It all started on Thursday with a single tweet, from L.A.-based entertainment writer Kendra James: “Someone has offered you $1,000,000 on the condition that you sing through an entire Broadway soundtrack from memory. It cannot be a show you’ve performed in. You cannot miss a single word. Which one you going with?”
Never mind that Broadway purists typically talk about “original cast recordings” instead of “soundtracks,” because within hours Tony-winning stars ranging from Lin-Manuel Miranda to Audra McDonald to Broadway fan Monica Lewinsky were weighing in on the question.
“Hamilton” creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda offered a list of five shows he knew by heart: “Rent,” “The Man of La Mancha,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “A Chorus Line” and “Les Misérables” and then offered a somewhat boastful footnote: “I could get to the million on any of those, but Hedwig is the shortest distance.”
Monica Lewinsky’s list was similarly lengthy: “Guys and Dolls,” “Les Mis,” “Annie” and “Cats (maybe)”.
And Audra McDonald, a Broadway veteran with a record six Tony Awards sitting at home, offered just one choice: “Chicago.” (Admittedly, there’s a very good chance she’s performed in every other show named on the Twitter thread at some point in her career.)
Jane Lynch, who starred in a recent Broadway revival of “Annie,” suggested “Funny Girl.”
Two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser picked “My Fair Lady” and added: “I didn’t realize I could until I saw the revival.”
Actor-filmmaker Alex Winter (“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”) had an impressively Sondheim-centric list of his own: “Sweeney Todd,” “Company,” “Sunday in the Park With George,” “West Side Story” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
See some of the additional responses below.
Jesus Christ superstar
— Christine Vachon (@kvpi) June 14, 2019
My Fair Lady. I didn’t realize I could until I saw the revival.
— Alison Fraser (@alisonfraser) June 14, 2019
Rent, Wicked, Dear Evan Hansen, Kinky Boots, Company, West Side Story…
I AM A DORK THAT ONLY LISTENS TO MUSICALS AND BEYONCE
( I would add Into the Woods too, but I have performed it in college!!) https://t.co/S000c3yHOg
— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) June 13, 2019
Fiddler On The Roof or My Fair Lady. But I’d probably mess up on the long monologue songs. https://t.co/BXGxhcfjVO
— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) June 13, 2019