The Seven Ages of Musicals: Age Two



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In Musicals ...

The "I Want" Song:
The Secret Hope and Dream
of the Central Character

This song typically appears in a musical's first act, with one or more characters singing about the key motivating desire that will propel everyone through the remainder of the show.

  • "On the Steps of the Palace" from Into the Woods
  • "I Felt Nothing" from A Chorus Line
  • "I'm the Greatest Star" from Funny Girl
  • "Falling Slowly" from Once
  • "On the Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady
  • "Grow for Me" from Little Shop of Horrors

Dig deeper...

Select your own example

Upload your own choice and tell us why you chose it.

Are you a composer or a writer? Post your own original song or monologue and tell us about it in the comments section.

In Plays ...

The "I Want" Monologue:
The Reason We Are Meeting this Character in the Play, and Why

Here's where we meet the engine of a play--the "motivation." Motivation is a character wanting something and discussing how that character is going to go about getting it. Motivation is a play.

  • Sticks and Bones by David Rabe (1969), Act I - Ossie: "They think they know me..." / "It's to be the one sent for that I run."
  • The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov (Adapted by Andrew Upton, 2010), Act I - Alexi: "Well, it sunk my heart." / Cut internal lines / "That is the battle we are fighting, gentlemen!"
  • Educating Rita by Willy Russell, Act I, Scene 7 - Rita: "I'm all right with you here in this room..." / Cut internal lines / "...and that's why I came back. And that's why I'm staying." (This is written in a British dialect; but for these purposes, it can be your own accent.)
  • The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, Act I - Irina: "Tell me why I am so happy today?" / Cut internal lines / "And if I don't get up early and work, give me up as a friend, Ivan Romanitch."
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene 1 - Orsino: "If music be the food of love, play on!" / Cut Curio's lines / "O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first..."


 

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Comment by Lizzie Smith on December 29, 2012 at 8:06am

Comment by Brittany Bigelow on December 29, 2012 at 12:28am

@ Leslie -- Thank you!!! I am so anxious to get started with you next semester! It will be amazing. I am not in music class yet because I maxed out of credits due to finishing my minor, but I should be by anyways :)

I love love love Anything Goes and all of Sutton Foster's work (she is my absolute favorite). I will work on that song and post ASAP :) Thank you so much for your feedback! 

OOOF monologues make me so so nervous! haha I will start peaking around for some and work on getting those recorded and up here!!

Thank you for everything!!

Britt

Comment by Leslie Stifelman on December 28, 2012 at 11:54pm

@ Brittany  I'm super impressed with your progress since last time you posted and I am really looking forward to working with you next semester at PACE.  Are you enrolled in my class?

What I am most struck by is your improvement in managing your registration especially in your mid-range belt which is pretty darn great.  And you delivered the exact qualities that an I WANT SONG should have.  Which is the wonder of what will come next in the characters life.  (PS I LOVE YOUR GARAGE) So this song is a perfect choice for that.  I'm so glad you are participating in the project because I want you to really start to explore more repertoire then you would normally in school or for auditions.  You are very good story teller. 

I would challenge you to record for me another song from the more traditional music theater era - how about I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU from ANYTHING GOES.  I think this would be perfect for you and I think your style and dance talent match more from music that was fashioned on SUTTON rather then IDINA.

AND TRY YOUR HAND AT A MONOLOGUE!  You will be great at it and you need it!

All best and look forward to seeing you soon.

Leslie

Comment by Brittany Bigelow on December 28, 2012 at 1:37pm

Here is my video :) My all time favorite musical! Sorry for the dirty background, but there are not many wonderful places to sing and the garage has always been my favorite! haha

Comment by Tony Ponella on December 20, 2012 at 6:17pm

I thought I would do a monologue for Age Two! This is one that I've recently worked on, and I think it fits the criteria pretty closely.

Comment by Carnegie Hall on December 16, 2012 at 3:50pm

Do you want to dig deeper? Here are a few more suggestions from Leslie Stifelman for "I Want" songs that express the secret hope and dream of the central character:

  • "A Cockeyed Optimist" from South Pacific
  • "Breathe" from In The Heights
  • "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin
  • "Everything Else" from Next to Normal
  • "Great Big Stuff" from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables
  • "I Have Confidence" from Sound of Music
  • "Johanna" from Sweeney Todd
  • "Look to the Rainbow" from Finian’s Rainbow
  • "Look What Happened to Mabel" from Mack and Mabel
  • "Love I Hear" from Forum
  • "Mama I’m a Big Girl Now" from Hairspray
  • "Much More" from The Fantastiks
  • "Purpose" from Avenue Q
  • "Sal Tlay Ka Siti" from Book of Mormon
  • "Someday" from The Wedding Singer
  • "Someone Else’s Skin" from Catch Me If You Can
  • "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific
  • "Something’s Coming" from West Side Story
  • "Somewhere That’s Green" from Little Shop of Horrors
  • "Still Hurting" from The Last Five Years
  • "Waiting for Life" from Once On This Island
  • "What I Was Born To Do" from Bring It On
  • "Where I Want To Be" from Chess
  • "Where Is Love" from Oliver
  • "Wouldn’t It Be Loverly" from My Fair Lady

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