Skip to content


BROADWAY jeopardy

Its TV Revival Began Thirty-Five Years Ago This Week. By Peter Filichia

In case you overlooked the title of this article, may I reiterate?

Its TV revival began thirty-five years ago this week.

That’s the answer. Now what’s the question?


The most erudite of all game shows had its fourth iteration debut on September 10, 1984. Since then, the show that has its contestants ask questions as a way of giving answers has made household names of Alex Trebek, Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer.

In the spirit of the game, here are thirty-five answers to which you’re challenged to respond with thirty-five questions. Unlike contestants who must buzz in a split-second after they think they know the question, you’ll have almost a week to answer – uh, question – before I give the questions – uh, answers – in next week’s column.

1: Kander and Ebb’s song that is arguably the most life-affirming song found in any Broadway musical.

2: The performer who dominated three songs in this once-unappreciated score and who returned to it thirty-one years later in a terrific concert version but only as Narrator.

3: The musical that starred a then-married couple that was written by a triumvirate whose most popular song ended the first act of ALL SHOOK UP.

4: The lighthearted and sexy musical that took its title from a most serious Walt Whitman poem.

5: The song that was originally written for a film, but became so well-known that when a stage revue included it, its performers were able to sing it in a foreign language because by then they – and everyone else — knew the words by heart.

6: The last great song written by Irving Berlin appeared in a revival of his biggest hit – and now routinely appears in its every revival.

7: The Drama Desk-winning Best Musical that had a song whose title was a variation on the word “jazz.”

8: The toe-tapping, infectious number that opened Act Two and brought its musical director up from the pit and onstage to lead it.

9: The Tony-winning musical in which not one performer sang a single note.

10: The nifty song that Karen Ziemba sang in Pig Latin.

11: The husband-and-wife team who both appeared in this short-lived musical with a Tony-nominated score. (She can be heard on the cast album of a 1959 hit and he on a 1960 one.)

12: The spritely song that followed about a half-hour of no music whatsoever.

13: The song that has three distinctly different versions on the smash-hit show’s original long-playing record, its first CD issue and its revival cast album.

14: The team’s first flop that didn’t have an overture on its original cast album, but it finally was recorded – and stirringly — on a much-later studio cast album.

15: The London cast album of this landmark (and sensational) score simply replaced the original leading man with his Broadway replacement who simply sang over the original tracks.

16: The show that had an outrageously funny interpretation of “Gee, Officer Krupke.”

17. The musical full of smash-hit songs that had a character named Bonnie in its original version who was renamed Erma for a revival more than a half-century later.

18: The legendary lyricist who took one of his partner’s melodies from their very successful film and morphed it into a magnificently funny nine-minute masterpiece for the stage version.

19: The dazzling opening number from an ‘80s failure that was sung by its songwriter and later showed up in a biomusical where the future songwriter sang it as a child.

20: The musical that doesn’t have a golden rainbow, apple or boy, but something golden that’s even more valuable.

21: The song from the Tony-winning musical that had the same name and same verse both on stage and on screen, but then had a completely different melody and lyrics in the film.

22: The actress who appeared in thirty-two Broadway plays (and won Tonys for two of them) who finally got to sing in the film version and on the soundtrack.

23: The recording that not only offers a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical but also joins it with its sequel.

24: The out-music (meaning what the orchestra plays as theatergoers file out) that ends with the musicians uttering a guttural sound of approval.

25: The actress who appeared in a much-underrated musical set on Seventh Avenue and then contributed to a studio cast album to a long-ago hit that dealt with the same neighborhood.

26: The two performers who opened this mammoth hit with a Tony-winning score left it after a year but both returned twenty-one months later.

27. The dazzling score that in one of its many hit songs originally cited Carmen Miranda, but for a revival that happened after she’d died, replaced her with Zsa Zsa Gabor.

28. The ‘60s Tony-nominated musical whose revival included two ‘60s pop hits by the same songwriting team.

29. The snazzy song for Evelyn Nesbit and Harry Houdini that appeared on SONGS FROM RAGTIME but was cut before Broadway and didn’t make the original cast album.


31: The show-stopping song that was added to the score and put Kristin Chenoweth on the Broadway map.

32: The debut score of a songwriter whose two billed-above-the-title actresses won Tonys in the same category.

33: The actress who got a Tony nomination for playing two roles in her first Broadway musical and got a Tony for playing three roles in her next one.

34: The musical that was a hit in America that had a leading male character who wasn’t American but spoke English and a leading female character who hailed originally from a non-English speaking country.

35. The musical in which two characters have a difference of opinion on a song from TITANIC.

If you care to play, send your questions to [email protected]