“Defying Gravity” – Wicked
Music and Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
From the composer who penned the stunning score for the animated film The Prince of Egypt comes this delectable musical about a misunderstood green girl in the merry old land of Oz. In this number which closes Act One in a truly dramatic fashion, Elphaba astounds all when she takes flight for the first time, defying gravity and the Wizard in what will cause her to become known as the Wicked Witch of the West. The first woman to defy gravity was a Russian who traveled into space on this day in 1963, leaving the U.S. green with envy as the first American woman to enter orbit did not do so until twenty years later.
“The Lights of Long Ago” – A Christmas Carol
Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens
On this day in 1976, Yankee Candle Co. officially incorporated, one of many companies to specialize in the lights of long ago. Light a candle in a dark room, pretend you’re Ebenezer Scrooge, and allow the memories of the past to sweep over you as you listen to this number from a musical adaptation of the Dickens classic.
“A Night We’ll Never Forget” – Carrie
Music: Michael Gore Lyrics: Dean Pitchford
Make tonight a night you’ll never forget with this stimulating tune from a notorious flop that is now a cult favorite. The students are all preparing for prom night. Little do they know, it truly will be a night they’ll never forget in this terrifying musical based on Stephen King’s novel about a sheltered girl with telekinetic powers.
“One Second and a Million Miles” – The Bridges of Madison County
Music and Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown
This duet is an intensely passionate plea from one lover to another where the married Francesca deals with the prospect of leaving her family to run away with the man she loves. It is but one of several sweeping numbers from a lush score in this musical based on the novel by Robert James Waller. As you make choices today, remember a decision can be made in a second but there may be a million miles ahead to deal with the consequences.
“And Then There Were None” – Spring Awakening
Music: Duncan Sheik Lyrics: Steven Sater
Agatha Christie’s famous mystery And Then There Were None was serialized in a U.S. newspaper beginning on this day until July 1, 1939 before being published as a novel in 1940. This musical is set in the late 1800s but uses alternative rock music to tell the story of teenagers coming of age in a sexually oppressed society. During this number, a desperate young man loses hope as he receives a written reply from an adult friend denying his request to aid him in fleeing the country.
“The Weekly Volcano Press” – Little Women
Music: Jason Howland Lyrics: Mindi Dickstein
This musical is an astonishing take on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott about four sisters growing up in rural New England. In this ambitious number narrated by the fiery Jo which opens the second act, a short story she has written comes to life in conjunction with the tale of how she sold the piece to a fictional news cycle. If there truly were a Weekly Volcano Press, the eruption of Mount St. Helens on this day in 1980 would probably have dominated its headlines that year.
“Off to the Races” – The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Music and Lyrics: Rupert Holmes
Television viewers went off to the races on this day in 1949 when the first televised coverage of the Kentucky Derby took place. As this high-spirited song gallops on, the audience is reminded to follow the clues in this musical whodunit based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished murder mystery. This is important because the outcome of the show depends on the audience members, who vote to determine the killer/ending.