Broadway is the street in New York that houses the theater district and is the most famous venue for musical theater in the world. Hundreds of theatrical performances have originated on Broadway, the most profitable and entertaining of which sometimes leave their Broadway home and travel the country. Many of the songs in these musicals are popular performance pieces for both professionals and amateurs alike. Broadway duets may be performed by two males, two females, or one male and one female. Some are serious and romantic, while others are light-hearted and humorous.
Female duets are popular among Broadway performance pieces. Louise and June performed “If Momma Was Married” in the musical "Gypsy," which made its Broadway debut in 1959. “Poor Little Pierette,” performed by Madame Dubonnet and Polly, is a number from the musical "The Boyfriend," which debuted in 1954. "Woman of the Year," which debuted in 1981, contains the duet “The Grass is Always Greener,” performed by Tess and Jan. "Chicago," which debuted in 1975, showcases many duets, including "Class," performed by Mama and Velma. “Baby Dream Your Dream,” performed by Nickie and Helene, is another of these female duets from the 1966 musical "Sweet Charity."
Male duets are another popular feature in Broadway musicals. “We Can Do It” from "The Producers," which debuted in 2001, is performed by Leo and Max. Archibald and Neville performed “Lily’s Eyes” in "The Secret Garden," which debuted in 1991. "The Fantasticks," which debuted in 1960 and ran for 42 years, showcased “I Can See It,” performed by Matt and El Gallo. Even minor characters made an impression in the category of male duets; “Brush up Your Shakespeare,” from "Kiss Me Kate," which debuted in 1948, was performed by the First and Second Gangsters.
Male and Female Duets
Female and Male duets wowed audiences on Broadway in shows such as "Annie Get Your Gun," which debuted in 1946. In this musical, Annie and Frank performed “Anything You Can Do.” “You’re the Top,” from the 1934 musical "Anything Goes," was performed by Reno and Billy. Reno also performed with Moonface in the number, “Friendship,” from the same show. Danny and Sandy performed “You’re the One that I Want” in 1972's "Grease." “It Takes Two,” from the 2002 musical "Hairspray," was performed by Link and Tracy.
Some Broadway duets were meant to be funny, as in Desiree and Fredrik’s performance of, “You Must Meet My Wife” from the 1973 musical "A Little Night Music." “Sue Me,” performed by Miss Adelaide and Nathan in the 1950 musical "Guys and Dolls," was also lighthearted. Nick and Fanny hammed it up in the 1964 show "Funny Girl" with the song “ You are Woman, I am Man.” Another classic funny bit came from "Chicago," in Billy and Roxy’s performance of “We Both Reached for the Gun.”
Clearly some duets suited for a male and a female performer are romantic in nature. Curly and Laurey’s “People Will Say We’re In Love” from the 1943 musical "Oklahoma" is one such example. “All I Ask of You,” performed by Raoul and Christine in 1988's "Phantom of the Opera," is a haunting, yet romantic, love song. Kim and Chris performed “Sun and Moon" in "Miss Saigon," which debuted in 1991.
Based in Oklahoma, Heather M. Moss is a professional writer, editor, and teacher. She holds an English degree from Oklahoma State University and has been published in "The Stillwater Forum," "Papyrus Literary Magazine," and eHow. Though Moss is a skilled research writer, she is also a creative writer and is currently working on a novel.