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Staff Picks: Our Favorite 11 O’Clock Numbers

March 31, 2020 by TodayTix
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Oh the 11 o’clock number, that show-stopping moment when a diva (or divo?) takes the stage and belts for the rafters. This epic song is usually the second to last in a show, and with a typical 8PM curtain and two and a half hour running time, takes place near the titular time.

However, 11 o’clock numbers come in all shapes and sizes these days, and all it takes to be worthy of 11 o’clock status is just a lot of emotion and a big song. It can be intensely emotional (see “Telephone Wire” in “Fun Home” or “Words Fail” from “Dear Evan Hansen“) or brassy and big (We’re looking at you Elphaba). Here are some of the TodayTix staff’s favorite 11 o’clock numbers you can watch on YouTube!

“Rose’s Turn,” Gypsy
Geri, Accounts Team

“Rose’s Turn” is the ultimate 11 o’clock musical diva meltdown. Highly recommend going on a spiral to see the many iconic performances captured over the years, but I’m partial to the incomparable Bernadette Peters’s powerful performance that manages to be both subtle and larger-than-life at the same time. 

Ladies Who Lunch,” Company
Victoria, Product Team

The song itself is one of the best in a show that can be both melancholic and comedic. It exemplifies everything about “Company“: moody, bitter, funny, and vodka-soaked. This performance by Patti Lupone is a gem because she sings it in FRONT of THE ELAINE STRITCH, who made this song and also pointedly looks at her hat. She makes the notes sound effortless and easy. There is true pain in her performance but filled with the kind of joy that knowing true pain brings.  There are many versions of this song and seeing each person’s take is always revelatory but Patti’s performance here truly stands out for all those reasons.

Betrayed,” The Producers
Victoria, Product Team

Nathan Lane vamping in his own jail cell to words penned by Mel Brooks is comedy gold but also the best way to both celebrate and mock the DRAMA of an 11 o’ clock number. If this doesn’t have you jazz squaring in your kitchen while you take care of your sourdough starter I don’t know what will.

Telephone Wire, “Fun Home”
Victoria, Product Team

This moment in “Fun Home” is heartbreaking and beautiful, but no matter who you are, you understand no this feeling. You know that feeling when you set a goal to say something and the agonizing moment between saying it and waiting for the response. That brief moment of hesitation right before you have to say something you know you’re going to get a reaction to and then the rush of fear and relief is perfectly captured in this whole composition.

“I’m Here,” The Color Purple
Marc, Tech Team

Vocal superhuman goddess Cynthia Erivo belting a high G is guaranteed to bring any house down. Out of context of the show, “I’m Here” is, for all intents and purposes, a bop. But put it into the context of the show and the difficult journey that Celie goes on and you will be truly moved to tears.

“She Used to Be Mine,” Waitress
Abby, Marketing Team

“She Used to Be Mine” feels like a deep breath that you’ve been holding in for a bit too long. The beauty of “Waitress” is that it feels like real life throughout: funny, complicated, sad and also equally really hard and worth celebrating. The beauty of this song is that it lets Jenna just “be” — there’s nothing fake or forced or performative about it. It’s so raw and honest. I love “She Used to Be Mine” because it simultaneously feels like a song that was written just for this character and one that feels like it was written for every single person in the room. My favorite performance of the number is the show’s writer Sara Bareilles and the original Broadway Jenna Jessie Mueller at the Tony Awards. Make sure you grab some tissues before pressing play.

“I’m Outta Here,” Ghost: The Musical
Jordan, Partnerships Team

‘I’m Outta Here’ comes towards the end of the show when Oda Mae sees an opportunity to take her fortune and run away. However, Sam convinces her to think otherwise, but not before Oda Mae has a glimpse into her possible rich lifestyle. It’s a super catchy, uplifting song that’s in complete contrast to the rest of the score and brings some light relief from a very emotional tale of love and loss. It’s the perfect 11 o’clock number!

Show Off,” The Drowsy Chaperone
Cory, Operations Team

No one defines a triple-threat more than Sutton Foster, who belts her socks off in the funniest show ever to appear on the Broadway stage. And she does it with a mouth full of water!!! And while the 11 o’clock number happens closer to 8:15, it sustains you throughout the show.

Move On,” Sunday in the Park with George
Zach, Tech Team

Does this count as an 11 o’clock number? Who cares! Close enough. It’s gorgeous and heartbreaking and uplifting and sad and makes me weep truly every time. If you ever find yourself wondering whether anything you’re doing or making is good enough / original enough / worth all the effort, my professional medical advice would be to watch this video 400 times a day. Come for the sweet sweet harmony at 1:57 and stay for Mandy whispering “I love you” at 4:17. “The choice may have been mistaken / The choosing was not / You have to move on.” Are you KIDDING me Stephen Joshua Sondheim??? (hbd btw xo)

“Lot’s Wife,” Caroline, or Change
Zach, Tech Team

Much of the show is building toward this moment, when Caroline begins to realize the ways in which the laundry money has changed her, and she begs God to release her from material needs and desires. That description doesn’t really do justice to the full storm of emotions captured here, but Tony Kushner’s lyrics and Jeanine Tesori’s music are transcendent, and Sharon D Clarke’s performance is truuuuly next-level.

“Revolting Children,” Matilda
Tom, Employee Experience Team

I remember seeing Matilda in early previews and walking out with “Revolting Children” stuck in my head. Any song with a confetti cannon at the end is sure to get my attention! I then worked on the show on and off for years and after after hundreds (maybe thousands?!) of listens, I’m still as fond of it.

“No Good Deed,” Wicked
Suzy, Marketing Team

“Defying Gravity” gets all the attention, but “No Good Deed” is low-key Elphaba’s best song. Intense emotion? Check. Moral quandary? Check. The highest notes and riffs? Check. Enjoy this throwback to one of the earliest Elphabas Shoshana Bean belting her face off.

“Words Fail,” Dear Evan Hansen
Suzy, Marketing Team

Another unsung number from a show with far flashier (and amazing) ballads, but “Words Fail” is one of the most emotional 11 o’clock numbers of all time. Also, the fact that whoever is playing Evan literally has to belt through sobs is a physical feat that I will never understand.

“I’d Rather Be Me,” Mean Girls
Courtney, Marketing Team

I first heard this song in a rehearsal for the show and LOLed IRL when Barrett Wilbert Weed sings “…so here’s my right finger.” I knew instantly it would become my own personal anthem and loved even more seeing her sing it on Jimmy Fallon and watching the world fall in love with it as well. It’s a perfect message wrapped up in a bit of humor and delivered valiantly by one of the best voices of this decade. What’s not to love?

“Me And the Sky,” Come From Away
Courtney, Marketing Team

A female empowerment ballad became the 11 o’clock number in a musical about human connection and and I am here for it! This song made me ugly cry the first time I saw it and 7,000 streams later, I am here to tell you the effect has staying power. Everything about this number is perfect from the staging to the storytelling to the incredible power of Jenn Colella.

“Jenny’s Blues,” It Shoulda Been You
Matt, Accounts Team

“It Shoulda Been You” was only on Broadway for a short while. But those who saw it (or have listened to its cast recording) will surely be unable to forget the exceptional 11 o’clock number “Jenny’s Blues,” performed by the exquisite Lisa Howard. This is three pure packed minutes of power and sass!

“No One Is Alone,” Into the Woods
Tina, Marketing Team

Listen to all our favorite 11 o’clock numbers with the Spotify playlist below!