“Nobody Told Me” – No Strings
Music and Lyrics: Richard Rodgers
The term ‘flash mob’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary on this day in 2004 to describe a random, sudden public performance by an assembly of people. It is unlikely that a flash mob would form during this low-key number from this musical about a whirlwind romance between a fashion model and a writer in Paris. The score is so subdued, it uses no string instruments as the title suggests. Now that ‘flash mob’ is an official term though, you won’t be sitting on the sideline thinking, “Nobody told me what this is” if you happen to catch one.
“Hit Me with a Hot Note and Watch Me Bounce” – Various
Music: Duke Ellington Lyrics: Don George
An exclamation of swing and scat, this song was featured in a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night entitled Play On! as well as the all-singing, all-dancing Swing!—both shows punctuated with an appropriate exclamation point. The punchy jazz hit was also used in the musical revue Sophisticated Ladies. It remains as popular today as its composer, Duke Ellington, who bounced back into public interest when he appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival on this day in 1956, giving a much-needed boost to his career.
“Blame It on the Summer Night” – Rags
Music: Charles Strouse Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
A life full of promise awaited the thousands of immigrants willing to make the journey to America in the early 20th century, the subject of this musical. This sultry number sung by a woman feeling gloriously liberated as she soaks in her moonlit surroundings will keep you snug and toasty all night long. Tonight, enjoy the warmth of summer with this sizzling tune.
“Hold Me Bat Boy” – Bat Boy
Music and Lyrics: Laurence O’Keefe
The audience is given exposition in this terrific opening number and prepared for the harrowing tale to follow of a child that was born half-bat and half-human. The outrageously fun, campy musical is based on a story that ran in the tabloids, but it could actually be true. After all, stranger things have occurred, such as the birth of Dolly the sheep on this day in 1996, the first animal to be cloned.
“Fireworks” – Do Re Mi
Music: Jule Styne Lyrics: Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Get ready to celebrate Independence Day with this explosive number from a musical about trying to get rich in the jukebox business. When record producer John Henry Wheeler falls for girl-next-door Tilda Mullen, their feelings erupt in a burst of energy and music that will leave you crackling like a Roman candle.
“Tom” – Hello Again
Music and Lyrics: Michael John LaChiusa
This song is in honor of prolific British playwright Tom Stoppard who was born on this day in 1937. It is a sensuous number in which a young wife reminisces about a romantic liaison with a college boy. Based on a German play entitled Reigen by Arthur Schnitzler, the musical focuses on various trysts throughout the 20th century.
“Never Finish Before You Are Finished” – The Flight of the Lawnchair Man
Music and Lyrics: Robert Lindsey-Nassif
This musical is loosely based on the story of Larry Walters, a man who attached helium balloons to a lawnchair and took flight on this day in 1982. In this zippy number, Jerry Gorman is visited by Charles Lindbergh while up in the air who encourages him to go all the way across the ocean to France. If you need a song to help motivate you to continue a task, fly no further.