Friday, March 22, 2013

Top 100 Showtunes: 70-61

#70. "What You Don't Know About Women" from City of Angels. I go through phases where I can't stop listening to City of Angels, and this is one of the songs that always lures me back in. The lyrics are clever, the music is catchy, and it's so fun to sing super loud in the car. A fantastic jazzy number from a really underrated show.

#69. "Adelaide's Lament" from Guys and Dolls. One of the best comedic torch songs of all time. The song does an incredible job of creating Adelaide's character. It's funny and character-driven and is also fun to sing along with. It's just a delight to listen to.

#68. "Elaborate Lives" from Aida. This song didn't capture my attention at all when I first listened to Aida. However, as I kept listening, it started burrowing its way under my skin. I don't remember exactly when or how it happened, but eventually I discovered I absolutely loved it. Different lyrics in the song stand out to me each time I listen, and I love the big final chorus between the two characters.

#67. "Alone in the Universe" from Seussical. This song has spoken to me deeply at various points in my life. It's a song that acknowledges the sadness of being alone but is extremely optimistic about a time when that won't always be the case. It refuses to wallow but doesn't fake happiness either. The music is a beautiful blend of sad and soaring. Even now, at a time in my life when I feel very connected to other people, I can't help but be moved by this song.

#66. "Johnny Can't Decide" from tick...Tick...BOOM! This song is one of Jonathan Larson's best melodies, in my opinion. It's beautiful. I absolutely love the part where the three are all singing together. I think it does a great job of creating the right mood for the song. It's one of those songs that I just like but I sometimes have problems explaining why.

#65. "Bring Me Giants" from Cyrano de Bergerac. If ever someone was born to do a musical version of Cyrano, it was Frank Wildhorn. Unfortunately, he teamed up once again with the worst professional lyricist known to man: Leslie Bricusse. This meant that all Cyrano's eloquence was out the window and the songs were just disappointing. This one, however... this one works. The lyrics are not too horribly awful, and that melody works perfectly as Cyrano's character. Every so often I'll listen to this one over and over again on repeat because 3 minutes of it just isn't enough.

#64. "Close Every Door" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This show was one the very first shows that really got me into musicals (along with Cats, Phantom and Sunset Boulevard... I owe Andrew Lloyd Webber quite a debt of gratitude). I am still very moved by this song. In the final lines, Joseph says that no matter what happens to him, he knows he and his people will go on because God's promised it. This song actually closely mirrors my thought process in my own dark times, where I go back and forth between being very discouraged and defeated and try to remember the promises God has made to me.

#63. "Losing My Mind" from Follies. This song, when performed right, is absolutely incredible. Bernadette Peters does an amazing job with it in this clip I found. For me, it reminds me of my tendency to think and think and think about something and not be able to focus on anything else and worry that I might not be entirely functional when that happens. I think this is one of Sondheim's best ballads.

#62. "Turn It Off" from The Book of Mormon. And we're lightening things back up again here. This song is absolutely hilarious, and very poignantly illuminates two major problems among the Christian church. First, that you shouldn't ever be sad or disheartened. Secondly, that anything you're having difficulty with emotionally, you can just "turn it off, like a light switch." Because apparently that's possible and healthy. Also, how can you dislike a bunch of guys tap dancing in flashy purple vests?

#61. "All For the Best" from Godspell. OK, this is a very entertaining follow-up to "Turn It Off" because this kind of is genuinely about religious leaders telling you to cheer up. Or something. Anyway, this is from Godspell. One of my favorite aspects of the show is that so many of the songs are parodies of other song styles. Here, in the style of an old vaudeville song-and-dance routine, Jesus and Judas tell us why we shouldn't get too discouraged when things go wrong for us.

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