The Power of a Woman’s Story | Waitress: A New Musical

Harmonies.  Laughter.  Pie.  What more could you ask for in a musical?

The weekend before last, I went to a Saturday matinee of the new Broadway musical, Waitress, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City for my friend’s birthday.  I’ve been following the show since the announcement that the music and lyrics would be written by one of my favorite musicians of all time, Sara Bareilles.

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Last November, Sara Bareilles released an album called What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress, a selection of songs from the musical (though not in its completed stages) sung by Bareilles herself.  I immediately fell in love with the album; it’s the perfect blend of two of my favorite things: Sara Bareilles and show tunes.

I was eager to see the show right from the get-go, and my excitement increased with each performance I saw from it: Jessie Mueller singing the heart-wrenching anthem, She Used to Be Mine for Broadway.com, the medley of opening and closing numbers on Good Morning America, and the cast’s performance at the 70th annual Tony Awards, featuring Sara Bareilles, as well.  From what I could tell, the musical was going to blow me away.

And it did.

The show began with a sweet yet sassy recorded audio introduction by Sara Bareilles; to the tune of her song “Cassiopeia,” she sang about how not turning off your cell phone during the performance will basically make everybody there hate you.  I laughed at her cleverness but also agreed with her point.  Classic Sara move.

Oh, and did I mention that the theater smells like pie when you walk in, and you can buy little pies in a jar from the ushers?  We’ll get to that.

After the musical introduction, the show began.  Based on the 2007 film starring Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion, the story follows the life of waitress and expert pie-maker Jenna Hunterson, played by the inimitable Jessie Mueller, who won a Tony for her performance as Carole King in Beautiful in 2014.  Jenna is trapped in an unhappy marriage with an abusive husband and now is expecting a baby with him.  Her fellow waitresses, shy Dawn (Orange Is the New Black‘s Kimiko Glenn) and loud-mouthed Becky (the powerhouse Keala Settle) help Jenna throughout her pregnancy, while also battling their own romantic problems.  The three of them are a force to be reckoned with, a diverse version of the Andrews Sisters.  Or a Southern-diner-fied Destiny’s Child.

Jenna really gets into trouble when her new gynecologist turns out to be the attractive yet endearingly awkward Dr. Pomatter, played by the hilarious and talented Drew Gehling.  Their relationship quickly becomes romantic and… complicated.  As they sing to each other in “Bad Idea” (hands-down one of the best songs in the show), “You have a wife / You have a husband / You’re my doctor / You’ve got a baby coming / It’s a bad idea, me and you.”

Throughout the show, as new and strange things happen in Jenna’s life, the spotlight switches to her as she instantly thinks of a new pie recipe; think: the manual voice-overs and spotlights on Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  The pie motif reappears at defining moments in the show, especially in the lyrics “Sugar, butter, flour.”

I wish I could make this blog post an in-depth analysis of each of the delightful and beautiful songs from Waitress, but it would be 10,000 words long.  So I’ll keep it a bit shorter: each song is full of melodic and rhythmic twists, characteristic of Bareilles’ music.  The opening number, “Opening Up” is the perfect wake-up-in-the-morning-and-ring-in-the-new-day-song, and the harmonies fill you up like a warm cup of coffee.  The three waitresses shine in the funny-but-not-really “The Negative” about finally taking that pregnancy test and the gentle lullaby-esque “A Soft Place to Land”, while a different trio–this time of pregnant women–welcomes Jenna to the gynecologist’s office in “Club Knocked Up.”  Dawn and Becky both get their time in the spotlight; Dawn’s endearing and sincere “When He Sees Me” about being afraid of men and falling in love might be one of my favorite Broadway songs ever (I’ll have to update my list from last summer); and Becky sings her heart out about the struggles of decision-making in relationships in “I Didn’t Plan It.”

The men in the show shine, too; Dr. Pomatter wiggles his way into Jenna’s heart in the lighthearted “It Only Takes a Taste,” while Jenna’s wretched husband Earl keeps her heart for ransom in the rock-style”You Will Still Be Mine.”  The owner of the diner where Jenna works, played by Dakin Matthews (also known as Headmaster Charleston from Gilmore Girls) even has his own sweet song of advice to Jenna, “Take It From an Old Man”.  Not to mention Dawn’s new love interest, Ogie, belts out his love for her in the hysterical “Never Ever Getting Rid of Me” and “I Love You Like a Table,” which got Christopher Fitzgerald nominated for a Tony award this year.

