What's Nashville's Favorite Love Song from a Broadway Show?


In a town where everyone from your next-door neighbor to your favorite barista – from your dental hygienist to your manicurist, your seatmate on the bus, your friendly neighborhood bartender and maybe even the guy who does your taxes – is a songwriter, you'll find that there's never a shortage of opinions on the topic of favorite songs. Ask a cross-section of Nashville theater-types what their favorite love song is from the annals of musical theater and you're going to get a barrage of answers.

In honor of Valentine's Day (and in a blatant rip-off of BroadwayWorld.com's similar query to the denizens of the Great White Way), we posed that very question to some of our favorite theater community-dwellers in yet another not-so-scientific survey. So, if you're thinking about putting together a playlist of favorite love songs – or if you're searching for the perfect tunes to play in the background while you set the scene for a romantic evening with your own Valentine, here are some suggestions:

Rita Frizzell: "If I Loved You" from Carousel.

Halee-Catherine Culicerto: "Roll in the Hay" from Young Frankenstein. "Ooh, I forgot about 'Dangerous Game' from Jekyll and Hyde...maybe the kind of love you want to avoid."

Rowena Soriano Gonzalez Aldridge: "You Made Me Love You" from Irene, "Just in Time" from Bells Are Ringing and "I Got Lost In His Arms" from Annie Get Your Gun: "I've done all three of these shows (many years ago) and I think these songs are some of the best – and unfortunately overlooked songs – in musical theater."

Joshua Waldrep: "Love Song" from Pippin and "I'll Cover You" from Rent.

Debra Barrett Graham: "Loving You" from Passion: "It is not a romantic song, but it's so expressive for those of us with 20+ years with a best friend, a lover, the father of my children and lifelong companion..."

Scott Rice: "They Were You" from The Fantasticks, "So Many People" from Saturday Night and "Love to Me" from The Light in the Piazza.

Robert Stone: "As Long As He Needs Me" from Oliver.


Amy Prough Stumpfl, theater critic for The Tennessean: "I Have Dreamed" from The King and I, "Not While I'm Around" from Sweeney Todd, "People Will Say We're In Love" from Oklahoma and "Somewhere" from West Side Story.

Jama Bowen (now onstage, playing the geisha madam in Blackbird Theater's Pacific Overtures): "My Cup Runneth Over" from I Do, I Do.

Amanda Lamb: "Love Song" from Pippin: "I love its quirkiness."

Paula Hester Chandler: "People Will Say We're in Love" from Oklahoma: "It's from a long time back, even before my time, but it's still one of my favorite songs."

Jennifer Bennett (currently in rehearsal for Circle Players' upcoming Brighton Beach Memoirs): "'Til There Was You" from The Music Man.

Kim Thornton Nygren: "Someone Like You" from Jekyll and Hyde.

Jaclyn Lisenby Brown: "Yesterday I Loved You" from Once on this Island.

Bonnie Keen: "How Could I Ever Know" from The Secret Garden.

Laura Matula: "A Little Fall of Rain" from Les Miserables, "Sun and Moon" from Miss Saigon and "Being Alive" from Company.

Patrick Kramer (currently onstage in Pacific Overtures, he'll be directing Hairspray for Circle Players, with auditions set for this weekend): "Follow Your Heart" from Urinetown the Musical.

Henry Kevin Haggard: "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin.

Christina Marie Jones: "I Love You Because" from I Love You Because.

Lisa Truley Dunaway: "'Til There Was You" from The Music Man.

Rollie Mains: "A Bushel and A Peck" from Guys and Dolls: "My mom used to sing to me, 'I love you a bushel and a peck,' she didn't know hardly any of the words...just the first couple of lines."

Britt Byrd: "All I Ask of You"from Phantom of the Opera.

Margaret Cheesman Brandon: "If I Loved You" from Carousel.

Lane Wright: "My Heart is So Full of You" from The Most Happy Fella, "When Did I Fall in Love" from Fiorello and "Losing My Mind" from Follies.

Todd Rowan: "I Chose Right" from Baby.

Jack Chambers: "So Many People" from Saturday Night and Marry Me A Little.

Amanda Virgillito Saad: "Someone To Watch Over Me" from Oh, Kay!

Molly Breen: "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera, "If I Loved You" from Carousel, "Sun and Moon" from Miss Saigon, "Tell Me to Go" from Martin Guerre and "Without You" from Rent.

Ben Van Diepen (who will be starring in Street Theatre Company's upcoming Tommy in Concert): "Too Many Morning" from Follies.

Evan Taylor Williams: "People Will Say We're in Love" from Oklahoma, "All The Wasted Time" from Parade, "On the Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady, "Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors, "You Are Love" from The Fantasticks, "'Til There Was You" from The Music Man, "As Long As You're Mine" from Wicked, "I Should Tell You" from Rent, "Rosemary" from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera... "and, of course, 'Grow Old With You' and 'If I Told You' from The Wedding Singer!"

Kenneth Stalsworth: ‎"You Walk with Me" from The Full Monty: "One of the few times I have cried in public."

Ginger Newman (music director at The Keeton Theatre, who later this year will star as Mama Rose in Gypsy): "Moonfall" from The Mystery of Edwin Drood, "Nothing's Gonna Harm You" from Sweeney Todd, "If He Walked Into My Life" from Mame, "The Story Goes On" from Baby, "Mama a Rainbow" from Minnie's Boys and "If I Sing" from Closer Than Ever and, of course, "There's a Fine, Fine Line" from Avenue Q...and I could go down a dark, sarcastic path, but why bother?

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor outstanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.


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