Monday, August 8, 2011


Some of the snootier set of theatregoers love to name-drop to all of their friends about all of the celebrities they've see onstage and in the house.  It usually goes something like this: "I stage-doored at Spring Awakening, and Lea Michele was so sweet!  She signed my poster and even posed for a picture!  We're Facebook friends now!"  I'll admit that some of the fun of the "Broadway experience" is seeing famous people work and/or enjoy a show.
Theatre composers sure aren't immune to the name-drop, either.  Many times, it happens because the show has real-life people in them.  Look at Titanic, The Jersey Boys, Ragtime and even this season's Catch Me If You Can.  But even shows that are purely fiction will have songs and books that name-drop to add a certain ring of authenticity.  This season's upcoming revival of Annie has both!  FDR appears in the show and the song "We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover!" name-drops in the title and throughout the catchy tune.

Here are just a few lines from songs that include the names of the famous.  Can you match the line to the show and to the description of the person named?

A lucky fan gets her picture with Aaron Tveit
outside the Booth Theatre at next to normal

  1. "Now gifted humans like Vincent Youmans might think that your song is bad..."
  2. "I did it so there'd be a trial, and Charlie would get to be a witness, and he'd be on TV, and he'd save the world!..."
  3. "I want to be Mother Teresa, Sally Ride, Lucille Ball..." (3 answers below)
  4. "Like they're in a movie and never forget that what they want is - half smile - demi sourire - David Niven.  Put on a bold countenance, both tragic and amused."
  5. "He was famous in proverb and famous in rhyme, a long while before Queen Victoria's accession."
  6. "And when the beef comes out you do the carvin'.  You hate Tom Cruise but you love Lee Marvin." (2 answers below)
  7. "As for you, Troy Donahue, I know what you wanna do.  You got your crust, I'm no object of lust..."
  8. "So we call upon you all to hold your horse's reins before you solve this Dickens of a crime!"
  9. "I'll always be Alice Toklas, if you'll be Gertrude Stein." (1 answer below)
  10. "Robert Goulet, Robert Goulet!  My God, Robert Goulet!"


A.  British actor known for his thin moustache, The Pink Panther, and for being a suave, international star.
B.  Gravelly voiced American actor known for Westerns (including Paint Your Wagon) and tough guys.
C.  "Helter Skelter" murderer.
D.  The first American woman in space.
E.  American actor and future star of the film version of Rock of Ages.
F.  Classic British author, responsible for the basis at least 3 Broadway musicals.
G.  Lesbian lovers and American expatriots in turn of the century Paris.
H.  Nobel Prize winning nun, known for her work in Calcutta.
I.  A Broadway composer and producer who wrote "Tea for Two."
J.  Deep-voiced baritone and star of Camelot.
K.  The First Lady of American Television Comedy.
L.  Monarch of Britain at the end of the 19th Century.
M.  1950's heart throb and film star

a.  "Man" from The Full Monty
b.  "Bosom Buddies" from Mame
c.  "Off to the Races" from The Mystery of Edwin Drood
d.  "I Want It All" from Baby
e.  "Hello: Twelve, Hello: Thirteen" from A Chorus Line
f.  "Give Them What They Want" from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
g.  "You're the Top" from Anything Goes
h.  "Old Deuteronomy" from Cats
i.  "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" from Grease
j.  "Another National Anthem" from Assassins

Look for the answers next Sunday!

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