What really made the show incredible for me was the second act.  Jenna and Dr. Pomatter sing a song called “You Matter to Me,” which is one of the most beautiful love songs I’ve ever heard, not only for it’s lyricism but also in the way it’s not made up of simple harmonies, but rather two unique melodies that flow together seamlessly.  From the first chord, I was crying already.

And when Jessie Mueller sang, “She Used to Be Mine,” a desperate plea to her past self and an apology to her not-yet-born baby, I was a complete mess.  Mueller does a perfect job of capturing that part of each audience member’s heart that knows the strains of loneliness and the pain of helplessness.

But not to worry, the musical has a happy ending, which left me in just as much a state of emotional disarray as the saddest parts.  Want to feel inspired?  Listen to “Everything Changes.”  It might spoil a bit of the plot, but trust me, it’s worth it.  You kind of know it’s coming anyway.

Overall, the music is phenomenal; the script is poignant, serious, and funny all rolled into one; and the actors– the actors!!!  All are fantastic singers and capture their characters fully and realistically.  I even saw the understudy for Cal, the owner of the diner (Thay Floyd), and he was just as funny and honest as every other cast member.  I saw Dakin Matthews and Kimiko Glenn after the show at the stage door, and they were positively delightful.

I think the main thing I left Waitress with was an understanding of the power of telling a woman’s story.  Waitress is the first Broadway musical to have an all-female creative team: choreographer Lorin Lattaro, book writer Jessie Nelson, director Diane Paulus, and of course, composer Sara Bareilles.  These women came together to tell a story about women–about what they struggle with behind the scenes, the complications of relationships (marital or otherwise), and the strength that comes with becoming a mother.  It’s a story only women could tell, and it comes across as touching and truthful.  The success of Waitress has shown me the power women can find in creating things and the beautiful and amazing results of women working together.

If you ever get the chance to see Waitress, do it.  Or listen to the cast album.  Or Sara Bareilles’ album.  Because I truly think that had the revolutionary Hamilton: An American Musical not been considered in this Broadway season, Waitress would have taken home the Tony for Best Musical.  The Founding Fathers can rap, but these women sure can tell a good story.

Have you seen Waitress?  What did you think of it?  What other good musicals have you seen?  Let me know in the comments!

As always, thanks for reading!

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The Start of Something New: Ten Years of High School Musical

Ten years is a long time.  A decade.  The difference between being ten and twenty, between twenty and thirty.  Heck, most people can’t even make it to the Tenth Day of Christmas when singing the old Christmas carol.  It takes a while to get to ten.

It’s been ten years since I first watched High School Musical, and last night I watched the 10th Anniversary special (along with the movie) on Disney Channel.  It was a rollercoaster (not unlike the one in “What Time Is It?” from High School Musical 2).

I think the first time I watched HSM I was by myself.  Nobody knew it was going to be such a huge hit, but I had gotten excited about it as soon as I had seen the promo with the big, Broadway lettering spelling out the title.

I was nine years old when I first watched HSM on January 20th, 2006.  I, too, had been in a musical before: Tom Sawyer the Musical (Yes, it exists) in the third grade.  I was in the chorus because I just couldn’t bring myself to sing alone in an audition.  Still, I had seen my brother perform in two musicals, and I wanted to get in on the fun.

The year HSM premiered, though, I was in the fourth grade and had around that time auditioned to be in The Pirates of Penzance at my grade school.  All the younger kids had to be policemen, and the ones who sang the best got to be on the stage instead of the floor in front of the stage.  The only role for a younger kid (3rd through 5th grade) was the Sergeant, the chief of police.

I had decided at this point that I wanted to audition for the “stage police”; I thought I could do it, and it was one step down from the Sergeant.  No big deal.  But what I didn’t know was that when you auditioned for the stage police, you were also auditioning for the role of the Sergeant.

One day, I walked from the bus stop to my house and in through my front door.

“How was school?” my mom asked.

I looked at her, bewildered.  “I’m the Sergeant.”

And thus began my lifelong love for musical theater.

