So I’m going to go act and stuff now. Enjoy the playlist, available here on YouTube. I knew it would turn out a little Benedick-centric because frankly I’m lucky to remember what I’m saying at this point, much less anyone else, but there’s also more mid-/late-60s’ soul here than a Regency-set Elizabethan play might initially imply. It’s summer, and that where my summer ear always leads.
Explanations? Well, I’ll try. If it doesn’t make sense before you see the show, it might make more after. Join us, won’t you?
1) “Weep No More” – Billie Holiday, featuring the Stardusters: As close to “Sigh No More” as popular music is going to give us.
2) ”Heroes and Villains” – Beach Boys: As good an alternate show title as popular music is going to give us.
3) “Just One Look” – Doris Troy: Seriously, Claudio, we’re not in a hurry. We’re staying for a month.
4) “Better Off Without A Wife” – Tom Waits: “When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.”
5) “She’s Actual Size” – They Might Be Giants: The short jokes at Hero’s expense just never stop, but she’s clearly got more going on than it appears.
6) “Just the Way I Am” – Dolly Parton: “Let me be that I am and do not seek to alter me,” quoth Don John when he isn’t crying in his room singing along with Dolly.
7) “Get On the Good Foot” – James Brown: “With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman in the world, if ‘e could get her good will.”
8) “Harlem Globetrotters Theme Song” – Hanna-Barbera: “Will Your Grace command me any service to the world’s end?”
9) “Seven Days Too Long” – Chuck Wood: Claudio (always with the hurrying) wants to marry tomorrow, but Leonato makes him wait a “just sevennight” and I’m sure this is how the poor kid feels.
10) “Good Morning Mr. Zip-Zip-Zip” – Eugene Buckley & Peerless Quartet: “Hath any man seen him at the barber’s?”
11) “Fire” – The Pointer Sisters: “What fire is in mine ears?” asks the recently gulled Beatrice. But we know, don’t we?
12) “Silhouettes” – The Rays: Pretty much a summing up of what happens offstage during our intermission, until the last verse, anyway.
13) “For What It’s Worth” – The Staple Singers: A little something for Messina’s capable night watch.
14) “Oh No, Not My Baby” – Maxine Brown: And back we go to Claudio’s seemingly constant mental state…
15) “Where Were You Last Night?” – Traveling Wilburys: Ditto.
16) “Twine Time” – Alvin Cash & the Crawlers: After the (spoiler) spoiled wedding, Leonato goes along with a convoluted scheme – “Being that I flow in grief,/ The smallest twine may lead me.”
17) “Strange” – Patsy Cline: “I do love nothing in the world so well as you, is not that strange?”
18) “I Would Do Anything For Love” – Future Idiots: Except, you know, kill Claudio.
19) “Sticks and Stones” – Ray Charles: This just seemed a pretty solid B&B mission statement song.
20) “The Question (Do You Love Me)” – Dave “Baby” Cortez: This is a question that comes up a lot, in life, I suppose, but definitely in Much Ado.
21) “Tombstone” – Suzanne Vega: The whole epitaph-reading thing, obviously.
22) “(The Best Part of) Breakin’ Up” – The Ronettes (though I almost put the Flo & Eddie version on too because I love them equally): Clearly this covers most of the mood of Act V Scene iv.
23) “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” – Tina Turner: “Another Hero?” “Nothing certainer.”
24) “My Terms” – Helena Ferguson: Another general-sentiment-of-V-iv song.
25) “Church Bells May Ring” – The Willows: While this could go with the ending of any of the comedies, I put it here because there’s this great church bell sound cue in our show that sounds terrific from the audience but is deafening from backstage in a way that still makes me jump every time as if one of Scrooge’s spirits is about to appear right behind me.
There you go. I’m going to try to squeeze in a nap now.