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Actors playing Cinderella and Prince Topher dance center stage

PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh: V-Day Mixtape

Fri, Feb 9, 2018

Written by: Lily Rybarczyk

From princesses to witches, superstars to waitresses, our 2017-18 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh season showcases characters in search of happiness, success, and, of course, love. The music is just as diverse as the narrative themselves, from catchy pop tunes to operatic ballads, but the best ones are penned about being in love. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to celebrate with our top love songs of the 2017-18 season.

10. Love Never Dies – Love Never Dies

As the spellbinding sequel to the greatest love story of all time, you can be sure Love Never Dies is full of powerful, moving and romantic songs. Christine Daae sings the Phantom’s soaring aria with both the Phantom and Raoul, her two loves, watching. Andrew Lloyd Webber captures the eternal feeling of love in one of the final songs of the sequel, writing “love never dies, love never falters, once it is spoken, love is yours.”

9. 10 Minutes Ago – Cinderella

Any tale that begins with “Once Upon a Time” promises a princess, magic, the triumph of good over evil, and, of course a sweet and romantic Broadway score. Cinderella will transport you back to your childhood to rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “10 Minutes Ago.” As Ella and Prince Topher serenade each other, this song reminds us what it’s like to fall in love for the first time: “my head started reeling, you gave me the feeling, the room had no ceiling or floor.” This dazzling and delightful production is pure fairytale magic. (Psst, if you’re asking your Fairy Godmother for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift, tickets for Cinderella are on sale today! There may not be a better date-night than this timeless love story.)

8. Too Beautiful For Words – The Color Purple

The Color Purple is about the many complexities in and importance of loving relationships; learning to love yourself, family, friendship and romance. The songs in this production are so emotionally powerful that they linger with you long after the performance, and “Too Beautiful for Words” is no exception. With this show-stopping ballad, Shug Avery reminds Celie of her inner strength, while explaining the importance of how Celie makes her feel.

7. I’ll Cover You – RENT

Love songs abound in this musical that reminds us to measure our lives in the only thing that truly matters. In its original rendition, “I’ll Cover You” is a sweet duet between Angel and Collins depicting love’s give and take; “live in my house, I’ll be your shelter, just pay me back with one thousand kisses. Be my lover and I’ll cover you.” It’s a wonderful declaration of love between two people who have fallen head over heels for each other and a promise to care and protect each other. The reprise of this song in the second act demonstrates the depth of Collins’ love for Angel. The 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT will rock the Benedum March 27 through April 1; don’t miss this chance to celebrate and remember love!

6. I Wanna Dance With Somebody – The Bodyguard

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is the perfect prep song for a date night out with your loved one. This chart-topping hit, repurposed for the silver screen and now the stage, is the best of ballads and pop. It demonstrates the fiery irresistibility of ears, feet and heart aligning, and the passion of being with your special someone.

5. As Long as You’re Mine - Wicked

The Wicked Witch of West, Elphaba, and Fiyero, the Winkie prince whose reputation is so scandalacious, face many barriers in their pursuit of love, from fiances to falling houses. The star-crossed couple sings this pop melody about their romantic missteps, choosing to make the most of the time they have together. For one brief moment, the two come together to express their feelings, celebrating the idea of living in the moment with the person you love.

4. You Matter to Me – Waitress

Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. Although “Bad Idea” and “It Only Takes a Taste” launch the tantalizing relationship between the waitress and the doctor, “You Matter To Me” is a singular expression of their deep feelings for each other. The song is poignant and simple; “You matter to me, simple and plain and not much to ask from somebody. You matter to me, I promise you do.” Although we are big fans of the grand ballads and sweeping gestures on the Broadway stage, love is about knowing that what you do and who you are matters to someone. This sweet tale will be in Pittsburgh March 6-11.

3. A Whole New World – Aladdin

This musical, based on the 1992 Disney film, has all of our favorite songs, including “A Whole New World.” The Disney classic is given new life on the stage, depicting the wonder we feel when we fall in love. The blend of comedy (thanks, Genie), romance and adventure makes this a perfect love story.

2. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Motown

Motown is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Originally a top twenty hit, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” depicts the lengths we would all go through for love.

1. I Will Always Love You – The Bodyguard

We could have filled this Mixtape with the soundtrack of The Bodyguard, but when it comes to top love songs, “I Will Always Love You” is incontestable. A new arrangement of the song was recorded specifically for the soundtrack to The Bodyguard film, winning record of the year and best female pop vocal. The stage finale maintains the song’s original sentimental vulnerability, as well the moonshot note. Don’t miss R&B star Deborah Cox belt this out on the Benedum stage February 27 through March 4!

Bonus:

With Hamilton already announced for our 2018-19 season, we couldn’t help but include “Helpless.” According to Lin-Manuel Miranda, the duet, sung by Alexander and Eliza, was inspired by Ashanti and Ja Rule. This song lays the foundation for the biographical love story, culminating in Eliza’s commitment to Alexander’s legacy.

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Photo: Hayden Stanes, Tatyana Lubov and the company of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA. © Carol Rosegg

Tags:
  • arts
  • Broadway
  • love