singers: Patti LuPone, George Hearn and Michael Cerveris

    This playlist is starting off with a little comedy. While it’s about a murderous butcher and an even more twisted chef, “Sweeney Todd”‘s, “A Little Priest” is full of terrible puns and sadistic humor. Perfectly evil, Sondheim’s hilarious look at this classic story is perfectly captured in this song.

    “America” — West Side Story

    Songwriters: Leonard Bernstein

    Singers: Karen Olivo and company

    As Leonard Bernstein’s most well-known work, “West Side Story” is a hallmark for musical theater. Loosely based on the story of “Romeo and Juliet,” this musical has everything from violence to romance. One of the best earworms ever, the syncopated riff of “America” is one of the most recognizable elements from Bernstein’s masterpiece.

    “Could I Leave You?” — Follies

    Songwriters: Stephen Sondheim

    Singer: Donna Murphy

    There’s quite a bit of music from the mind of Stephen Sondheim on this playlist, but the truth is that you can’t talk about musical theater without mention the legacy of Mr. Sondheim. Donna Murphy’s spectacular performance of this biting song from “Follies” about the contemplation of divorce is sublime.

    “He Lives in You” — The Lion King

    Songwriters: Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin and Lebo M:

    Singer: Tsidii Le Loka 

    This song is not in the original Disney film — it’s in the sequel — but it takes place in the magical moment in which Rafiki explains to Simba how Mufasa continues to live on through him. Brilliantly bringing the emotion of the moment to the stage, “He Lives in You” is goosebumps-inducing.

    “Losing My Mind” — Follies

    Songwriter: Stephen Sondheim

    Singer: Marin Mazzie

    “Losing my Mind,” also from “Follies,” romanticizes the obsessive nature of love from the perspective of a neurotic mess. Marin Mazzie brings a depth to this ballad that makes it tear-jerking, devastating and sensational.

    “Seasons of Love” — RENT

    Songwriter: Jonathan Larson

    Singers: RENT Cast

    There’s something mythic about the music that totally reflects the bittersweetness of “RENT.” It’s about enjoying the time you have no matter what deck of cards you were dealt, and it’s about living your life in love. Love wins.

    “Ladies Who Lunch” (from “Company”) — Patti LuPone

    Songwriter: Stephen Sondheim

    Singer: Patti LuPone

    Okay, so Patti LuPone. Sarcastic quips about rich women. What’s not to love?

    “Defying Gravity” — Wicked

    Songwriter: Stephen Schwartz

    Singer: Idina Menzel 

    There are people who will be upset that this song is on this playlist, and there will also be people who would be disappointed if it wasn’t included. “Defying Gravity” is the cornerstone song in “Wicked,” and it’s everything you could want from a musical theater song — the wildly talented diva, singing her way to freedom, standing up against the corrupt authority. While the rest of “Wicked” is canned, unoriginal and rather boring, “Defying Gravity” is a highlight.

    Follow Kincaid Rabb on Twitter.

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