returning to an atmosphere fond and familiar where she believes she will be accepted again. The tragedy in this song is that although she has found happiness here, this is not the return to the screen that she hopes for. I could have chosen a wealth of performances for my video link: Patti LuPone the London original, Elaine Paige whose voice is always outstanding; but instead I've opted for the original Broadway Norma, Glenn Close, whose performance earned her the Tony for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 1995. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WYMY7-GchU&feature=related
Fallen Angel - I'm not a huge fan of them, so this is the only song from a jukebox musical that I am allowing onto my list, because quite frankly (excuse the pun), Jersey Boys, telling the story of The Four Seasons, is the only jukebox musical that I have enjoyed every aspect of. Opening on Broadway in 2005, and the West End in 2008 at the Prince of Edward Theatre, the production has won four Tony Awards and an Olivier Award, as well as opening in other major theatre cities across the globe. This song comes at a point in the story where things seem to be looking up. Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudino have paid off Tommy DeVito's debts, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons continue to be successful, but the story soon turns tragic when Frankie's daughter Francine dies from a drug overdose. In this song, Frankie mourns, makes peace with, and says goodbye to his daughter in a truly beautiful and heartbreaking moment in the production. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19ZTqGdx4k4
Maybe I Like it This Way - From Andrew Lippa's off-Broadway production of The Wild Party in 2000, based on American poet Joseph Moncure March's 1928 poem of the same name. The musical follows a party held by Vaudeville performers Queenie, a showgirl and Burrs, a clown. Their fiery and dysfunctional relationship is brought to light during the course of the party, at the hands of Mr Black, who Queenie falls for. Tragedy ensues and a dramatic denouement scene makes this musical a must see for all lovers of fringe theatre. This particular song comes at a moving in the party. Queenie is soul searching, unable to decide if she is truly unhappy with Burrs or if she in fact prefers her relationship to work like this. The characters aren't exactly the most lovable, indeed, they all have their faults, but they are also some of the most human characters. Lippa's intriguing score which mixes jazz with Vaudeville won a Drama Desk Award, and the original cast included modern day Broadway legends such as Julia Murney, Brian D'Arcy James, Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs. The show later enjoyed a run at the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and again in 2008 in Brooklyn.
Tell Me on a Sunday - Tell Me on a Sunday is the title song from Andrew Lloyd Webber's 2003 one-act, one-woman musical of the same name. Previously the musical was the first act of the 1982 show Song and Dance, which incorporates both music and ballet (as the title implies!) The production tells the story of 'the girl' who moves to New York and later LA from England in search of love and success, and the failed romances she engages in along the way. As you would imagine, this song chapters yet another break up in 'the girl's' quest for love, yet for me what makes this song truly beautiful is the pure simplicity with which it is delivered, allowing for the actress to truly explore her emotions and put her personal stamp on the song from her experiences. To be honest, I struggled to find a video version that I liked or wasn't by Sarah Brightman, so here's Denise Van Outen singing it on Parkinson, prior to her run in the show.
Loose Ends - This song is on the list because I feel as though I have a strong personal connection with the song, that comes from John Dempsey and Cameron Mackintosh's 2000 musical The Witches of Eastwick, based on the novel by John Updike. The story is based around the lives of Alex, Jane and Sukie, who are bored with their mundane and overly scrutinised lives in the village of Eastwick. One night, they all wish for a man to come and spice up their lives...but they get a little bit more than they bargained for in the form of the devilish Darryl Van Horne! This song is Sukie's attempt to comfort the newly orphaned Jennifer, with her own experience of never knowing her father. Being an orphan myself, I found it both beautiful and heartbreaking hearing Dempsey's lyrics, and it is for that reason, and perhaps not the musical qualities of the song that it is on my list. The show was nominated for four Olivier Awards in 2001, but failed to win any, before having short runs in Australia, Russia and the Czech Republic, to mixed reviews. The 2007 production in Virginia fared much more favourably, as did the 2008 UK tour, but it has yet to return to a major stage.
Papa, Can You Hear Me? - Ok so this is technically from a musical film, but I think this song HAS to be on this list. It's emotional, it's beautiful, it's slightly hypnotic, and it was sung by the legend that is Barbra Streisand. From the 1983/4 film Yentl directed by Streisand, based on Leah Napolin and Isaac Bashevis Singer's play of the same name. The story is about a Polish Jewish girl who dresses up as a man (a la Twelfth Night) in order to be educated in Talmudic Law after her father dies. The film's score was composed by Michael Legrand won the Academy Award, and Streisand became the first woman to win a Golden Globe for Best Director. The theme of the song speaks for itself. Yentl is singing to her late father, seeking help and guidance in her attempt to study at a Jewish religious school. I think with this song I should just let you hear for yourself why this song has made the list.
Younger Than Springtime - Another Rodgers and Hammerstein blinder here from the 1949 musical South Pacific. I have to say, this is probably third in my list of their musicals, but it still has some fantastic songs, and it's considered to be one of Broadway's greatest musicals, winning ten Tony Awards, and a further seven for the 2008 revival. The 1958 film was also successful, being nominated for three Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. Set on a South Pacific island during World War two, the plot follows navy nurse Nellie, who falls in love with a French plantation owner named Emile. Emile is sent to spy on the Japanese, and Nellie who originally rejected him realises that she cannot be without the man she loves. This song is actually sung by an American Marine Lieutenant who has fallen in love with a Tonkinese girl named Liat. I chose this song rather than Some Enchanted Evening for example, because it defines the naivety and idealistic nature of young romance. The show opened at the Majestic Theatre Broadway before moving to the Broadway Theatre in 1953, and has also enjoyed runs at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the Barbican Theatre in London, as well as both US and UK national tours. Here's familiar Broadway and Glee actor Matthew Morrison singing the song in 2008.