Looking back, the first performance of The Pirates of Penzance came just months after the premiere of High School Musical.  It’s curious how these events coincided; I got to watch my new heroes audition for a musical, just like I had auditioned for mine.  If only I could have had some of their outfits…

This musical connection drew me right into the world of HSM.  Troy was the dreamy jock who would never in a million years audition for one of my school shows, and I pretended I was Gabriella while singing “When There Was You and Me” in my bedroom mirror.  I was known as the smart kid at school, too, and I treasured the fact that I could “be both” the smart kid and a theater kid, like Gabriella.

I remember when High School Musical first came out, everyone was talking about it at school, but not in the way that I expected it.  I was gushing about it, of course.  I mean, how could people not love the best Disney Channel Original Movie ever created?  But I remember a lot of girls acting like they were too grown up for Disney Channel and High School Musical.  I distinctly remember someone asking me with a nasty look, “You like High School Musical?”  I replied, “Yeah…?”  like it was a no-brainer.  A lot of girls acted like they were too cool for HSM, but I knew that they all secretly liked it.  I’m sure all of them today would be able to sing all the words to “Breaking Free.”

But in fourth grade, they had missed the point of the movie.  It wasn’t about being cool and dancing and singing about togetherness.  It was about knowing that you want to do something, that you enjoy doing something, and then having the courage to do it.  So often in life we cut ourselves off from what we really want to do, and for a myriad of reasons: because our friends would judge us, because it isn’t practical, because it would change how people thought of us.  But High School Musical said, “Forget that.  Do what you love.  Your real friends will be your biggest supporters, even if they’re a little confused at first.”

I’ve carried that lesson with me throughout my whole life.  When almost all of the kids my age had stopped performing in school musicals because it “wasn’t cool” anymore, I still did it.  Because I liked doing it.  When people ask me, “Oh… what are you going to do with that?” when I tell them that I’m a creative writing major, I have to focus on the fact that I’m pursuing what I love to do.  Other people’s expectations are not important when you’re deciding your own path.

So not only was I filled with memories while watching the movie, but the whole reunion aspect was so deeply moving.  Following all of the HSM cast on social media and watching the reunion special filled me with so much joy because, like I said in relation to Girl/Boy Meets World, the cast wants to remember and enjoy the memories as much as the fans do.  Though I was sad Zac Efron couldn’t be there in person (*cries single tear*), seeing the other cast members reunite and laugh about old stories and audition tapes was just so lovely.  There’s a video that Lucas Grabeel took of Monique Coleman giving Corbin Bleu his East High class ring back from the final movie (He had lost his and was devastated), and seeing Corbin well up with tears made me want to cry for the rest of eternity.

They have all become so successful at what they do.  Zac is an incredibly popular actor, Vanessa and Corbin have both been on Broadway, Ashley and Lucas have enjoyed success on both sides of the television screen, and Monique has done some majorly awesome charity work.  It’s absolutely crazy to think that I, along with all of the fans of HSM have been rooting for these people for ten years now.  I’m so proud of everything they’ve done, and I can tell that they’re truly grateful for everything.

And the fact that they aired the reunion on Disney Channel was so important.  I can imagine some younger kids, about my age when I first watched it, seeing it for the first time, as well.  Laughing at the old phones and 2000s fashions, but also seeing for the first time the beauty of the story that captured all of our hearts.  With the next generation, it’s the start of something new.

I owe High School Musical a lot.  I’ve enjoyed many a sleepover with friends watching all three of the movies and danced/sang along to all three soundtracks a thousand times over.  I grew up with this movie, and I never really grew out of it.  Seriously, put “Bet On It” on, and I will transform into someone you have never seen before in your life.

In short, I will always love High School Musical.  I will be watching that movie in my rocking chair when I am eighty-three years old.  I won’t remember what I had for breakfast, but I will remember all the moves to “We’re All in This Together.”

I can’t wait for the 20-year reunion.  Once a wildcat, always a wildcat.

WHAT TEAM?!

(Hint: WILDCATS!)

Do you have a favorite memory with High School Musical?  What about another movie from your childhood?  Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!!

Singing and Satire: The Crazy World of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”

FullSizeRenderWhat would you do if you discovered that eight distant relatives stood between you and an enormous fortune, as well as a seat of power?

