“At the Ballet” – A Chorus Line
Music: Marvin Hamlisch Lyrics: Edward Kleban
A searing look at a dancers audition is the basis for this Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical which takes place on a bare stage. Throughout the show, the dancers bare their souls and in this rueful song, a few of them recall how lovely an escape it was at the ballet. Speaking of which, Congress gave the American Ballet Theatre the distinction of “America’s National Ballet Company” on this day in 2006.
“Hey, Look Me Over!” – Wildcat
Music: Cy Coleman Lyrics: Carolyn Leigh
A great comedienne left us when Lucille Ball passed away on this day in 1989. The actress best known for the sitcom I Love Lucy only ever made one star appearance on Broadway in this musical where she played a feisty oil prospector and the titular wildcat. During this number, she tells her friend how to greet the world with confidence and gusto.
“Come Rain or Come Shine” – St. Louis Woman
Music: Harold Arlen Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Come rain or come shine, take some time for yourself today. This song will help put you in the leisurely mood. Its relaxing rhythm and amorous lyrics caused it to become a standard while the musical it came from is practically forgotten. The show’s obscurity could be due to comparison with the musical Meet Me in St. Louis, which was already hugely popular by the time this opened on Broadway and remains so today.
“I Don’t Want to Know” – Dear World
Music and Lyrics: Jerry Herman
Martita Hunt won a Tony Award for playing Countess Aurelia in The Madwoman of Chaillot on this day in 1949. Twenty years later, Angela Lansbury took home a Tony for playing the same role in this musical version of the play. In this number, the eccentric countess expresses a fervent desire to live in her own little dream and remain willfully ignorant of life’s troubles.