The Top 10 Kander & Ebb Songs

By Ben Rimalower
12 Oct 2013

6. "A Quiet Thing" from Flora the Red Menace



"A Quiet Thing" is the quintessential mid-century Broadway ballad. It's a smart song with a specific point to make (that getting what you want can be a surprisingly subdued, introspective experience) conveyed via pretty, legato melodic lines and evocative, colloquial lyrics. The trick to "A Quiet Thing" is that you ideally want a big, warm belt voice with expansive breath support to fill those long phrases like, "There are no exploding fireworks," but then the higher section wants to be sung sweetly in a mixed voice, not brash and belty, but not vibrato-laden and soprano-y. The video above, of the late Michelle Nicastro, is a pretty perfect answer to this real Goldilocks vocal conundrum.


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