Last Sunday as a belated Christmas present, my parents took my brother and me to see A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City.  The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2014, and deservedly so.  It was a fabulous and absurd show, full of singing, silliness, and surprises.

The musical follows the journey of Monty Navarro, a poor, young man in the early 20th century as he discovers that his late mother was an heiress of the wealthy and powerful D’Ysquith family.  Because she married a supposedly wild, foreign musician, her family disowned her and flung her into poverty.  Monty, now an orphan, learns from a mysterious old friend of the family that he is related to the Earl of Highhurst; in fact, only eight relatives stand between Monty and the position.

As Monty writes down the story of his journey while in jail, the events of his life are reenacted on the stage.  After being denied contact with the Earl, Monty attempts to meet his other D’Ysquith relatives, starting with a frail, old priest.  When the priest mysteriously falls down the high tower of his church and dies, the audience is now “in on” Monty’s plan: to kill his way to the earldom of Highhurst.

What follows are ridiculous schemes involving poison, killer bees, beheadings, and ice skating accidents, all plotted by Monty.  Meanwhile, he finds himself caught between two love interests: the vibrant and vain Sibella Hallward, with whom he is having an affair, as she is married to a dull, rich man; and Phoebe D’Ysquith, a distant cousin who–fortunately for Monty– is not ahead of him in line for the seat of power.

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The height of the musical occurs in a musical number (which they performed at the Tony Awards) in which both women are in Monty’s home at the same time with only a set of doors between them.  The song is outlandish and hilarious, and the quick tempo displays the vocal talent of the three actors fantastically.

What really makes the show surpass others is its satire and dark humor.  Monty’s plotline mirrors that of J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; much like Finch’s book, Monty’s memoirs guide the show, as Monty, like Finch, climbs to the top via a whole lot of foul play.  Whenever Monty has an idea, he turns toward the audience, breaking the fourth wall with a look that says, “I just had an idea!” or “You know what’s coming next.”  Similarly, whenever Finch reaches a goal from his book, he turns toward the audience and smiles as the spotlight shines on only him.

Mix together How to Succeed with The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, and you’ve got A Gentleman’s Guide.  Both A Gentleman’s Guide and The Importance of Being Earnest follow young, Victorian men through a series of wild coincidences and schemes with a tone of satire toward the upper class.  They each mix humor and wit into their respective genres (musical and comedy) and keep the audience laughing during the show and thinking long after.

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The most remarkable aspect of A Gentleman’s Guide, though, is the purely talented actors.  Jefferson Mays was nominated for a Tony award for his role as the D’Ysquith family.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Mays plays not one, but eight characters, each of the relatives Monty must rid himself of to acquire the earldom of Highhurst.  Mays is such a skilled comedian and unbelievably good at quick-changes.  He plays men and women, old people and young people, gay people and straight people, and is fantastic as each character.

Also nominated for his role in A Gentleman’s Guide, Bryce Pinkham plays Monty Navarro; he has perfect comedic timing and a tenor voice I can only describe as beautiful.  Likewise, Scarlett Strallen (Sibella) and Catherine Walker (Phoebe) have stunning mezzo-soprano and soprano voices, respectively.  The ensemble also perform skillfully in their character parts; my personal favorite is Joanna Glushak, who plays Lady Eugenia, the wife of the current Earl of Highhurst who partakes in a verbal fistfight with her husband at a dinner party.

Overall, the show is full of talented people who are obviously having as much fun as the audience is.  Unfortunately, the show closes on Broadway this Sunday, January 17th, but it is touring in the U.S. currently.  I’m so glad that I got to see the show before it closes, and I recommend it to anyone looking to see a whimsical musical in a city near them.  A Gentleman’s Guide is sure to make you laugh, smile, and wonder what you would do if you were filthy rich.  (Maybe if you just win the Powerball…)

Did you see A Gentleman’s Guide?  What did you think of it?  What good musicals have you seen lately?  Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!!

Something Rotten!, A Very Potter Musical, and the Story of Satire on the Stage

Last weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to see a performance of the new Broadway musical, Something Rotten!, with my family.  It was one of the funniest, wittiest, and most unexpected shows I’ve ever seen.  It was truly a theater nerd’s dream show.  And here’s why:

This show is for theater geeks what A Very Potter Musical is for Harry Potter fans.

