Duets, schmuets! Many of them will seem quite humdrum by comparison, after you check out these musical threesomes from films and the Broadway stage.
Here are some of my favorites:
• “Fugue for Tinhorns,” from the 1955 movie version of Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls.” The title song, of course, notes the exploits of a Minnesota man willing to make a major move for the woman he loves.
And then there’s Stephen Sondheim, Broadway’s master of interwoven, overlapping musical “triple threats.” So, naturally, I’m offering three of his best.
• “Together Wherever We Go,” from the 1959 show “Gypsy,” in this version starring Bernadette Peters. The song features one of the most creative lines in musical theater. In effect, it consists of one word and seven vowels:
“Any I O U I O U O,” which translates, of course, to:
“Any IOU I owe, you owe.”
And the remarkable Bernadette Peters is back again here with her version, channeling all three of the roles herself.
• And an amazing scene-setting triptych from 1973’s “A Little Night Music” that introduces the three members of the troubled Egerman family — husband/widower Fredrik, his very young, new wife, Anne, and his prudish seminarian son, Henrik. The three interweave the songs “Now,” “Soon” and “Later” and then trade songs.
A real triumph of lyrics and performance.