“Round and Round” – A Tale of Two Cities
Music and Lyrics: Jill Santoriello
First it was a book. Then it was a film. Round and round it goes. Charles Dickens’ novel about the French Revolution is so enduring, it has seen adaptations on film, television, and the stage, including an opera which premiered on this day in 1953. Several of the characters celebrate in this song from one of many musical adaptations which shows the pattern of seeing popular works adapted into Broadway musicals. While this trend may not offer original stories, the new music is certainly something to celebrate.
“Fight the Fight” – From Here to Eternity
Music: Stuart Brayson Lyrics: Tim Rice
This musical adaptation of James Jones’ novel concerns a unit of U.S. soldiers stationed in Hawaii in 1941 prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. During this empowering number, Private Prewitt refuses to box when pressured, wrestling with the guilt of an injury he caused in the past. Remember, always do what is right for you in life and not allow yourself to be influenced by others.
“Theatre is Fun” – Coraline
Music and Lyrics: Stephin Merritt
It never hurts to have a reminder that theatre is fun, which is one of the main reasons why it is so universal. This daffy song from a musical based on the novella by Neil Gaiman cuts off prematurely, but it is enjoyable nonetheless. If you can, go see a show today and remind yourself why you love the theatre.
“Topsy Turvy” – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
Happy Musical Day! Today you must sing everything you say… April Fools. The citizens of Paris celebrate a similar holiday with a bit of gypsy flair in this jubilant number from this musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel and the Disney animated film. Be sure to keep your guard up and also your humor on this topsy turvy day.
“I’ll Buy You a Star” – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Music: Arthur Schwartz Lyrics: Dorothy Fields
The first permanent star on Hollywood Boulevard was completed on this day in 1960, although this is not the star being referred to in this sincere request for a second chance. Crooned by the father of a working-class family struggling to get by at the beginning of the 20th century, the song closes out act one of this musical based on Betty Smith’s enormously successful autobiographical novel.
“Liaisons” – A Little Night Music
Music and Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
Amorous but amoral novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses was first published on this day in 1782 detailing sordid liaisons among the French aristocracy. Similar, but less scandalous, this musical about the romantic liaisons between a group of people one summer in Sweden is an elegant and rueful look at love and lust. In this number, the elderly Madame Armfeldt reminisces about her liaisons when she was a much younger woman.
“Words, Words, Words” – The Witches of Eastwick
Music: Dana P. Rowe Lyrics: John Dempsey
A devilishly handsome smooth-talker coaxes the introverted Sukie to open up in this droll number from this musical about magic, seduction, and scandal in a sleepy New England town. Sometimes you just have to find the right words to express yourself. Thankfully, the author who wrote the novel which inspired this musical found his words: John Updike, born on this day in 1932.