This might seem like an odd comparison, but I really think that it rings true.  Here are just a few similarities:

The references

Just to clarify, Something Rotten! is a musical about two brothers who are writers during the Renaissance, and the arrogant, over-the-top William Shakespeare is their main competition.  In order to find out what the “next big thing” in theater will be, Nick, one of the brothers, visits a soothsayer who informs him that what’s coming next is… musicals.

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Nostradamus, the soothsayer, then begins a huge, full-cast, number combining references from almost every classic musical there is, from Phantom of the Opera to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, from West Side Story to Avenue Q.  It’s an unbelievably clever number, and absolutely hilarious to anyone who is a big fan of musical theater (as you can see I am in one of my previous posts).

The rest of the musical is jam-packed with references to the operatic nature of Les Miserables and the weirdness of Catsand every single one has the audience shaking in their seats from laughter– a feeling all too familiar for a girl who’s watched all three musicals in the A Very Potter Musical series.

A Very Potter Musical is one of the best fan-made musicals–well, fan-made anything, really– ever created.  (It brought Darren Criss to fame.)  One of its best aspects is the constant flow of Harry Potter references.  The musicals (the original, the sequel, and A Very Potter Senior Year) bring up everything from Dumbledore’s questionable sexuality to Malfoy’s ridiculous attitude.  There are spells, creatures, and obscure characters–all of which can be recognized by a dedicated Potterhead on the other side of the screen.

Every character has his/her “thing”

The writers of both musicals have a similar approach to character: make each character have their own “thing”– typically satirical– to give a familiar yet amusing feeling to the audience.

In Something Rotten!, each character has distinct personality traits (that are more modern than Renaissance).  Nick Bottom, one of the writers, is stuck in his ways and trusts Nostradamus so excessively that he tries to produce Omelette: The Musical.”  His brother, Nigel, is as awkward as a geeky teenage boy; he’s constantly judging himself and revealing his low self-esteem to the point where his anxiety causes him to bend over, jerking as he says “No, no, no, no…”  Nigel falls in love with a Puritan girl who’s father is obviously gay yet tries desperately to hide it.  And Nick’s wife, Bea, is a 1590s feminist, dressing up as a man in order to get a good job.  (“By the year 1600, women will be equal to men,” she says with confidence.)

Likewise, each character in A Very Potter Musical has their own “thing.”  Harry is an arrogant jerk who takes all the credit for others’ hard work; Ron is constantly eating; Hermione is presumably hideous; Lord Voldemort and Professor Quirrel are practically in a romantic relationship; and Draco Malfoy is played by a flamboyant girl (the ever-talented Lauren Lopez).  Each character’s shtick makes quoting the musical even more laugh-inducing and entertaining.

The story beneath the satire

Though both musicals seem surface-y and not very serious, they still have well-thought-out storylines and deeper themes.  Something Rotten! reveals the importance of trusting family and doing what you love, not what you think other people will like.  It’s about being O.K. with failure and dusting yourself off after defeat.  A Very Potter Musical is about the triumph of good over evil and true friendship.  It shows how people should accept and support each other.

All in all, Something Rotten! was a fantastic show, and one reminiscent of my days watching A Very Potter Musical.  I had the pleasure of seeing Brian D’Arcy James (Nick) , Heidi Blickenstaff (Bea), and Kate Reinders (Portia) after the show at the stage door, and was a bit star-struck.  If only I could find a way to meet Darren Criss…

Heidi
Heidi Blickenstaff
Brian
Brian D’Arcy James

Have you seen Something Rotten! or A Very Potter Musical?  What did you think about them?  What’s your favorite medium of satire?  Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

“On Broadway”: My Top 10 Favorite Show Tunes

From the time I was in my first production of Tom Sawyer: The Musical (Yes, it exists) in 3rd grade, I’ve loved theatre.  I’ve been in 14 musicals in my lifetime, and I miss them more than anything.  So sometimes, I like to jam out to some of my favorite show tunes.  Here is my Top 10(ish) list of my favorite songs from musicals (which is in no way a critical look at Broadway but just some of my favorites to listen to):

10. “Anything Goes”— Anything Goes (1987)

One of my top favorites is a classic sung by one of the Queens of Broadway, Patti LuPone.  I had the pleasure of singing this song in a high school production of Anything Goes, and listening to it just brings me back to one of my favorite times in high school.  And nobody can belt it like Patti.

