“Did You Hear That?”

The Best Lyrics to Come From Musical Theatre

How confident would you be if you were asked to sing one of your favorite songs by heart? Are you someone who knows every song word for word? Or do you kinda just improvise your way through the lyrics? Even if you know all the words, perhaps you don’t listen to what they’re really saying. For the upcoming cabaret, Curtains Up: Songs of Love and Laughter, I asked the student performers what their favorite lyrics were from their songs. And through looking at these lines of verse more close, maybe we can find some more meaning to what they have to say.

As a dramaturg, I tend to look at a show in different ways than a director or designer. Sometimes I like to get to know the actors' more personally because it informs how they perform on stage, and this show will be performed differently than maybe we’re used to. Each actor has a solo to sing (and perhaps there’ll be a couple of duets), but they’ll be filmed separately and edited together before it’s finally broadcast into your home. So how do we find unity in a dazzling cabaret that can’t be performed live? Our director, Amanda Crabb, came up with the title Love and Laughter, and hopes that the audience watching our show can feel joy, and some love and laughter, in the midst of what can feel socially isolating during this time.

So what did they have to say?

When asked their favorite lyric from their song, some of the actors couldn’t decide! While others knew it right away without even skipping a beat. In the end, I gathered some wonderful selections from them.

Some speak to the hope that comes from life and living it to the fullest.

Caroline Clawson: “Times Are Hard for Dreamers”

  • “It isn’t where I am, it’s where I’ll go from here.”

Dallin Suman: “The Starry Night”

  • “The sight of the starry night makes me hope.”

Makenna Ashby: “The Secret of Happiness”

  • “The secret of happiness is not to be afraid.”

Others tell us about the joys of love.

Sydney Swalberg: “Stupid With Love”

  • “And thank you math for bringing me this cute boy.”

Joe Campbell: “Maria”

  • “And suddenly that name will never be the same to me.”

Abby Watts: “Show Me”

  • “Tell me no dreams filled with desire. If you're on fire, show me.”

While others remind us of the struggles love can bring.

Caleb Collier: “So Close”

  • “How could I face the faceless days if I should lose you now.”

Chase Petersen: “Being Alive”

  • “Somebody hold me too close.”

Brooklyn Ashby: “I’m Not That Girl”

  • “Every so often we like to steal to the land of what might have been.”

And finally, some remind us that while the future is unpredictable, we will find ways to navigate it.

Brendan Hanks: “Bright Star”

  • “There's always a song to sing. A melody in the dark. Lifts my spirits everytime I hear it. Comforts my aching heart.”

Have these songs comforted you before? Or is there something that now resonates with you in these lyrics? I hope that music and musical theatre can be something that brings you love and laughter in your life.

How could I choose?!

If you had to pick some of the best lyrics from your favorite musical, what would they be? If you listen closely, maybe you’ll hear something completely new!


Curtains Up: Songs of Love and Laughter will be available to stream April 15, 16, and 17. Support UVU’s musical theatre students and enjoy a night filled with love, and also, with laughter.