The "one-song glory" character

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Ado Annie D'Ysquith
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The "one-song glory" character#1
Posted: 1/23/20 at 2:40pm

I have always found it fascinating that in a lot of musicals, there is one character who gets just one really big song and can stop the show, sometimes even getting Supporting Actor/Actress Tony recognition. What are some of your favorites? Examples:

Berthe (Pippin), "No Time at All"

Nicely (Guys and Dolls), "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat"

Domina (A Funny Thing...Forum), "That Dirty Old Man"

Carlotta (Follies), "I'm Still Here"

Jo (Jagged Little Pill), "You Oughta Know"

Helen Bechdel (Fun Home), "Days and Days"

Orin (Little Shop of Horrors), "Dentist!"

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Dollypop
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The "one-song glory" character#2
Posted: 1/23/20 at 2:49pm
My granddaughter is now 14 years old and auditioned for a youth production of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. I assumed she'd want to be Belle but she had her heart set on playing Mrs. Potts. Why? She said, "Mrs Potts sings the one song that everyone remembers when the show is iver."
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The "one-song glory" character#3
Posted: 1/23/20 at 2:51pm

Peron's Mistress in Evita: "Another Suitcase in Another Hall"

"Star to Be" kinda steals the song with her solo in Annie's "NYC"

The Thernadiers in Les Mis: "Master of the House"

Nazi kid in Cabaret: "Tomorrow Belongs to Me"

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benfox2
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The "one-song glory" character#4
Posted: 1/23/20 at 3:03pm

Also from Follies, Would Hattie count with Broadway Baby? Or is that a case where it's more because of the song rather than the performer?

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Melissa25
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The #5
Posted: 1/23/20 at 3:03pm

Captain Beverly Bass in Come From Away: "Me and the Sky"  

 

 

Updated On: 1/23/20 at 03:03 PM
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The #6
Posted: 1/23/20 at 3:42pm

Marge MacDougall in Promises Promises - she is only in the song A Fact Can Be A Beautiful Thing, and the originating actress and the revival actress both went on to win the Tony Award for Supporting Actress in a Musical (Marian Mercer and Katie Finneran) 

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The #7
Posted: 1/23/20 at 3:45pm

One of my favorite songs in Waitress is "Take it From An Old Man"

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The #8
Posted: 1/23/20 at 4:12pm

Marilyn Cooper won a Tony for Woman of the Year and only had "The Grass Is Greener".  It's not a belting number, but she is so so good in it.  

 

jagman1062
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The #9
Posted: 1/23/20 at 4:30pm

I've always  thought that Freddy's "On the Street Where You Live" is one of  the better songs from My Fair Lady, albeit not a show-stopper.

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The #10
Posted: 1/23/20 at 4:58pm

Marian in The Bridges of Madison County - "Another Life." Although she also plays the lady in "State Road 21" but in terms of the character there's only the one song.

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The #11
Posted: 1/23/20 at 6:02pm
Evelyn’s rendition of Gypsy in Me, if done well, can become the comedic high point of Anything Goes. Seeing Adam Godley completely letting loose during this song in the most recent revival was my favorite moment of the whole production.

A more dramatic example is Edward Rutledge’s solo Molasses to Rum from 1776. Similar to the above example, we have a prominent character who’s had nothing in the way of a solo (he only gets a line or two to himself in Cool, Cool Considerate Men) suddenly taking center stage and getting the chance to steal the show. Except, unlike the above where it’s a chance to crack the audience up, this one’s a chance to really get under their skin. It’s the most difficult song in 1776, but in the right hands, it’ll stop the show.

1776 also has another example, with Richard Henry Lee’s number The Lees of Old Virginia. The role is fairy small, exiting the show fairly early on, but his bombastic solo helps him stand out. It was specifically designed to be a showstopper, as they realized that there would be a substantial amount of time without any music after this moment, so they tried to make it as big as possible. It worked, since it won Ron Holgate a Tony.

Another example of 1776 is He Plays the Violin. If I remember correctly, Martha Jefferson only appears in one other scene, which consists entirely of her kissing her husband. But she gets one heck of a belter, a number that helped introduce Betty Buckley to audiences.

A more recent example found in Spongebob is Squidward’s song I’m Not a Loser. Squidward gets a decent number of small solos in other numbers throughout the show, but it’s not until late in the show that he gets his own song, which is teased throughout, but interrupted each time it’s about to begin. The song is practically the definition of a Broadway showstopper. We see Squidward going from his lowest to his highest, complete with a clarinet solo, a chorus line, his name being projected in lights, and on onslaught of tap dancing in a costume with four legs.

A final example that I thought of was Beauty in the Beast’s I’d I Can’t Love Her, sung by the titular Beast. Unlike these other examples, this one is sung by a lead. He gets other opportunities to sing, but they’re all relatively brief. Here, he gets to close out the first act with a heart wrenching belter, which is definitely the strongest of the songs introduced in the stage show.
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#12
Posted: 1/23/20 at 6:25pm

Miller's Son in A Little Night Music!

