Tuesday, May 20, 2008

20 Great Broadway Songs of the Past 10 Years: “You Can’t Stop the Beat”

“Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat”
“Hello, Dolly!”
“You Can’t Stop the Beat”

In a very short time, “You Can’t Stop the Beat” has become one of the best-known Broadway songs of all time, right along with the other songs in above the list. In our time, that’s a pretty spectacular feat.

And it’s not without reason. It is one of the best endings that a Broadway show ever had, a 12 o’clock number in a show that never needs to wake the audience up. Instead of injecting energy as the old 11 o’clock numbers did, “You Can’t Stop the Beat” sends the audience out pumped with energy and the excitement of a great night in the theatre.

It also helps that it’s a topper on a great evening of music. Critics can whine about Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s use of the pop vernacular, but the masses have spoken loudly for the music of Hairspray, first turning the Broadway show into a hit of Ednaian proportions and then falling in love with the movie in droves—first in the theatres then on DVD. It’s easy to single out “You Can’t Stop the Beat” because it’s energetic and exciting, but everyone reading this already remembers all the other greats in the score—“Good Morning Baltimore,” “The Nicest Kids in Town,” “Welcome to the 60s,” and a bunch of others.

the Broadway Mouth
May 20, 2008

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