The most epic tunes in musical theatre history.
After watching Ariana Grande and James Corden's beautiful rendition of 'Suddenly, Seymour' on Carpool Karaoke' and their musical theatre version of 'Titanic' on the 'Late Late Show', we're feeling the Broadway vibes. So here are fifteen of our favourite showtunes that ought to be on everyone's playlist.
West End Live 2017 - Wicked
1. Suddenly, Seymour - Little Shop of Horrors
From the originally off-Broadway show by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the best version of Seymour and Audrey's love ballad was done by Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene in the 1986 Frank Oz film. Though this show was in the West End early on, it didn't actually hit Broadway until 2003.
2. The Rum Tum Tugger - Cats
Not the most obvious song choice from this Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is perhaps more famous for Elaine Paige's 'Memory', but it has a fantastic glam-rock edge to it. Rum Tum Tugger was played by 'EastEnders' star John Partridge in the made-for-television movie, but in recent years the character has taken on a hip hop edge which has divided 'Cats' fans.
3. Defying Gravity - Wicked
If you only ever hear one song from this 'Wizard of Oz'-based musical, let it be this one. It was originally recorded by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, and it remains the best version by far. Idina won a Tony for her role as Elphaba - the Wicked Witch of the West - and the musical album went on to win a Grammy Award.
4. Midnight Radio - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
A soaring number from a cult classic that landed its well-deserved Broadway debut in 2014 with Neil Patrick Harris in the title role. Initially, though, it was written by and starred John Cameron Mitchell in the original off-Broadway show and then the 2001 film. Even today it marks an important piece of work for the LGBTQ+ community.
5. The Music of the Night - The Phantom of the Opera
Another Andrew Lloyd Webber classic, this time from the second-longest running West End musical in history. Michael Crawford is best known for performing this Phantom solo in the original 1986 run. For these powerful tunes, the musical went on to scoop Laurence Olivier and Tony awards.
6. My Shot - Hamilton
Lin-Manuel Miranda deserves the eleven Tonys his musical won for its landmark success. Based on the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, the musical is mainly rapped all the way through, and 'My Shot' performed by Miranda as Hamilton and others is one of the most stirring showtunes in recent history.
7. All That Jazz - Chicago
Arguably the sexiest showtune in history, the multi-Academy Award winning film version saw Catherine Zeta-Jones perform it as Velma Kelly minutes after murdering her husband and sister. A catchy summary of the Jazz Age, it's definitely one of the most famous showtunes in the history of Broadway.
8. I Dreamed a Dream - Les Miserables
The lament of Fantine when she loses her job and finds herself forced to sell her hair to support her daughter Cosette. If you can listen to this without shedding a tear, you simply don't have a heart. Many have performed this number, written by Claude-Michel Sch"nberg, but Anne Hathaway truly did it justice in the 2012 Tom Hooper film.
9. A Little Priest - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
This song marks the moment when Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd decide to bake the latter's victims into pies to bring in a bit of money to Lovett's failing pie shop. The question is, who was better? Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in the 2007 Tim Burton film, or George Hearn and Angela Lansbury in Stephen Sondheim's 1973 stage hit?
10. Anything You Can Do - Annie Get Your Gun
Written by the legendary Irving Berlin, this is quite an appropriate song for our time whem women are constantly having to prove themselves in male-dominated industries all over the world. Betty Hutton and Howard Keel played Annie Oakley and Frank Butler respectively in the 1950 film directed by George Sidney.
11. Hot Patootie (Bless My Soul) - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
While 'Time Warp' and 'Sweet Transvestite' are generally considered the favourites, who can forget Meat Loaf playing the short-lived leather-clad Eddie in this cult 1975 film? It also wasn't spoilt when Adam Lambert performed the number in the 2016 television tribute. Underrated but totally infectious.
12. Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat - Guys and Dolls
Another catchy number from a stellar musical that has be on stage for more than 60 years and won numerous awards. This song was performed by Nicely-Nicely Johnson and company in the second act, with Stubby Kaye originally playing the role. Definitely one of songwriter Frank Loesser's greatest achievements.
13. Everything's Coming Up Roses - Gypsy
This 1959 Gypsy Rose Lee show is yet another Stephen Sondheim classic, with the last incarnation of the singing character - Rose - being played by the incredible Imelda Staunton. Other performers have included Patti LuPone, Angela Lansbury and Ethel Merman. Did you know it was originally written for the show 'High Button Shoes'?
14. Being Alive - Company
Get the tissues out for this sad lament. It's from a 1970 concept musical with Sondheim lyrics and was originally sung by main character Bobby who has been played by Neil Patrick Harris, John Barrowman and Boyd Gaines in the past. In fact, most recently, the character was re-created as female for the second West End revival with Rosalie Craig in the role.
15. And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going - Dreamgirls
There are few big diva performances more powerful than Jennifer Hudson's in this incredible 2006 film. Of course, Jennifer Holliday originated the role of Effie White in first 1981 Broadway edition, and it has since become the soundtrack to all the ambitious folk out there determined to follow their dreams.