If your relationship is headed south, there's no need to break up before Valentine's Day. After all, if you split on the 15th instead, you're fully stocked with (free) Whitman's Samplers to facilitate your emotional eating. However, if your love life is already running on fumes, you might need a little jolt to make it over the finish line. Fortunately, Broadway knows all about clinging to unhealthy relationships. We've learned from countless musicals, the best way to give mouth-to-mouth to an affair-gone-wrong is through song. Take a look at our list of six Broadway songs that could (and do) convince even the hardest hearts to stick it out a little while longer (and maybe end up with a happily ever after).
1. "In a World Like This" – A Bronx Tale — The Musical
Of all our couples, Calogero and Jane are maybe the best at honest communication. They clear up the misunderstanding that Calogero was involved in the racially motivated assault of Jane's brother relatively quickly. Sadly, their confusion stemmed from an all-too-real attack by Calogero's crew on Jane's brother and his friends — a regular occurrence on Belmont Avenue in the 1960s. Racial tensions make their relationship seem almost impossible, but thanks to the power of the Broadway love ballad, Calogero and Jane decide to give it a shot anyway — literally saying, "We're gonna give it a shot — Why should we care if they're ready or not?"
2. "Don't Wanna Lose You" – On Your Feet!
By Act 2 of On Your Feet!, Gloria Estefen is undergoing intensive rehabilitation for injuries sustained during her infamous bus accident. Despite her brush with death, her husband, Emilio, crashes one of her emotional gym sessions to inform her that he's committed her to a performance at the American Music Awards — without asking. Gloria responds with the appropriate amount of fury, but before we know it, there she is at the American Music Awards singing "Coming Out Of the Dark." Why the change of heart? An impassioned rendition of "Don't Wanna Lose You" by her dreamy husband.
3. "As Long as You're Mine" – Wicked
Wicked's Elphaba and Fiyero fall in love against all odds. Fiyero is engaged to Elphaba's best friend Glinda — Elphaba is on the lam for political resistance in Oz. It's a big old mess. Even so, while being pursued by the authorities, the two profess their affection for each other through the song "As Long as You're Mine." The romantic duet's live-in-the-moment message is really the key to its success in persuading these star-crossed lovers that their ensuing passion is not for naught. In one lilting phrase, Elphaba sings, "And if it turns out it's over too fast, I'll make every last moment last." Harness the power of that Stephen Schwartz poetry as inspiration to make your relationship's last moment last through February 14.
4. "There's a Fine, Fine Line" – Avenue Q
All too often, the song that convinces you to break up with somebody is the same song that convinces you to get back together with them. These surprising double meanings are often revealed via the reprise. For example, in Avenue Q, Kate Monster mourns the demise of her relationship with Princeton through the song "There's a Fine, Fine Line." After all, "you gotta go after the things you want while you're still in your prime." One act later, that thing she wants turns out to be Princeton. Who knows if it'll last, but you only have to make it a couple of weeks — so go ahead and take your cues from a couple of noncommittal puppets.
5. "All I Ask of You" – The Phantom of the Opera
When your fiancée tells you she's just engaged in an underground tryst with the criminal who lives in the basement of your Parisian opera house, you should probably cut and run. Unless it's early February. Then you can just convince yourself she's crazy and it probably never happened, and you can buy yourself at least two more weeks of romantic bliss. Take a page out of Raoul's book with "All I Ask of You," a sweet song that promises to save your lover from her crazy delusions — which are probably actually your own.
6. "You Matter to Me" – Waitress
Tell us if this sounds like the foundation of a lasting relationship: You and your abusive husband are expecting a baby when you strike up a sexual relationship with your OBGYN…who's already married. That's the story in a nutshell for pie-stress Jenna Hunterson and Dr. Jim Pomatter, whose tenuous relationship finds itself on even rockier ground when the doc misses one of their rendezvous. Fortunately, he has one last hail mary up his labcoat sleeve. It's simple and plain, but Dr. Pomatter just gives her a few melodic refrains of "you matter to me" in a song titled "You Matter to Me." With a bar that's been set so low, why wouldn't she swoon over a message so sweet? At least till full-term.
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