Songs from Musicals: #1, “I Still Believe,” from Miss Saigon

Honorable mentions: “Bui-Doi,” “The Fall of Saigon” On a scale from Madame Butterfly to M. Butterfly, Miss Saigon is probably a D. It almost certainly fails the Bechdel test. In a less enlightened time, Jonathan Pryce played a Vietnamese national. It is one of the most problematic musicals of the past twenty-five years. People love… Read More Songs from Musicals: #1, “I Still Believe,” from Miss Saigon

Songs from Musicals: #2, “Pity the Child,” from Chess

Honorable mentions: “The Deal/No Deal,” “You and I (Reprise)” Like Grenada, Chess is a victim of American late Cold War insecurity. In the British version, the Soviet grandmaster beats the American grandmaster to take the latter’s championship before defecting, and with a little help from the American, topples the Soviet challenger for his crown. In… Read More Songs from Musicals: #2, “Pity the Child,” from Chess

Songs from Musicals: #4, “As Long As You’re Mine,” from Wicked

Honorable mentions: “Dancing Through Life,” “The Wizard and I” I dunno if any of you guys want to listen to this song in German, but I highly recommend it. All about that “Solang Ich Dich Hab.” As far as I know, there is no other love song that begins with the same note that “As… Read More Songs from Musicals: #4, “As Long As You’re Mine,” from Wicked

Songs from Musicals: #5, “Touch Me,” from Spring Awakening

Honorable mentions: “The Guilty Ones,” “Those You’ve Known” Spring Awakening, let it not be said too loudly, maybe functions better as a concept album than as a musical. I love this musical to pieces, and I’ve even seen it a couple times in different contexts, but the book is not the equal of the music.… Read More Songs from Musicals: #5, “Touch Me,” from Spring Awakening

Songs from Musicals: #6, “Being Alive,” from Company

Honorable mentions: “Someone is Waiting,” “Company” “What do you get?” This is the third song in a row about marriage, and while that’s totally unintentional, it’s created an interesting streak in this series not unlike a sparkly striation in an otherwise dull rock. “Now/Later/Soon” is getting less than you bargained for in your marriage; “Nobody… Read More Songs from Musicals: #6, “Being Alive,” from Company

Songs from Musicals: #7, “Nobody Needs to Know,” from The Last Five Years

Honorable mentions: “Moving Too Fast,” “If I Didn’t Believe in You” If you’ve already seen my post on the film version of The Last Five Years, which went up about three and a half weeks ago, then you might imagine that I’m burned out on talking about this musical. You’re wrong. I will never be burned out… Read More Songs from Musicals: #7, “Nobody Needs to Know,” from The Last Five Years

Songs from Musicals: #8, “Now/Later/Soon,” from A Little Night Music

Honorable mentions: “The Miller’s Son,” “Remember?” I love three hour movies (and twelve-episode miniseries), I love eight hundred page novels and histories, and I am a huge sucker for any showtune that lasts more than seven minutes. “Now/Later/Soon” is, depending on what recording you own, either one track or three; in my opinion, seeing as… Read More Songs from Musicals: #8, “Now/Later/Soon,” from A Little Night Music

Songs from Musicals: #9, “A Light in the Dark,” from Next to Normal

Honorable mentions: “Light,” “I Am the One” Next to Normal always stops me when I listen to it; it leads the league in single lines which are breathtaking because the air has been knocked out of you. “A Light in the Dark,” the second song in the first act where a man in Diana’s family… Read More Songs from Musicals: #9, “A Light in the Dark,” from Next to Normal

Songs from Musicals: #10, “I’d Be Surprisingly Good for You,” from Evita

Honorable mentions: “Waltz for Eva and Che,” “A New Argentina” Depending on which Evita you know, your opinion of Eva herself is necessarily changed. I’ve always been partial to the original Broadway version with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, more for LuPone than anything else; I adore Patinkin’s Che, but LuPone sings a practically impossible… Read More Songs from Musicals: #10, “I’d Be Surprisingly Good for You,” from Evita