The Top 10 Songs by Stephen Sondheim

By Ben Rimalower
28 Sep 2013

2. "Broadway Baby"

 



 

"Broadway Baby" is so irresistibly tuneful and fetchingly witty, the first time you hear it, you swear you've known it all your life. Sondheim's pastiche of those feisty, hearty, old toe-tappers (like "Broadway Rhythm") is almost indistinguishable from the original songs themselves, similarly revealing, beneath a sunny exterior, a relentless ambition for show business success. What makes "Broadway Baby" different is that the song itself is a comment on keeping up the cheerful appearance while maneuvering toward fame. So Sondheim gives us a song that works perfectly as what it seems to be and can also be turned inside out. You're enjoying this broad belting out this number, while at the same time thinking about what is says about her life that she's doing it, which is then making you enjoy her doing it even more. Whoa.

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