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Broadway Baby

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Broadwaybaby2
Written by Stephen Sondheim
Date 1971
Source Follies (musical)
Publisher Herald Square Music Co.
Broadwaybaby1

"Broadway Baby," from Stephen Sondheim's musical Follies, is about the lengths to which an aspiring starlet will go to be in a Broadway show.

At the beginning of episode 120 of The Muppet Show, Valerie Harper enters the Muppet Theater's backstage through the exterior door and begs Kermit to let her perform a big opening number. When Kermit finds out that she has already sabotaged the planned opening act, Bertha Beasley and Her Galloping Geese, he lets her audition with "Broadway Baby." This would be the first time that a guest star performed backstage.

Throughout the song, Valerie makes several costume changes by entering a dressing room in one outfit and immediately reappearing (sometimes from a different dressing room) in another. The personae she takes on include Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, and a maid. Of course, by the time the "audition" is over, Valerie has already performed the show's opening number, to the applause of a group of Muppets that includes Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Scooter, George the Janitor, Hilda, Floyd, Wayne, and Wanda.

Kermit, impressed, tells her that she may have come in a star, but she's going to go out a chorus girl.

The song includes several lyric changes from the original song. The entire verse that Valerie sings as Mae West is new, as is the final line, which she sings as "a big time Broadway show" instead of "a great big Broadway show."

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