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Yesterday on one of my hilariously long train rides, “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” popped up on my iPod, so I decided to listen to all of Guys and Dolls. I actually woke up this morning with this running through my head, for some completely inexplicable reason:

I don’t even like The Return of Jafar, so who knows? But then I went back to my Facebook page and saw the comments on the video I posted when I got home from my travels, and I knew I was going to have to watch it a few more times…and then post it here. In all the years that I’ve been listening to the 1992 revival recording of Guys and Dolls, it’s never occurred to me to look for video from it (well, at least since the advent of Youtube!). Also, I just realized that J.K. Simmons from Law and Order is Benny Southstreet–which makes me like J.K. Simmons even more because Benny’s got a great voice! Anyway, have a little glorious scenery-chewing from Nathan Lane and Faith Prince. Around 2:00 there’s a moment that knocks my socks off.

There’s something about the coordination of this that thrills me. It’s never really struck me before just how GOOD this number can be. I mean, I love it on the recording, but compared to some of the glorious melodies and fabulous production numbers from the rest of the show, it’s kind of a non-song, isn’t it? But what I never quite knew before is that it’s a scene in music. There’s that progression from hope at the very beginning, to irritation, to straight-up anger, to sorrow and contrition in the last moments, and Faith Prince and Nathan Lane give masterly performances. Just check out the moments when they’re NOT singing. The pause after “Because…I gotta go to a prayer meeting” is pretty epic, and the one before the last “I could honestly die” is heartbreaking. It’s that kind of connection between performers that makes me want to perform.

Oh, and speaking of epic pauses and connections between performers, how about this one?

And with that, time to figure out how to spend the long, empty day stretching ahead of me!