Sometimes I wander around New York, going about my business and all of a sudden a song comes on. You know the type I’m talking about. Those Broadway songs that you not only know and love, but they make you so emotional that the whole scene starts to play in your head–or at least it starts to play in mine. I start moving to the beat of the music and often…a tear will roll down my cheek.
I know, this makes me the biggest Broadway sap on the planet, but you know what? These songs are incredibly moving. I can’t help but get emotional.
This is just a short list, there are way more, but tell me what you think.
I figured since Les Mis is in the public eye right now, I’d start with this one. You cannot tell me that when he screams 24601 and tells Javert who he is, you don’t freak. I freak out every time. My heart starts racing and I fear for Jean Valjean’s life. I know, it’s a musical, it’s going to end the same every time, but I can’t help it!
2. Defying Gravity
If you tell me you don’t like Wicked, I believe that. In fact, Wicked isn’t one of my favorite musicals. It doesn’t even make my top 20 list. (Don’t tell my intern, he’ll have a heart attack) I’m not saying it’s not a great show, it’s just not MY favorite. That being said, I don’t believe there is a person, let alone a musical theatre fan alive who can resist the awe inspiring feeling of watching Elphaba fly and belt her face off in “Defying Gravity.” It’s cheesy to say, but don’t we all want to defy gravity sometimes?
3. I’ll Cover You (Reprise)
RENT is kind of one big emotional moment for me. I cry a lot when I listen to/watch this musical, but there is no question in my mind that the single most emotional moment in the show is the “I’ll Cover You (Reprise).” The story behind it obviously helps, not just knowing what’s going on in the musical, but knowing that this was the song sung at Jonathan Larson’s funeral? Yeah, that adds to it. I’ve chosen a very specific video to share with you. This is Destan Owens singing the song. If you don’t know about him, you’re missing out. Listen, Love, Cry a little.
4. Sound of Music (Reprise)
It could be a professional production, the movie or a high school production–it really doesn’t matter, when this song happens, I cry. Without fail. There is so much power in the message of what’s happening here. The kids have fought her and finally joined her and this is the moment when their father fights them, all they can do is…sing, and then finally he sees THEM. And you know. You just KNOW how powerful music is.
I couldn’t find a video of a clear version, but just give this a listen, okay? For me. If you hate it…what am I saying, there is NO WAY you could hate it.
5. I Just Might
9 to 5 the musical was short lived in the grand scheme of Broadway, but it really made an impact on me. I tried to take as many people as I could to see it in the short time it was available to us. I loved everyone in it, I loved the music and the message behind each of the songs. You can often find me in my room crying as I belt my heart out to this music. It really gives me a boost when I need it. Especially this song. None of us are immune to the feeling that we’re falling (hello, N2N), but when you need a pick me up, this music is here for you. You just might make it.
This is one of my favorite Tony Awards openings of all time. It doesn’t suck that I was at the rehearsal watching it all happen live. It also doesn’t suck that Marvin is there to introduce it all, we miss him, but that’s not the point. The point is the song–a lot of people quote many different lines from A Chorus Line left and right and they all mean something in our industry, whether you’re a dancer or not, but ONE. Damn you, One. Can anyone resist a huge cry and/or tears when they hear it? No. Don’t believe me? Watch the audience after they finish.
7. I Will Never Leave You
I’m ending my post today with this video, because it’s like a religion for me. I watch this at least once a month, if not more. If this doesn’t mean something to you (unless you’ve never seen it before) I’m really questioning your soul. Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner give one of the greatest performances ever seen on the live stage here. And this song? Oh, this song. I dare you to listen to moment 2:23 and not love it. Go ahead, give it a listen and cry into your pillow tonight haha… I love it!