30 Musicals in 30 Days: Favourite Female Singer

Post a song sung by your favourite female singer in a musical.

The name that immediately springs to mind is Audra McDonald. Bernadette Peters arrives next, but McDonald was here first and she really is, at this point in time, my favourite vocalist when it comes to musical theatre songs. But what clsip should I choose? Everything that this woman sings is stunning! Her work on Ragtime is phenomenal; her covers of Sondheim songs – including her performance of “The Glamorous Life” at the recent 80th birthday concert – are so incredibly moving; her covers of standard Broadway songs often uncover new layers of meaning; and her work on new material created specifically for her by the post-Sondheim generation of musical theatre threatre-makers is definitive. I love listening to the song cycle based on the seven deadly sins created for her by a diverse group of composers and lyricists, so perhaps I should find something from that? Or perhaps it should be a song from her upcoming turn as Bess?

Ultimately, I have turned to a performance of Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg’s “Down With Love” from Hooray for What!, performed at My Favorite Broadway: the Leading Ladies. After a nice, easy start, McDonald cranks the song into a high gear tour de force with a few nods to a couple of other showtunes along the way.

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