Top Five Most Climactic Songs in Musical Theater

Tiana A Abdulmassih

Neha Mehrotra '15 is the incoming Theater Exec for 2014.

Musicals may be the pinnacle of artistic ingenuity. Displaying a unique cross-section between drama, dance, and singing, musicals use songs to tap into human emotion in the most spectacular way. This is a list of the top five most climactic songs in musical theatre:

5. “So Much Better” from “Legally Blonde”: While this musical may not have the same theatrical prestige as the others on the list, it has a special place in my heart. After her ex-boyfriend, Warner, proposes to another woman, Elle questions her decision to attend Harvard Law School until she she realizes she doesn’t need a man.

4. “The Phantom of the Opera” from “The Phantom of the Opera”: It’s the theme song for a reason. The Phantom takes Christine to his gloomy lair, and the only way to describe the moment is intoxicating. The audience is led down the tunnel, not able to emerge until the final act of the musical.

3. “Do You Hear the People Sing” from “Les Misérables”: After the death of General Lamarque, Enjolras and Marius leads a group of students in rebellion against the government. What makes the song so exciting is the characters’ passion and strength as they emote, marching towards what is most likely their death.

2. “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from “Dreamgirls”: Whether it is Jennifer Holliday or Jennifer Hudson belting out this iconic song, the emotional devastation of a woman desperate for love and affection hits home every time. After being kicked out of the Dreams, she pleads with Curtis, her lover and manager, to stay by her side. The audience is left with the image of Effie reaching out but no one there to take her hand.


1. “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked”: When Elphaba discovers that the Wizard of Oz is a con man, it is safe to say that she doesn’t take it lying down. Forsaking the Wizard and deciding to become a vigilante, Elphaba soars in the sky declaring her independence, damning herself to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West despite her noble intentions.

—Staff Writer Neha Mehrotra thinks Drake is attractive. She can be reached at


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