Tons of people like karaoke and one thing that almost always ends up happening, especially with duets, is someone singing broadway songs for couples, ballads and other showtunes at karaoke nights. It doesn’t matter if you are at a straight bar, a gay bar or anywhere else, if they have karaoke there is probably going to be a showtune somewhere in the book and someone is going to perform at least one of the most popular broadway songs. Here are a list of ten popular broadway songs for karaoke and the shows they are from.
I’ve heard some tragic songs, but no musical number has ever incited as many emotions in me as You’ll Be a Dentist from Little Shop of Horrors. When I hear this song a flood of painful memories come back to me…. spending most of my adolescence in braces, having my wisdom teeth pulled (on prom night and having to go looking like a chipmunk with a mouthful of acorns) and the worst, my orthodontist dropping a running drill on my lip….let’s just say that You’ll be a Dentist from the Little Shop of Horrors strikes quite a chord in me.
Unlike in this song, my dentists have always been the more sinister, silent type. Personally, I would much prefer Steve Martin’s maniacally violent character in Little Shop of Horrors. I feel like his character possesses a more comprehensible level of sheer insanity, whereas my dentists have just had an eerie intangible creepiness. The song even gives some insight into how he turned out this way, such as recounting his childhood spent terrorizing animals and showing him in his shrine full of mommy issues. To be fair though, I bet he did indeed make his mother proud by taking the dentist route rather than turning into a serial killer.
I really enjoyed how the song develops. Upon hearing the opening with the funky little synth line, I thought that Elvis was going to give us a song about cruising around the country picking up girls on a chopper. Instead, the Dentist Song from Little Shop of Horrors gave me about 2 minutes of a sadistic, yet hilarious, Steve Martin. The majestic and inspirational part of the song that follows the perky synth line gives everything an incredibly upbeat tone, despite the brutality going on throughout the whole thing.
While the entirety of the song was hilarious, my favorite part was definitely when the camera shifts to inside the mouth of the man who is getting drilled. Even though the sound of the drill brought back memories of the horrifying smell of tooth dust and an unbearable sensation in my mouth, watching the writhing tongue made it all worth it. In a close second place was the back and forth “AWWW” between the dentist and his gurgling victim. Although I considered these two bits the highlights, I had no problem watching The Dentist Song from Little Shop of Horrors several times over, and I feel like I got something out of it each time. If you have seen it before and doubt its re-watch value, give it one more try, but this time, pay attention to how he parks his motorcycle this time –I bet you didn’t catch that one before!
You’ll Be a Dentist from Little Shop of Horrors is great because it capitalizes on a deep rooted fear that is present in almost anyone who has ever had a cavity. It is a song of sharp contrast; with violent lyrics and actions, but insanely upbeat lyrics and melodies. However, above all else, it is a hilarious number that pretty much anyone with a sense of humor will love. Even my girlfriend liked it, and she hates donuts, puppies, babies and musicals. Don’t let my favorable review of You’ll Be a Dentist from Little Shop of Horrors make you think it didn’t scare me though – I’ll definitely brush extra well tonight.
Rappers have their own clothing lines, headphones, TV shows, and movie deals, but as far as I know, none have ended up on Broadway. That said, I just watched The Speed Test from Thoroughly Modern Milly, and the cast was spitting fire. With catchy lyrics and a bit of a dueling banjo theme of one-upmanship, I’ve had The Speed Test from Thoroughly Modern Milly stuck in my head since hearing it for the first time. I would probably be annoying everyone around me singing it to myself, but luckily for them, I don’t have anywhere near the coordination or lung capacity to even attempt this song.
The premise of the scene is that the main character, Milly, is on a mission to land herself a rich and powerful husband. She decides to go after Mr. Graydon, an eligible bachelor and a boss at the Sincere Trust. So she applies for a job as his stenographer and the song is her interview test. Mr. Graydon starts dictating at a reasonable pace, complaining about an order of floor wax. (That The Speed Test from Thoroughly Modern Milly succeeds in turning a song about something as mundane as floor wax into a Broadway hit speaks leagues about how well written it is). After writing what she is supposed to, and coolly crossing every “t” and dotting every “i,” Millie decides to up the ante by telling him he was a bit slow.
This is where the number starts getting good. While challenging her interviewer to make things more difficult might suggest Millie is not the savviest job hunter, she certainly succeeds in proving she is a good stenographer. Around this point, we get our first bit of comedy with Mr. Graydon shoving the rancid floor wax under Milly’s nose, and the song tempo starts getting quicker and quicker. I’m not fully sure why, but the refrain and mutual affirmation that “Hudson’s Floor Wax doesn’t matter” struck me as the funniest bit of the whole piece — unfortunately it was followed by a scene that I found to be a bit too long and too boring.
