If you happen to have a soft spot for musical theater—or if you haven't gotten to New York this year—one of the best things about the Tonys (which are on Sunday!) is the chance to see live performances, albeit on CBS, from the nominated shows. These aren't equivalent to the performances at, say, last year's Oscars, which felt forced and out of place. No, this is what the whole damn thing is about! And this year there's a lot to be excited about. So, without further ado, here are some songs you really should get to know.
Matilda: "Naughty"/"When I Grow Up"
Matilda, the delightful, highly-praised British musical based on the Roald Dahl classic, has been through this before in Britain, taking top honors at the Olivier Awards in 2012. Four little girls play the title role, and at the Oliviers each got to shine as they sang the song "Naughty." The first-act number is about Matilda's acts of rebellion against her terrible parents. Though obviously sung by only one girl in the show, at the Oliviers each actress got a chance to sing.
Another song to look out for: the second act's "When I Grow Up," which puts its ensemble on swings.
Kinky Boots: "Everybody Say Yeah"/"Raise You Up/Just Be"
We think you probably should know the second act's closer, "Everybody Say Yeah," from this Cyndi Lauper scored heart-warmer about a young British factory owner and the drag queen that helps save his business. You won't see it in the video below, but the number includes some impressive choreography from director Jerry Mitchell, who has the actors walking on conveyer belts. (You can hear him talk about how hard that was at the New York Times.) The song features the two nominated leads Charlie (Stark Sands) and Lola (Billy Porter) getting excited about the new boots they just created. Stay tuned to the video for the final number of the show, since who wouldn't want to show off the costumes (and legs) of Lola's backups?