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: #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

Songs from Musicals: #15, “Gethsemane,” from Jesus Christ Superstar

Honorable mentions: “Heaven on Their Minds,” “The Temple” (Got here just in time for Easter. Boom.) I wish ministers would spend more time noticing that Jesus of Nazareth was a man, a real historical person. This is basically indisputable; one can honestly and intelligently argue about his birthplace, the message of his ministry, and his… Read More Songs from Musicals: #15, “Gethsemane,” from Jesus Christ Superstar

Songs from Musicals: #16, “Elaborate Lives,” from Aida

Honorable mentions: “How I Know You,” “Not Me” Aida hit Broadway in 2000, about four years after Rent did, and they bear surprisingly strong similarities. Both of them want to be socially conscious: Aida is Romeo and Juliet for race (though it could say significantly more about race than it does), while race is just… Read More Songs from Musicals: #16, “Elaborate Lives,” from Aida

Songs from Musicals: #49, “Any Dream Will Do,” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Honorable mentions:  “One More Angel in Heaven,” “Joseph’s Coat” There’s a part in Gangs of New York where Happy Jack sees Johnny cradling a music box he intends to give to Jenny, smacks it out of Johnny’s hand with his billy club, listens to it briefly, and then says, “Not my favorite tune.” This is more… Read More Songs from Musicals: #49, “Any Dream Will Do,” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat