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Theatre / Songs for a New World

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''"It's about one moment
The moment before it all becomes clear
And in that one moment
You start to believe there's nothing to fear
It's about one second
And just when you're on the verge of success
The sky starts to change
And the wind starts to blow!"''
- "Opening"

Songs for a New World is a musical revue by Jason Robert Brown featuring a variety of different musical styles from jazz to an homage to "Surabaya Johnny" to gospel to...

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There is no main plot, but the songs are linked by themes of aspirations, decisions, and the power of "that moment before it all becomes clear."

"Stars and the Moon" is arguably the best-known song from the show, as it has been covered by numerous singers.


This musical revue has examples of:

  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: Averted.
  • As the Good Book Says...: MANY songs fall prey to this.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Believed by the singer of "Christmas Lullaby."
  • Bad Santa: What Mrs. Claus makes him out to be in "Surabaya Santa."
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: "Stars and the Moon" has a woman singing about how she turned down lovers who offered her virtues and immaterial things—"stars and the moon"—in exchange for one who promised luxury, comfort, and wealth. It's only years later that she wakes up and realizes exactly what she's missed, and that she'll "never have the moon" no matter how much stuff she accumulates.
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  • Cry Cute: The subject of "She Cries."
  • Hobo: The singers of "The River Don't Flow."
  • "I Want" Song: Oddly averted: Although many characters complain or ask for help from God, they never explicitly say want they want. Played straight in "Stars and the Moon," where the woman singing outright declares that she wants a life of wealth and luxury.
  • No Plot? No Problem!.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "On the Deck of a Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492", "Surabaya Santa", "Christmas Lullaby", "The Flagmaker, 1775".
  • Prone to Tears: Depending on your interpretation, the subject of "She Cries."
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: The woman in "Stars and the Moon" has to choose between two poor suitors and one rich suitor. She chooses the rich one, but ends up regretting it.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "The Flagmaker, 1775", yet, rather understandably.
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  • Santa Claus: Is the subject of "Surabaya Santa."
  • Sexy Santa Dress: Some productions have Mrs. Claus dressed in one of these.
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