I'm Breaking Down: The Top Ten Songs by William Finn

By Ben Rimalower
16 Nov 2013

2. "I'm Breaking Down" (from Falsettos/March of the Falsettos)

In the first act of Falsettos, the character Trina, whose husband has left her for a man, and who, in the proceedings thus far, has played second fiddle to her son and her husband and his lover (and even to her husband's therapist), comes downstage to take the spotlight alone and stops the show cold with a song that offers as much entertainment value as the greatest old-school show business barnstormers, and yet also functions as a painfully real monologue on Trina's plight. The key is the outrageous comedy of a person rationally observing herself in the midst of a nervous breakdown. That Trina can sing about it in such a grand style is the epitome of Falsettos' meta-theatricality.