In a town where everyone from your next-door neighbor to your favorite barista – from your dental hygienist to your manicurist, your seatmate on the bus, your friendly neighborhood bartender and maybe even the guy who does your taxes – is a songwriter, you'll find that there's never a shortage of opinions on the topic of favorite songs. Ask a cross-section of Nashville theater-types what their favorite love song is from the annals of musical theater and you're going to get a barrage of answers.
In honor of Valentine's Day (and in a blatant rip-off of BroadwayWorld.com's similar query to the denizens of the Great White Way), we posed that very question to some of our favorite theater community-dwellers in yet another not-so-scientific survey. So, if you're thinking about putting together a playlist of favorite love songs – or if you're searching for the perfect tunes to play in the background while you set the scene for a romantic evening with your own Valentine, here are some suggestions:
Rita Frizzell: "If I Loved You" from Carousel.
Halee-Catherine Culicerto: "Roll in the Hay" from Young Frankenstein. "Ooh, I forgot about 'Dangerous Game' from Jekyll and Hyde...maybe the kind of love you want to avoid."
Rowena Soriano Gonzalez Aldridge: "You Made Me Love You" from Irene, "Just in Time" from Bells Are Ringing and "I Got Lost In His Arms" from Annie Get Your Gun: "I've done all three of these shows (many years ago) and I think these songs are some of the best – and unfortunately overlooked songs – in musical theater."
Joshua Waldrep: "Love Song" from Pippin and "I'll Cover You" from Rent.
Debra Barrett Graham: "Loving You" from Passion: "It is not a romantic song, but it's so expressive for those of us with 20+ years with a best friend, a lover, the father of my children and lifelong companion..."
Scott Rice: "They Were You" from The Fantasticks, "So Many People" from Saturday Night and "Love to Me" from The Light in the Piazza.
Robert Stone: "As Long As He Needs Me" from Oliver.
Amy Prough Stumpfl, theater critic for The Tennessean: "I Have Dreamed" from The King and I, "Not While I'm Around" from Sweeney Todd, "People Will Say We're In Love" from Oklahoma and "Somewhere" from West Side Story.
Jama Bowen (now onstage, playing the geisha madam in Blackbird Theater's Pacific Overtures): "My Cup Runneth Over" from I Do, I Do.
Amanda Lamb: "Love Song" from Pippin: "I love its quirkiness."
Paula Hester Chandler: "People Will Say We're in Love" from Oklahoma: "It's from a long time back, even before my time, but it's still one of my favorite songs."
Jennifer Bennett (currently in rehearsal for Circle Players' upcoming Brighton Beach Memoirs): "'Til There Was You" from The Music Man.
Kim Thornton Nygren: "Someone Like You" from Jekyll and Hyde.
Jaclyn Lisenby Brown: "Yesterday I Loved You" from Once on this Island.
Bonnie Keen: "How Could I Ever Know" from The Secret Garden.
Laura Matula: "A Little Fall of Rain" from Les Miserables, "Sun and Moon" from Miss Saigon and "Being Alive" from Company.