Influential Showtunes

Playbill published an interview with Todd Graff, who is the Writer and Director of the Movie Camp which I adore. In it he talks about his most influential showtunes. He has some great picks in the article: “Please Hello” from Pacific Overtures,”At The Ballet” from A Chorus Line, “Book Report” from You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, “Every Day A Little Death” from A Little Night Music, If I Had A Million” from The Me Nobody Knows, “Carousel” from Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris, “Magic To Do” from Pippin, “Turkey Lurkey Time” from Promises, Promise, Night Letter” from Two Gentlemen Of Verona, “Save The People” from Godspell, “Mama, Look Sharp” from 1776.

This got me to thinking, what are mine? Please note influential to me does not mean best, nor probably in the sense of the article, influenced my work. Here I’m thinking of Tunes that made me a Musical Fan!

Andrew Lloyd Webber: Growing up I wasnt a Sondheim girl  like most musical lovers. I was a Andrew Lloyd Webber girl. There are many song of him that inspired me so choosing a few is hard. Here is a brief selection:

  • Memory: The first musical I ever saw on the stage was Cats. I was 5. Therefore “Memory” has a soft spot in my heart. 
  • Only You: The other show that when i was little totally moved me was Starlight Express (come on I was little!!) Therefore Only you, was a constant song I would sing in the shower. I was very dissapointed when in the remade version of Starlight, they changed this song for the new Help me Make up my Heart. It never compared.  
  • Love Changes Everything 
  • Anything but Lonely ( Aspects of Love) 
  • Another Suitcase in Another Hall 
  • Tell Me on a Sunday  

Disney tunes: I have to include them because they were super influential in my life (I even worked for Disney Theatricals!). I think my two most influential songs are:

  • God Love Nubia, Aida
  • Circle of Life, Lion King 

Other Shows

  • Seasons of Love, Rent: I remember listening to the Rent CD with a friend in High School – It was one of the first shows I probably knew by heart begging to end. So many of its songs were influential but I think the main one was Seasons of Love. 
  • My Favorite Things, Sound of Music – Who didn’t watch this show when they were little and not wish that they were part of a singing family! (was I the only one? Ok I wanted a singing family minus the Nazi occupation). Not to be redundant, but My Favorite Things was always my favorite song. 
  • Wouldn’t it be loverly – My Fair Lady – Like with Sound of music, the movie made me fall in love with Musicals (one more reason why they should make better movie musicals, it has a way of reaching people before they can reach a stage, and also preserving wonderful works, when their time of the stages are done). 
  • Summer Nights,  Grease: This was the first musical I performed in, so talk about influence! (it didn’t hurt that i know all the songs by heart way before as I think I watched the movie millions of times, plus I think I have seen it over 3 times as well on the stage). 
  • Getting to Know You – The King & I My grandfather introduced me to the King & I movie and I was an instant fan.  
  • Maybe, Annie – First show I directed. But there is one song that always pops up in my head – Maybe. 
  • One Day More, Les Miserables: I love the epicness 

I asked a theater loving friend for their tunes, and here is what they said:

  • Aida, Elaborate Lives; Because I saw it with the original cast and it made me cry. 
  • Carrying the Banner – Newsies – The first song i discovered all by myself, without any other influence, that moved me 
  • At the End of the Day – Les Mis, Its what we would listen in roadtrips with my parents and i was always amazed at the size of the chorus

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