A poll came out last week claiming that musical theater is the "least sexy" music genre. In response, I conducted a poll of my own, asking my Facebook friends to post their choices for genuinely sexy musical theater songs.
The discussion really took off—there were about 70 different songs named—and today, for Valentine's Day, I tweeted out a baker's dozen of my favorites. I tried to limit it to one song per composer (for variety's sake), though I broke that rule at the end.
Presenting the Valentine's Day 2017 Sexy Broadway Playlist.
1. "Play the Music For Me" from Jelly's Last Jam, introduced on Broadway by the great Tonya Pinkins.
2. Another Tonya Pinkins track: "Black is a Moocher" from Michael John LaChiusa's The Wild Party.
3. It's sexy, it's haunting, and it's based on Plato's Symposium. "The Origin of Love" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
4. Currently on Broadway and making Tolstoy sexy: Amber Gray singing "Charming" from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.
5. You knew this was coming. "Say No to This" from Hamilton.
6. Opposites attract and bicker and harmonize really, really well. "Take Me or Leave Me," from Rent.
7. Lots of songs in A Little Night Music are sexy (and check out its original Broadway poster, with the naked lovers hidden in the tree!) but I went with the twisted love triangle of "Now/Later/Soon."
8. I think the ritardando on "I…on…ly… know when he" in "I Could Have Danced All Night" (from My Fair Lady) is sexy, and it really makes the song.
9. How did we get this far in a Sexy Broadway playlist without any Kander & Ebb? Remedying that with "When You're Good to Mama" from Chicago.
10. Phantom of the Opera fans, I see you and I've got you covered. Time to pass "The Point of No Return."
11. Finishing off with three tracks from the sexiest Golden Age Broadway composer, Cole Porter. Eartha Kitt with a sultry "My Heart Belongs to Daddy."
12. Ella Fitzgerald's classic "Begin the Beguine"—I am still disappointed that 21st-century adulthood involves so few orchestras playing, palms swaying, nights of tropical splendor, and this whole sophisticated brand of sexiness.
13. Porter at the height of his lush, darkly romantic mode: "So in Love" from Kiss Me Kate, as sung by Brian Stokes Mitchell (I was lucky enough to see this onstage as a young teen!).