As the year draws to a close, it is once again time to take a look back at the best (and occasionally the worst) in theatre in 2011. First up: the best songs of the year. These are the 10 songs that I found the most memorable, catchy...worthy of repeat listening. They represent their shows the best and they also have something to say about the characters who sing them, and the situation in which they are sung. They have the best, most interesting and/or clever lyrics. It was hard to narrow it down to just 10 songs. And be sure to let me know which songs you liked the best from this year!
The 10 Best New Broadway Songs (2011 Edition)
- "How 'Bout a Dance" from Bonnie and Clyde, music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Don Black, as sung by Laura Osnes
- "You Love Who You Love" from Bonnie and Clyde, music by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Don Black, as sung by Laura Osnes and Melissa Van Der Schyff
- "If the World Should End" from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge, as sung by Reeve Carney and Jennifer Damiano
- "(Our)Family Tree" from Catch Me If You Can, music Marc Shaiman, lyrics Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, as sung by Linda Hart, Nick Wyman, Kerry Butler, Aaron Tveit and The Strong Family Singers
- "We Belong" from Priscilla Queen of the Desert, music and lyrics by Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro, as sung by Will Swensen, Nick Adams, Tony Sheldon and Company
- "Hello" from The Book of Mormon, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, as sung by Andrew Rannells, Josh Gad, the Mormon Boys
- "The Pinstripes Are All That They See" from Catch Me If You Can, music Marc Shaiman, lyrics Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, as sung by Tom Wopat, Aaron Tveit and Women
- "Sal Tlay Ka Siti" from The Book of Mormon, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, as sung by Nikki M. James
- "Boy Falls From the Sky" from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge, as sung by Reeve Carney
- "Hold On" from Lysistrata Jones, music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn, as sung by Jason Tam, Patti Murin and Liz Mikel
The Best Scores of 2011
Best Score - Musical Drama: Bonnie and Clyde. Music by Frank Wildhorn. Lyrics by Don Black
Best Score - Musical Comedy: The Book of Mormon. Music and Lyrics by Robert Lopez, Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Best Orchestration: Catch Me If You Can. Orchestrated by Marc Shaiman and Larry Blank
I also picked my five favorite "new versions" of Broadway classics from this year's revivals. These songs have been redone to modern effect, but also represent their show best. They are classic and newly contemporary.
The Best "New Versions" of Broadway Classics
The following revivals opened on Broadway in 2011: Anything Goes, Follies, Godspell, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
- "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow/Love Will See Us Through" from Follies, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, as sung by Lora Lee Gayer, Kirsten Scott, Nick Verina and Christian Delcroix
- "Grand Old Ivy" from How to Succeed, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, as sung by Daniel Radcliffe, John Larroquette and Men
- "The Story of Lucy and Jessie" from Follies, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, as sung by Jan Maxwell and the Gentlemen of the Ensemble
- "Turn Back, O Man" from Godspell, music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, as sung by Morgan James and Company
- "On the Willows" from Godspell, music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, as sung by Wallace Smith
Coming up next week: The 10 Best Showstopping Production Numbers of 2011!
(Videos from YouTube: Bonnie and Clyde from Broadway's Best Shows; Follies from the Kennedy Center Production. No copyright infringement intended.)
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