1. "Climb Every Mountain" from The Sound Of Music
Perhaps more than even any other Rodgers & Hammerstein song, "Climb Every Mountain" can run the risk of being seen as a cliché, a saccharine sentiment suitable for a Hallmark card. True, such bold, inspirational ideas as, "A dream that will need all the love you can give" can be syrupy and cloying in the wrong hands, particularly to the song's abundant exposure. We can take it for granted. But, of course, the song is so ubiquitous because of its quality and impact. When performed with heart and conviction, as it was recently by Audra McDonald in NBC's The Sound Of Music Live!, it is goosebump-inducing and impossible to resist. There's a reason Rodgers & Hammerstein gave this song to a nun; it is spiritual. The theatre is a temple and Rodgers & Hammerstein have given us a holy benediction.
(Ben Rimalower is the author and original star of the critically acclaimed Patti Issues. Read Playbill.com's coverage of the solo show here. Visit him at benrimalower.com and follow @benrimalower on Twitter.)
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