The typewriter/tap dancing of the song was drawn out and uninteresting. Mr. Graydon gives Milly two minutes to type the letter, and then the audience is treated to…. two minutes of watching her type the letter. Sure, it has a couple dancers in it, but this song’s strengths lay in the lyrics and vocalists, not the choreographers. While Millie is a great stenographer, she isn’t much of a typist, and is a mediocre tap dancer at best. Had her typing time been limited to 30 seconds, not only would the song have been better, but I would have more respect for Milly’s typing abilities too.
Despite the lackluster typing segment, I thought The Speed Test from Thoroughly Modern Milly makes a major comeback with the best part at the end. Somehow Mr. Graydon sings even faster than the insane pace he was maintaining before— I’m not sure who is playing him, but they might want to try being the first rap star to come out of Broadway. To wrap everything up, we are treated to a happy ending with Milly landing the job and being serenaded by her new co-workers.
Most musical pieces are about some sort of great trial or lost love. On the other hand, The Speed Test from Thoroughly Modern Milly is almost entirely about a spoiled jar of floor wax. Despite the mundane subject matter, its witty lyrics and incessantly accelerating tempo keep it fun and amusing. The Speed Test is by far the fastest paced Broadway song I have ever seen and I highly recommend you buy tickets for Thoroughly Modern Milly to enjoy it live.
(This is another guest post by Ryan and is his own personal opinions. Not the opinions of BroadwayReviewed.com).
This is by far the funniest parody I have seen! Disney has a habit of sugar coating both current and historic events to make them more kid friendly. On the other hand, Jon Cozart is not afraid to provide us with the hard (and hilarious) truth of what happens to Disney characters that get involved with our oceans, the Middle East, indigenous population or interspecies relations. His explanations of what happens after Disney characters “dreams all come true” are definitely different than what I had envisioned growing up. However, if this guy ever happens to write or direct a sequel to any of these Disney movies, I will certainly come to the midnight premiere — I just won’t bring the kids.
Cozart opens up with a raunchy remix of Under the Sea. While he keeps the same bubbly Caribbean beat in an all accapella style, but he puts a darker spin on things. After all, Ariel is a 21st century mermaid. She has to share the sea with more than just her fishy friend Flounder — she also deals with the fallout from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and her pals being massacred and eaten by the Chinese and Japanese.
In the Aladdin bit, Jasmine has finally landed her dream boy; only to have him promptly imprisoned in Gitmo. This is when Cozart busts out my personal favorite line: Bush was crazy/Obama is lazy/ Al Qaeda’s not in this country! On top of the witty lyrics, I thought that the facial expressions that Jon Cozart constantly makes through this part added a whole new level of hilarity to the song — although I doubt that is any consolation to Aladdin — he probably just wishes he had saved a last wish with his genie so he could abolish the Indefinite Detention Act.
Denmark has some fairly liberal bestiality laws. Unfortunately, Beauty and the Beast is set in France, and Belle’s secret is out. While Jon Cozart showed the spite of the town’s people towards Belle very clearly, he leaves us with a cliff hanger as to whether she gets killed by a mob, placed in jail, or just has her hairy hubby taken away by PETA is all left up in the air.
The Pocahontas film had a fair bit of violence for a Disney movie, but compared to what happens afterwards, it was a walk in the park. This piece was the one that truly showcased Jon Cozart’s talent. It displayed not only his acapella skills and his brutal sense of humor, but his language and acting capabilities as well. The part where the French and Spaniards freak out upon learning just how depraved Pocahontas has become had me cracking up regardless of how many times I watched it.
I’m not generally into parodies, but Jon Cozart nailed this one. Disney can be sickeningly sweet far too often, and I thought that watching a video sinisterly tearing apart all their idealism was a breath of fresh air. Even those who aren’t so sadistic should still be able to appreciate the witty lyrics and the terrific acting and singing skills of Jon Cozart.
I was looking for another version of Brotherhood of Men from How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying when I came across a super bowl ad where CBS did a parody of the showtune and actually did an awesome job. I completely forgot about this version and was cracking up when I saw it. Not only is it basically all of the stars from a lot of the older shows from the network, but they can actually sing extremely well as well.
What many people forget is that a lot of tv and even movie stars are also able to sing. A lot of them went to school for acting and were also trained how to dance, sing and perform. Depending on which media or type of acting jobs they get cast in determines what talents they get to show off. Just because you’ve never heard them sing or perform before doesn’t mean they can’t. I think that is why I love this super bowl ad parody of Brotherhood of Men from How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying. It has a ton of celebrities that we all know showing that they can actually sing and perform like they are on broadway, instead of just their normal acting roles which we see on tv or in the movies on a regular basis.
This parody is a bit older so some of the characters might not be relevant anymore, but it’s also fun to see which ones and which shows you can recognize. The other fun thing is that the characters in the parody keep their tv show characters’ personas. Because many of the shows take place in an office building, the funny part is they all mesh together and the parody actually works with all of the characters from different shows combined into one song about being in a large corporation. This parody of Brotherhood of Men from How to Succeed in Business is awesome and CBS did an awesome job with it. I think my favorite part is the Betty White comment in the beginning, but there are a ton of other great things they added. Feel free to share your own favorite part in the comments below.