Spotify Playlist: Broadway Divas

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This week’s playlist is brought to you by the brightest Broadway divas, both classic and contemporary:

Defying Gravity – Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, Wicked
The first song comes from a modern classic, Wicked. Though slow to start, this song picks up around the three-minute mark and ends with one of the most iconic sequences currently on Broadway.

Rose’s Turn – Patti LuPone, Gypsy
“Rose’s Turn” is the quintessential “breaking down” song. It’s been done by every big-name Broadway diva there is, but LuPone’s version is the most recent.

Memory – Elaine Paige, Cats
Cats has a bad reputation, but “Memory” is a beautiful song and a highly impressionable  moment in the show. When Paige reaches the key change and sings the most iconic verse from the song, you can almost forget that she really is a singing cat.

The Ladies Who Lunch – Elaine Stritch, Company
This song became Stritch’s signature song for a good portion of her career, and with good reason. She conveys so many emotions in her sustained notes.

Hello, Dolly! – Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!
The Divine Miss M is just the latest in a long line of Broadway divas to step into the shoes of Dolly Gallagher Levi. This song is Dolly’s big moment as she descends the grand staircase of the Harmonia Gardens. The song doesn’t have the same amount of belted or sustained notes as some of the others, but it’s her moment.

And I Am Telling You – Amber Riley, Dreamgirls
This song helped Jennifer Hudson win an Oscar, and both actresses to initially play the role in New York and London won the Tony and Olivier Awards respectively for best actress in a musical. As the song reaches its climax, and she repeatedly belts “and you’re gonna love me,” it’s hard not to do exactly that.

Don’t Rain On My Parade – Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl
A song from 1964, most college aged kids who know this song probably know it from the TV show Glee, where the song served as main character Rachel Berry’s diva moment in the first season. It’s one of Streisand’s most prolific songs.

Cabaret – Natasha Richardson, Cabaret
The main character of Cabaret, Sally Bowles, is performing this song at the Kit Kat Klub. Set toward the end of the show, she begins to embrace her carefree side.

Show Off – Sutton Foster, The Drowsy Chaperone
Because of the show-within-a-show concept of The Drowsy Chaperone, the song is sung by a character who is a Broadway diva. Janet van de Graf is trying to shy away from the spotlight, but the song turns into a massive production number fit for any diva.

The Life of the Party – Idina Menzel, The Wild Party
The playlist

ends where it began, with a song by Menzel from a few years pre-Wicked premiering. Set during a party, this song is Menzel’s character, Kate, reflecting on her own personality while all alone.