The other day, my publisher asked me to recommend some songs to bolster his iPod library: The top 10 female Broadway diva solos of all time. (He told me not to spend too much time researching it, even though he doesn’t pay me by the hour, but just give him an idea off the top of my head.) Obviously, if this is going on an iPod, the songs need to be, at least in principal, readily available, so that means no replacement casts of concert performances of Babs doing “The Music and the Mirror.” I limited myself only to cast albums of Broadway shows, not movie soundtracks, and of course I am limited to solos by women.
Below is the list I came up with, roughly in chronological order. What do you think? Any obvious ones you would have included? (P.S My boss said the list was just the ticket.)
• Barbra Streisand, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl.
• Angela Lansbury, “If He Walked Into My Life” from Mame and “The Worst Pies in London” from Sweeney Todd.
• Elaine Stritch, “Here’s to the Ladies Who Lunch” from Company.
• Yvonne DeCarlo, “I’m Still Here” from Follies.
• Carrie Nye, “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide.
• Betty Buckley, “Memory” from Cats.
• Randy Graff, “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. (Patti did it in the original London recording, which is also worth a download.)
• Idina Menzel, “The Wizard and I” from Wicked.
• Christine Ebersole, “Another Winter in a Summer Town” from Grey Gardens.
• Patti LuPone, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” (or even “Rose’s Turn”) from Gypsy.