Guys & Dolls : 25 Dynamic Male-Female Duets from Broadway’s Golden Age

Written by Jackson Upperco

October 13, 2016

Looking for an opposite-sex duet from Broadway’s Golden Age – the years in between Oklahoma! (1943) and Hair (1967) – that HASN’T been overdone? Well, don’t worry: there’s no “People Will Say We’re In Love” or “Anything You Can Do” here. These 25 character-laden numbers below are sure to leave a more lasting impression on your audience – and allow you some fun in the process!

1. “Come Up To My Place” from On The Town (1944)

A rambunctious taxi cab driver, Hildy, tries to “pick up” the shore-leavin’ sailor she’s just picked up. A hilarious good time.

2. “Moon-Faced, Starry-Eyed” from Street Scene (1947)

A teenaged couple flirts with each other on the streets of a New York tenement. Youthful, energetic, danceable joy.

3. “I Still Get Jealous” from High Button Shoes (1947)

A gentle mother and father in 1913 New Jersey sing about how they keep their love alive. Nostalgic warmth – care to soft shoe?

Sheet Music: “I Still Get Jealous”

4. “Here I’ll Stay” from Love Life (1948)

Recently married archetypes of the American male and female in 1791 reaffirm their unwavering bond. Romantic, grand.

5. “Make A Miracle” from Where’s Charley? (1948)

A pair of collegiate sweethearts at Oxford in 1892 looks forward to the future – both technologically and romantically. Light, sweet.

6. “You’re Just In Love” from Call Me Madam (1950)

A U.S. ambassador to a small European country comforts her love-struck diplomatic aide. Classic counterpoint rouser.

Sheet Music: “You’re Just In Love”

7. “A Word A Day” from Top Banana (1951)

A television comic and his ex-gal’s wisecracking roommate use the dictionary to expand their horizons. Silly and cute.

8. “That’s The Way It Happens” from Me And Juliet (1953)

A chorine and an assistant stage manager each sing about the way romances often go for those in the theatre.

Sheet Music: “That’s The Way It Happens”

9. “It’s The Going Home Together” from The Golden Apple (1954)

A wife and husband rejoice that he has come home from war. From a literate adaptation of Homer’s epics, set in turn-of-the-century America.

10. “I’ll Never Be Jealous Again” from The Pajama Game (1954)

A secretary tries to keep her boss from pushing away his girlfriend by reigning in his overbearing jealousy. Funny piece for two pals.

11. “You Were Dead, You Know” from Candide (1956)

A couple reunites after each believing that the other has died in war. From the comic operetta adaptation of Voltaire’s novella.

12. “No One’ll Ever Love You” from Goldilocks (1958)

A silent film director and his temperamental star each accuse the other of being self-absorbed. Comical – great for show folk.

13. “I’ll Try” from Redhead (1959)

A London museum curator and an American athlete vow to make an attempt at pleasing the other. 11’o clock spot.

14. “What’s To Lose? / Stars Have Blown My Way” from The Nervous Set (1959)

The editor of an avant-garde New York magazine enters into a relationship with an uptown woman. Beatniks = original hipsters!

15. “How Can Love Survive?” from The Sound Of Music (1959)

Two millionaires muse on how wealth threatens love as she prepares to wed. One of the score’s more complex and lesser sung treats.

Sheet music: “How Can Love Survive?”

16. “Dolce Far Niente / I May Never Fall In Love With You” from The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1960)

A socialite from rural Colorado resolves to leave a European prince to reunite with her American love. Romantically articulate.

17. “What Do The Simple Folk Do?” from Camelot (1960)

Arthur and Guinevere wonder what the commoners do to pick themselves up when blue. Based on the legend of King Arthur.

18. “What Takes My Fancy” from Wildcat (1960)

A tomboy tries to persuade a hermit proprietor to let her drill for oil on his property with a 50-50 deal. Boisterous goofiness.

Sheet music: “What Takes My Fancy”

19. “Ambition” from Do Re Mi (1960)

A chronic loser has dreams of the big-time when he finds a naïve young singer he hopes to market. All character.

20. “No Strings” from No Strings (1962)

A Parisian model and an American novelist must part ways – but with no strings. Mature. (The original production featured an interracial couple.)

21. “When Gemini Meets Capricorn” from I Can Get It For You Wholesale (1962)

An ambitious businessman not-so-coincidentally meets an old sweetheart, from whom he wants money. Charming at first glance.

22. “Uh-Oh!” from Tovarich (1963)

The teenage kids of a rich family in Paris have fallen for their servants – who are exiled Russian royalty in disguise. Bouncy.

23. “You’re Not Foolin’ Me” from 110 In The Shade (1963)

A cloistered small town girl doubts a stranger’s claims that he can end their drought. Combative, tense.

24. “You’re No Good” from What Makes Sammy Run? (1964)

A ruthless power-hungry Hollywood executive plans to marry the boss’ daughter, but they see right through each other. Anti-love duet.

25. “Thinking” from Do I Hear A Waltz? (1965)

A Venetian shopkeeper and an American tourist prepare to embark on a romance. Meaty material for exploration.

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
Thumbnail image from No Strings. Courtesy of the New York Public Library, 1962.