Guys: 25 Wow-Able Solos from Broadway’s Golden Age

Written by Jackson Upperco

September 8, 2016

Fellas, are you looking for a solo from Broadway’s Golden Age – the years in between Oklahoma! (1943) and Hair (1967) – that’ll be guaranteed to WOW? Well, put away those copies of “Luck Be A Lady” and “Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’”; they’ve been done to death! These 25 character-laden numbers below are sure to leave a more lasting impression on your audience – whether you’re seeking laughter or tears!

1. “A Rhyme For Angela” from The Firebrand Of Florence (1945)



The Duke of Florence aims to win over his love with a poem, but nothing seems to rhyme with her name! Clever and comedic.

2. “Lonely House” from Street Scene (1947)



A pensive teenager in a Manhattan tenement rhapsodizes about the loneliness of his existence. A chance for soaring vocals.

3. “I’m Your Man” from Love Life (1948)



An archetype for the American male attempts to promote himself in order to make a business deal. A showy piece for audition material.

4. “Once In Love With Amy” from Where’s Charley? (1948)



A college senior has trouble concealing his abundant love for his sweetheart, the eponymous Amy. Unalloyed joy (and an opportunity for great dancing).

Sheet music: “Once In Love With Amy”

5. “Once Upon A Time Today” from Call Me Madam (1950)



A diplomat to a small European country falls in love with the nation’s princess. Beautiful ballad with simplicity of both theme and character.

6. “They Couldn’t Compare To You” from Out Of This World (1950)



The god Mercury details his many legendary conquests – insisting that they couldn’t compare to his current love. Has a bouncy Cole Porter wit!

7. “How Do You Do, Miss Pratt?” from Seventeen (1951)



In turn of the century Indianapolis, a shy local teenager falls for a popular visiting St. Louis girl. Sweet and uncomplicated.

8. “It’s All Right With Me” from Can-Can (1953)



A stuffy judge in 1890’s Paris tries to forget about the scandalous dance hall owner with whom he’s in love. Sophisticated notions of romance.

Sheet music: “It’s All Right With Me”

9. “The Sudden Thrill” from Carnival In Flanders (1953)



A Spanish Duke falls head over heels for the wife of a small town mayor, who has faked his own death. Contains certain sexual undertones.

10. “Lost In Loveliness” from The Girl In Pink Tights (1954)



A civil war veteran in 1860s New York goes gaga for the lead in a travelling ballet company. Lesser known charmer in the “I’m so in love” variety.

11. “Restless Heart” from Fanny (1954)



A sailor is torn between his lady love and his desire for adventure on the high seas. A up-tempo number for more vocally driven study.

12. “Thinkin’” from Pipe Dream (1955) 



A not-so-bright man tries to help his marine biologist friend with romantic problems. Charactery and can be talk-sung.

13. “The Sadder-But-Wiser Girl” from The Music Man (1957)



A wheeling-and-dealing con man describes the kind of girl he likes. The sharpest (and often overlooked) number from this popular score.

14. “I Can’t Be In Love” from Goldilocks (1958)



A director tries to persuade himself that he is not in love with a temperamental silent film star. Pattery, smart, and memorable.

15. “Never Will I Marry” from Greenwillow (1960)



In a tiny mystical village, a man fears a curse on his family (dooming the males to forever wander) will keep him from his love. A powerful ballad.

Sheet music: “Never Will I Marry”

16. “The Late, Late Show” from Do Re Mi (1960)



A chronic loser hoping to break into the recording industry showcases his knowledge of the old movies shown on TV. Shticky fun.

17. “Go Slow, Johnny” from Sail Away (1961)



A young man cautions himself of falling too fast for the object of his shipboard affection, an older woman. Swinging lounge-fare.

18. “How Can You Describe A Face?” from Subways Are For Sleeping (1961)



The leader of an elite homeless society develops feelings for a young journalist whose undercover disguise doesn’t fool him. Features a quiet tenderness.

19. “Virtue, Arrivederci” from Bravo Giovanni (1962)



An Italian restaurateur in Rome laments his bad luck as a result of indomitable virtue. An opportunity for interesting choices.

20. “Rain Song” from 110 In The Shade (1963)



A man shows up in a small Southwestern town and promises to end their drought. From a musical adaptation of The Rainmaker.

21. “Some Days Everything Goes Wrong” from What Makes Sammy Run? (1964)



A ruthless power-hungry Hollywood executive resolves to pick himself up after a fall and keep going. An 11’ o clock showcase for an anti-hero.

22. “Whatever Became Of Old Temple?” from Ben Franklin In Paris (1964)



The grandson of Benjamin Franklin worries about his legacy. Interesting seldom performed material; Sondheim-lite.

23. “The Fickle Finger Of Fate” from I Had A Ball (1964)



A dejected Coney Island pitchman finds himself very unlucky in love. Another 11’ o clock anthem.

24. “Bargaining” from Do I Hear A Waltz? (1965)



A Venetian shopkeeper flirts with an American woman on holiday by showing her how to haggle. Intelligently goofy Sondheim lyrics to peppy Rodgers tune.

25. “She Wasn’t You” from On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever (1965)



An 18th century English artist regrets cheating on his new bride. Melodic ballad; chance to show vocal chops.

Sheet music: “She Wasn’t You”


Jackson Upperco is a lover of retro television, forgotten Broadway musicals, and Pre-Code Hollywood. He boasts a Bachelors Degree in Film and Television from Boston University. You can keep up with all of his entertainment interests at jacksonupperco.com.
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