Posts Categorized: Rent

Shana Dagny – What songs inspire her – Good luck on tour!

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When Adam Riemer asks you to write about your favorite broadway song you want to fill up his page with absolutely everything you know and dream to know about show tunes. As a professional singer raised in the Philippines (a country which hones very strong broadway singer competition for the world) I went down the list and grew drunk and giddy off of chorus after chorus in my head and out my mouth without regrard for the rest of the passengers (unknowing audience) at the boarding gate where I fortunately was at the time I encountered his request.

“Oh Adam! There are so many!” The man asks me to pick just one I can relate to. GREAT! Everyone in show, stage, presentation etcetera has the lucky inevitable advantage of experiencing a myriad of emotions through their art, and for people who have music in their repertoire be it a singer, instrumentalist or good ol’ music lover with no mention of professional or studious background, each song is a reflection of a different expression of said emotions, a different depth that they are able to tap into. So maybe I’ll slightly defy the request and mention just a few songs that I did start singing here at the boring boarding gate, and tag my thoughts on each.

Take Me Or Leave Me; Rent: The One Two Knock Out Punch every self respecting woman out there would want to sing. For those who are both career oriented women or relationship driven, this song speaks to both. It is a dialogue between two lovers, where one considers the other her “person”, the center of her universe, while the other defines the object of her affection as more multidirectional. It’s Sassy, energetic and above all strong!

Nothing A Chorus Line: This song is half singing half speaking. Here the singer gets a chance to talk her way through a verse, rest and get ready for the belts coming shortly after. Kind of like a flume ride. The performer here is an auditionee who complains her way through the song because the antagonist in her story questions her sense of meaning. The song is both playful and expressive.

This is Shana singing it:

He Was My Boyyyfriend Young Frankenstein: Oh Shush! don’t laugh… On second thought, you probably won’t stop laughing after experiencing this song number/dance break. It’s about a creepy looking landlady of Dr. Frankenstein’s mansion who retells her love affair with the reinamination scientist. It’s hilarious and I love it because it is so.

Defying Gravity Wicked: The first two songs were from musicals based on real life. This song is from the prequel to the story of The Wizard Of Oz. The symphony here mirrors the magic in the tale and by the time you start your first line in the song you already feel enchanted, fueled by some green glowy elixir that can only exist in fairy tales but then the volume of the song increases and turns so fierce that the fiction becomes real life.

My flight is about to board (finally!) but before I go I do remember one more song. It starts out, singing “Perhaps I had a wicked childhood, perhaps I had a miserable youth, but somewhere in my wicked miserable past I must have done Something Good…” Sung by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. It is a song about love and happiness. To me it says life becomes meaningful… and the magic in that meaning is because of the one “person” around for you. That one person could be anybody, family member, friend, boyyyyfriend;) an existential being, or yourself. As I draw this to a close I realize that this song is THE song. It is the first song I ever heard sung to me by my favorite woman in the world, my mom. I invite you all to listen, sing and use Something Good and explore the many heights it could take you to.

That’s my final boarding call.

One Song Glory from Rent – The DC AIDS Walk

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Broadway has a ton of amazing charities like Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS, but there are also a ton of other amazing charities and awareness walks out there like the DC AIDS walk which attracts thousands of people to participate. Because the Washington DC AIDS Walk is coming up soon, I was thinking about a show that would be a good fit or a song that would be good and instead of Seasons of Love which everyone thinks of immediately, I thought of One Song or Glory from the Musical Rent sung by Adam Pascal (The original Roger).

The song One Song Glory from Rent is about a guy who has AIDS and is going through a lot in his life. He’s wondering where his life is going, what is happening with the virus and disease and how he is going to hope and deal. One of his biggest worries about having AIDS is his girlfriend Mimi who doesn’t know but eventually finds out that he is positive and lets him know that she is too. Roger is an awesome person and cares for a lot of people. His character goes through a breakdown and moves, but comes back to NYC after for Mimi and to try to make it again.

I think that Roger is actually a pretty inspirational character. He has a disease which wasn’t treatable and is still not curable in a time where little was known about it. People were still afraid to be near people who had AIDS and instead of killing himself or giving up on life, Roger fought through it and continued to try to do what he loved, produce music. The Song One Song Glory from Rent is his way of figuring out what his life is about and is what helps him figure out what he needs to do. Although he moves away at first, he eventually realizes that that wasn’t the correct thing to do and One Song Glory is all about that.