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The #13
Posted: 1/23/20 at 6:25pm

i appreciate the point of this thread but One Song Glory seems like an odd way to kick it off- it isnt a showstopper by a minor/supporting character but is sung by the show's tortured protagonist...

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The #14
Posted: 1/23/20 at 6:37pm

JDonaghy4 said: "i appreciate the point of this thread but One Song Glory seems like an odd way to kick it off- it isnt a showstopper by a minor/supporting character but is sung by the show's tortured protagonist..."

Pretty sure the OP wasn't suggesting that Roger is a minor/supporting character, but rather was cleverly using a recognized Broadway title to ask a question about musical characters who achieve "glory" through "one song."

One example that comes to mind for me is King George in Hamilton - he has only one song (though he sings abbreviated reprises of it twice) and is on stage for only nine minutes, yet its a show-stealing role that got Jonathan Groff a Tony nomination.

 

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The #15
Posted: 1/23/20 at 6:42pm
I didn't plan it in Waitress caught me by surprise when I first saw the show.
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The #16
Posted: 1/23/20 at 7:07pm

I never saw a Roger stop a show.  And I saw a LOT of Rogers.

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The #17
Posted: 1/23/20 at 7:23pm
"Applause" (Applause)

"Rags" (Rags)
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The #18
Posted: 1/23/20 at 7:39pm

Patchy the Pirate, SpongeBob, "Poor Pirates"

Piragua Guy, In the Heights, "Piragua"

Head Waiter, She Loves Me, "A Romantic Atmosphere"

"It's you." "It's me. Orpheus." "Eurydice..." *crying*
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The #19
Posted: 1/23/20 at 7:40pm

As for Roger-esque characters, I'm going with Orpheus in Hadestown.

"It's you." "It's me. Orpheus." "Eurydice..." *crying*
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The #20
Posted: 1/23/20 at 7:52pm

Ado Annie D'Ysquith said: "I have always found it fascinating that in a lot of musicals, there is one character who gets just one really big song and can stop the show, sometimes even getting Supporting Actor/Actress Tony recognition. What are some of your favorites? Examples:

Berthe (Pippin), "No Time at All"

Nicely (Guys and Dolls), "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat"

Domina (A Funny Thing...Forum), "That Dirty Old Man"

Carlotta (Follies), "I'm Still Here"

Jo (Jagged Little Pill), "You Oughta Know"

Helen Bechdel (Fun Home), "Days and Days"

Orin (Little Shop of Horrors), "Dentist!"
"

I have to pushback on the JLP addition to this list. Jo has an entire arc throughout the show and partakes in a few different songs, with You Oughta Know just being her big blowout song. She isn’t necessarily a one and done character like some of the others on this list

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One Song Roles#21
Posted: 1/23/20 at 8:05pm

Doesn't Fiorello only get one song in Fiorello!?

(And kudos to carnzee for the reference to Applause!)

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One Song Roles#22
Posted: 1/23/20 at 8:16pm

GUYS AND DOLLS' Nicely Nicely sings the opening trio ("Fugue for a Tin Horn"One Song Roles and the title duet. He also sings parts of "The Oldest Established..." and "Luck Be a Lady". In fact, he sings quite a bit more than Nathan. Granted, "Sit Down" is a showstopper, but it's hardly his only song.

Now Bonnie Franklin winning a Tony Award for merely singing the first chorus of the title song of APPLAUSE is the example the OP wants.

Both Ron Holgate (Tony winner) singing "The Lees of Old Virginia" before disappearing and Betty Buckley appearing just to sing "He Plays the Violin" are also examples.

 

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One Song Roles#23
Posted: 1/23/20 at 8:22pm
I feel like Fantine and Eponine are good examples of this.
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One Song Roles#24
Posted: 1/23/20 at 8:22pm

quizking101 said: "Ado Annie D'Ysquith said: "I have always found it fascinating that in a lot of musicals, there is one character who gets just one really big song and can stop the show, sometimes even getting Supporting Actor/Actress Tony recognition. What are some of your favorites? Examples:

Berthe (Pippin), "No Time at All"

Nicely (Guys and Dolls), "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat"

Domina (A Funny Thing...Forum), "That Dirty Old Man"

Carlotta (Follies), "I'm Still Here"

Jo (Jagged Little Pill), "You Oughta Know"

Helen Bechdel (Fun Home), "Days and Days"

Orin (Little Shop of Horrors), "Dentist!"
"

I have to pushback on the JLP addition to this list. Jo has an entire arc throughout the show and partakes in a few different songs, with You Oughta Know just being her big blowout song. She isn’t necessarily a one and done character like some of the others on this list
"

Jo has “One Hand in My Pocket” basically as a solo as well. 

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One Song Roles#25
Posted: 1/23/20 at 8:39pm
Bonnie in Applause also leads the Gypsies singing and dancing She's No Longer a Gypsy in Act II. It's a supporting role with two songs, not one.

Updated On: 1/23/20 at 08:39 PM