Yesterday I got a can of diet coke with the weird labels about sharing with someone else. This one however had share with a “showstopper”. Now that is something I can do!
Not all broadway songs can make it to become showstoppers. Showstoppers have one thing in common. Huge reactions. It could be dead silence in a theatre, standing applause, screaming, laughing and causing an emotion.
Some showstoppers come right before a closing act or a finale, others happen in mid performance during a suicide and others are full of special effects that capture your attention. With all of the ridiculously amazing showstopping broadway songs available, it was really hard to choose which would be the best showstoppers for our list. However, when I went through all of my favorites, here are the top ten showstopping broadway songs you’ll hopefully love as well.
Top Ten Showstopping Broadway Songs
Here in no particular order are our top 10 favorite showstopping broadway songs and performances.
There’s really no one that can argue this is an all time favorite showstopper. Not only has Elphaba flying in the air hitting high notes become an iconic broadway moment, but you almost never get tired of the gorgeous lighting, incredible notes and music that accompany the special effects. That is why Defying Gravity from Wicked makes the top ten showstopping broadway songs.
And I’m Telling You
If you want emotion, a diva and an insane song for belting, you pretty much can’t beat And I’m Telling You from Dream Girls. The original singer Jennifer Holiday is hard to beat in this role and you’ll see why if you watch her performance at the 1982 Tony Awards.
One Day More from Les Miserables
If anthems are your thing, One Day More sets the tone and strikes your blood ready to battle during Les Mis. You get almost every major song or melody combined into one and an entire cast belting at you. It’s a pure OMG lets take down the government and revolt moment.
The Phantom of the Opera
If there is any song on broadway that gives you goosebumps, the Phantom of the Opera is that song. From the minute the organ hits those first few chords, your skin tingles and you know what’s about to happen. This melody hits you and you’re trapped in the Phantom’s spell making it one of the top showstopping broadway songs.
The High School Dance from West Side Story
There are plenty of amazing dances on broadway, but only one that can keep an entire audience watching while not needing more than one notable word, mambo. The high school dance scene from West Side Story might not be the first number from this show, but the minute you mention the dance, everyone can picture the battle at the gym.
La Vie Boheme from Rent
If inspiration is your thing, La Vie Boheme from Rent will give it to you. A way to get the audience riled up, ready to sing and go 90’s grunge, La Vie Boheme will have you singing and ready to rhyme famous names together while you head out for intermission.
Freak Flag Fly from Shrek the Musical
If you had watched my interview with John Tartaglia, sorry about the quality of the recording, you’ll remember this song is about energy, confidence and getting you going. This is the song that brings the show together, energizes the cast after a long act and gets the audience clapping, cheering and ready to party. Just check out the energy, enthusiasm and also the amazing costuming and interaction between the characters.
Home from The Wiz
Although the emotions are a bit different in this ballad, Home from The Wiz is a showstopping broadway song because of the ridiculous vocal control that is needed to perform it. If done well, this song will quiet an audience and guarantee a standing ovation that is almost impossible to stop. It is the definition of a broadway showstopper.
The Impossible Dream from Man of Lamancha
Don’t think women get all of the good ones. The Impossible Dream can just as easily stop a show and bring an audience to their feet. Check out this performance.
Don’t Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl
The final broadway showstopper comes from the queen of the stage, Barbara Streisand. Don’t Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl not only combines all of the high notes, vocal control and inspiration from all of the other songs, but it is one song that will always bring an audience to their feet, make everyone applaud and thanks to Glee, sing along with it.