It is about not caring what obstacles are in your way or what you need to overcome. It is about dealing with those issues, moving past them and then creating something amazing for yourself. Songs about coping with things are extremely common in broadway shows, but not many of them are as memorable or as loved as One Song Glory from Rent. This is probably one of my favorite songs from the show but one that I don’t listen to very often. It is an amazing one to hear and when you are prepping for something like the AIDS walk or a fundraiser it is a perfect song to have on your playlist. I love this song and thing that it is the perfect one to congratulate everyone who is doing the walk and who works hard to find a cure for this disease. One Song Glory is the perfect song from Rent for the walk and I wish everyone walking the best of luck and you are doing an amazing thing to help find a cure to fight this disease.

Out Tonight from Rent

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Since I work from home, and by myself, I’m always craving conversation during the day. Unfortunately most of my friends work real jobs from an office and can’t do lunch or hang out during the day. That’s why when it’s time for happy hour or bar specials, I am usually tempted to go out. That’s one of the reasons I love the song Out Tonight from Rent.

In the song Out Tonight from Rent, the character is singing about wanting to go out. She basically has cabin fever and doesn’t want to sit in her apartment, bored and not doing anything so she decides to get ready and go out. At the same time, she also wants her neighbor/boyfriend Roger to come with her so the song is also about getting him out of his apartment so that he can start to enjoy himself again too.

Everyone thinks that working from home is amazing, and it is, but at the same time if you don’t have a family or roommates then it gets extremely lonely and you crave attention from people and interactions with other people. You also end up thinking of home as work too and sometimes find yourself not remember to take a break and stop. It can definitely get lonely when you work from home and that is why I relate to the song Out Tonight from Rent. The funny thing about the song Out Tonight from Rent is that I actually sometimes sing it when I’m starting to get ready to go out.

It’s a fun song that is about getting ready to have fun and to go party. It is exactly what you need when you work from home and don’t really get to do anything all day. Although commuting to work isn’t that fun all the time, not leaving your apartment or house because you don’t have to go to an office is also equally draining because you don’t get the fresh air or the chance to relax since you are inside all day. Out Tonight from Rent is an awesome song that I think everyone who works for themselves or works from home can relate to because after a while you really just want to go out and have a few drinks and get to talk to people. That is why I love this song and sometimes use it as a way to get motivated to go out when I have to meet my friends at the bar or I am getting ready for happy hour.

Broadway Songs to Help Cheer a Friend Up

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I always hate when one of my friends is depressed and doesn’t ever want to leave their apartments. Sometimes they break up with their partner, other times it could be loosing a job and sometimes it is just seasonal depression. Regardless of why my friend might be depressed, I hate seeing it. That’s why I love broadway and showtunes. There are tons of songs about why people should leave their apartments when they’re depressed and to help them cheer back up. Here are three of my favorite ones and if you have a favorite, please feel free to leave a comment below with it.

There is Life Outside Your Apartment from Avenue Q

This song is actually a parody of the song in Rent where they are trying to cheer up Roger and get him to leave his apartment. The only difference is that Avenue Q can turn this into an absolutely hilarious and fun song to sing a long with instead of depressing and sad. If there is one thing that I love about Avenue Q and songs like There is Life Outside Your Apartment is that they aren’t just good songs in general, they are happy, upbeat and fun to sing-a-long with. Here is There is Life Outside Your Apartment from Avenue Q.

Out Tonight from Rent

Since I already talked about the song from Rent where they were trying to cheer up Roger, I figured I would list the next best one, Out Tonight from Rent. This is the ultimate broadway showtune for Cabin Fever. Not only does Mimi convince Roger that he needs to leave his apartment, she goes on and on about how much fun a night out can be. She covers that you can still have fun if you don’t have much money, that you can enjoy the music and that just being around people and a new person that you may fall in love with can make a perfect night and is a great reason to actually leave your apartment and have fun. Here is Out Tonight from Rent.

I’m Alive from Next to Normal

Ok, I have to admit that I haven’t really seen the entire show Next to Normal, but I am absolutely obsessed with the music. When I heard the song I’m Alive from Next to Normal to me it sounded like someone cheering and shouting that there is more to life than a messed up mom and that sometimes you just have to look at the people around you to realize that there are better things within your reach. In this case it is a great guy that you could fall in love with. If you are depressed and in your house because you think you’ll never find love, or find love again, then you aren’t looking in the right places. I’m Alive from Next to Normal is a great song to remind you to look at what you have and who is in front of you because that may be the person you love and the perfect reason to not sit at home depressed. Here is I’m Alive from Next to Normal.

There are tons of broadway songs about why you shouldn’t sit at home depressed. To keep this post short, I wanted to only list three of my top favorites. If you have a favorite song about helping to cheer a friend up or getting them out of their house to go have fun, feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you again for reading.