9. “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here”— Annie (1999)

For my sixth birthday, I received a VHS tape of the 1999 movie, Annie, and I fell in love.  For most theatre kids, Annie is a drag (and having been in it in grade school, I understand why), but this movie soundtrack really brings me back to my childhood.  This song was what started my obsession with another Queen of Broadway (and the record-holder for performer with the most Tony Awards), Audra McDonald.  (The movie also has an all-star cast, including Kathy Bates, Victor Garber, Alan Cumming, and Kristin Chenoweth.)

8. “Gold” — Once (2011)

I was lucky enough to see this Best Musical-winning show twice (no pun intended) on Broadway before it closed, and this song was definitely the most magical.  Each of the performers played their own instruments, and the a cappella version really highlights the chilling and beautiful harmonies in the song.

7. “Goodbye”— Catch Me If You Can (2011)

Despite its lack of success, Catch Me If You Can is one of my favorite musicals, and I was overjoyed to see it performed in Philadelphia.  This song made me fall in love with the ever-perfect Aaron Tveit, who had previously performed in Next to Normal and went on to play Enjolras in the movie version of Les Miserables.  The note at the end of “Goodbye” blows me away every time I listen to it.

6. “Opening Sequence: The New World”— Songs for a New World (1995)

I’ve never actually seen Songs for a New World, but I got to perform this song in a charity event during my sophomore year in high school, and it’s one of the most powerful songs from a musical I’ve ever heard.  The deliberate lyrics and striking harmonies were so empowering to sing, and I hope that one day I’ll be able to see it performed live.

5. “A Way Back to Then”[title of show] (2009)

I saw my brother perform in [title of show] at his college, and this song definitely hit home for me.  It’s not a big soprano song (which as an alto, I appreciate), but it has all the force of one, yet with a more casual vibe.  In the song the character, Heidi, tells a story about growing up, losing touch, and then finding what you needed in the end.

4. “Superboy and the Invisible Girl”  Next to Normal (2009)

I also saw my brother perform in Next to Normal, which is the most realistic and important show I’ve seen about the struggles of family life and mental illness.  I adore this song, mostly for its unusual time signature and its flowing melody.  The song also highlights the complex relationship between a perfectionist daughter and her grieving mother.

3. “Close Every Door to Me”— Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1999)

Joseph is just about every theatre kid’s least favorite show, but I grew up watching a DVD of Donny Osmond singing with a choir of children while dancing around in a rainbow coat and a wig of long, flowing locks.  Needless to say, “Close Every Door to Me” is the most intense song in the show.  Donny Osmond is sufficiently dramatic as he belts with his beautiful voice while dressed in an awkward white loin cloth.  (Is that what prisoners wore in biblical times?)

2. “Gods Love Nubia” and “Easy as Life”— Aida (1998)

When I saw my local public high school’s performance of Aida, it became one of my all-time favorite musicals. (So I couldn’t pick just one song!)  I cried watching the performance of “Gods Love Nubia,” a beautiful, anthemic hymn beginning as a cappella and rising in volume to include the whole chorus and orchestra.  “Easy as Life” has to be one of the most powerful Broadway songs ever written, with its tone of desperation in choosing between heritage and passion.

1. “The Wizard and I,” “No Good Deed,” and “Defying Gravity”— Wicked (2003)

Who would have guessed that Wicked is my favorite musical?!  That’s not typical at all!!!  But honestly, I love Wicked so much, I couldn’t even choose my favorite among three of its songs.  It was the first musical I ever saw on Broadway, and I’ve been dying to see it again ever since.  “The Wizard and I” captured my thirteen-year-old heart and still has it for keeps, with Idina Menzel’s youthful yet dynamic voice and foreshadowing hiding in every corner of its lyrics.  “No Good Deed” projects important messages about the dichotomy between charity and selfishness and is the ultimate becoming-a-villain song.  And “Defying Gravity”?  There’s no need to explain.  The song sings for itself.

What are your favorite show tunes?  Do you agree with my list of favorites?  Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!!