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The Best of Broadway

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Beauty and the Beast – tells the story of an unkind prince who has been magically transformed into an unsightly creature as punishment for his selfish ways. To revert into his true human form, the Beast must learn to love a bright, beautiful young lady, Belle, whom he has imprisoned in his enchanted castle, before it is too late.

Belle repeatedly refuses the Beast’s invitations to dine with him. In response, the Beast won’t allow her to eat at all.  Being hungry, Belle finds the kitchen. Lumiere, the maître d’, and other servants who were turned into household objects under the curse defy the Beast, offer Belle dinner, and entertain her with “Be Our Guest.”

The Little Mermaid – tells the story of a teenage mermaid princess named Ariel, who dreams of becoming human.  She falls in love with a human prince named Eric and makes a deal with the sea witch, Ursula, to become human and be with him.  To remain human, Ariel must receive “true love’s kiss” within three days.  If Ariel fails, she will transform back into a mermaid and Ursula will claim her. Ursula’s spell also causes Ariel to to forget that she needs to kiss Eric.

Eric meets Ariel and takes her sightseeing around the kingdom. During Ariel’s second day as human. Ariel and Eric are in a boat and Sebastian, a friend of Ariel’s who knows of the spell, sings “Kiss the Girl” to set a romantic mood and inspire Eric to kiss Ariel.

A Little Night Music – Inspired by the 1955 Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, the  play is set in Sweden around 1900. It revolves around the romantic lives of several couples. 

Late in the play, a dinner party breaks up because of arguments caused when Charlotte attempts to flirt with Fredrik.  She trades insults with Desirée, who long ago rejected Fredrik’s marriage proposals.  After dinner, Desirée meets Fredrik and asks if he still wants to be “rescued” from his life. Now married, Fredrik answers that he still loves Desiree, but cannot bring himself to hurt his wife, Anne. Hurt and bitter, Desiree reflects on her life in “Send in the Clowns.”

The Music Man – A traveling salesman, “Professor” Harold Hill, sells uniforms and instruments for a boy’s band to the people of River City, Iowa, and falls in love with the skeptical librarian, Marian.

Man of La Mancha – inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th-century novel Don Quixote, it tells the story of the “mad” knight Don Quixote as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. In that play, Cervantes take the role of an old gentleman who has read so many books of chivalry and thought so much about injustice that he has lost his mind and set out as a knight-errant who names himself Don Quixote de La Mancha.

In his travels, Quixote arrives at an inn he mistakes to be a castle.  To her annoyance, Quixote declares Aldonza, a serving wench, to be his lady, Dulcinea.  He attempts to court her and explains the quest he is on in “The Impossible Dream.”

Big Fish – is about the relationship between a traveling salesman, Edward, and his adult son, Will. In the present day, Edward faces his mortality while Will prepares to marry and become a father himself. In the storybook past, Edward tells Will of encountering a Witch, a Giant, a Mermaid, and the love of his life, Sandra in “Be the Hero.”  As the play progresses and Edward nears death, Will learns that there is truth in each of the stories Edward has told him.

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off – The show focuses on Littlechap from the moment of his birth until his death. Each time something unsatisfactory happens, he calls out ‘Stop the world!’ and addresses the audience. 

Littlechap marries his boss’ daughter, Evie, but feels a growing dissatisfaction with his existence as he searches for something better than what he has. His dissatisfaction leads him into the arms of various women in his travels as he searches for something better than he has. Only in his old age does he realize that what he always had, the love of his wife, was more than enough to sustain him.  The play closes as he sings, “What Kind of Fool Am I?”

Cabaret – Set in 1929–1930 Berlin during the twilight of the Jazz Age as the Nazis rise to power, the musical focuses on the hedonistic nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub.  The story revolves around American writer Cliff Bradshaw’s relations with English cabaret performer Sally Bowles.

Sally is fired from her job at the Kit Kat Club and moves in with Cliff.  She gets pregnant and Cliff asks her to leave Berlin and move to America with him to raise their child. Sally sings “Cabaret,” “life is a cabaret, old chum,” cementing her decision to live in carefree ignorance of what is happening in the world.

A Chorus Line – Set on the bare stage of a Broadway theater, the musical is centered on seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line.  They are all desperate for the work.  The musical provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer, as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers.

During the auditions, Paul falls and injures a knee that recently underwent surgery. When Paul is carried off to the hospital, the other dancers realize their careers can also end in an instant. Zach asks the remaining dancers what they will do when they can no longer dance. Diana leads the company in “What I Did for Love“.

Ragtime – Set in the early 20th century, Ragtime tells the story of three groups in the United States and their struggles: African Americans, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; upper-class suburbanites, represented by Mother, the matriarch of a white upper-class family in New Rochelle, New York; and Eastern European immigrants, represented by Tateh, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia.

In Act 2, Coalhouse and his men take over J.P. Morgan’s magnificent library in the heart of New York City, threatening to blow it up. Booker T. Washington enters the library and works out a deal with Coalhouse. Coalhouse then convinces his men that violence cannot solve injustice. Coalhouse exhorts them to fight through the power of their words in “Make Them Hear You.”

Seussical – is a musical based on the many children’s stories of Dr. Seuss, among them Horton Hears a Who! and The Cat in the Hat.

The Cat tells a boy a story about Horton, who discovers a microscopic planet populated by creatures called Whos  Horton places it on a piece of soft clover to protect it.  A gang of delinquent monkeys steals the clover and hands it to an eagle who drops it into a large patch of identical clovers. The cat cuts into the action at this point to remind the audience how lucky they are to not be Horton – “How Lucky You Are.”