Freaking Awesome Moments from Various Shows that Continually Blow My Mind to Pieces

Without spending a shit ton of time explaining the rest of this post, I’ll just let it speak for itself. Here’s a list of little things from shows I just find unbelievably cool, with accompanying links to corresponding clips (save for #15).

1. The last “I wish…” Cinderella squeezes in at the very end of “Into the Woods”, right before the stinger… How awesome is that? Every single time.

2. The key change leading the verse intro into the beginning of “Defying Gravity” (“I don’t want it. I can’t want it anymore…”). That switch from E Major to Db Major is absolutely golden. You’re just set up and waiting for C# minor, and Schwartz hits you in the face with the F natural. So awesome. Watch it here.

3. Pretty much all of Lynn Ahrens’ lyrics in Once on this Island. The specificity and intimate nature of her words practically make this show.

4. The way Sondheim’s rhymes land in “Have I Got a Girl for You” in “Company”.

Boy! To be in your shoes,
what I wouldn’t give!
I mean, the freedom to go out and live!
And, as for settling down and all that,
Marriage may be where it’s been,
but it’s not where it’s at.

5. All of the accompaniment in Ryan Scott Oliver’s 35MM. It’s so weird and unsettling. I love it.

6. In Floyd Collins, the way Adam Guettel arrives at the answer to the riddle in “The Riddle Song” is just nuts. (The Quarrryyyyyy!!!!!!!)

7. Well, pretty much all of Floyd Collins, really.

8. That brilliant vocal ostinato that starts and permeates “The Skate” in Kirsten Child’s The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds her Chameleon Skin. No words. Just awesome. (Listen here – it’s Track 5.)

9. The last four measures of “Way Back to Paradise” from Michael John LaChiusa’s Marie Christine.

10. “He Wanted A Girl” from Sybille Pearson and LaChiusa’s Giant. The phrase “He wanted a girl who cries porcelain tears” always has me gushing.

11. And one more for Michael John, let’s also point out “Moving Uptown” from The Wild Party, and his setting of “I’m a female who has driven men to homicide,” and “I’m a creature who has sacrificed love for her art.” It’s sexy, is what it is.

12. “Sonya Alone” from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy is just too beautiful not to mention.

13. “I’ll Be Here” from Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days. The storytelling in that song is breathtaking. Audra McDonald seems to like it too.

14. “Sitting Becalmed in the Lee of Cuttyhunk” from William Finn’s A New Brain, particularly the melodic contour of the line, “In the Lee, In the Lee, In the Lee, In the Lee, In the Lee, In the Lee, In the Lee, In the Lee of Cuttyhunk” is so delightful.

15. The way Peter Stone and Maury Yeston pass time (about 3 days, I believe) using the dinner service scene in the first act of Titanic. That sequence is so useful. They just get so much done with the simplest idea.

16. Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World is beautiful in so many ways, but “Christmas Lullaby” knocks the wind out of me. In the chorus, the melodic leap on “Glory, oh, Glory I will sing…” is one of the most stunning moments in that show.

17. The way Little Edie switches in and out of states of mind in the song “Around the World” from Grey Gardens is wonderfully upsetting and downright terrifying.

18. I’ll give Adam Guettel another mention for Myths and Hymns and the song “Come to Jesus.” There are absolutely no words to express how the chorus “Come to Jesus just now…” sits on the ear. So bone chilling. I will never not be speechless at the end of this.

19. “It Could Be Him” from the musical “London Road” by Adam Cork and Alecky Blythe is one of the coolest duets I’ve ever heard. This show was legitimately life changing for me as a writer.

What are your favorite freaking awesome moments?

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