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When Robert Preston shouted Ya got trouble in River City, when Carol Channing glided down a gilded staircase while waiters serenaded her with Hello, Dolly , when Barbra Streisand defied us to rain on her parade inFunny Girl, audiences were instantly enchanted. After such indelible moments, musicals were never the same, and neither were we. These were all showstoppers, the numbers you think about that propel you to see the show again, the songs you recall whenever the show is mentioned Big Spender inSweet Charity, Popular inWicked, I Cain t Say No inOklahoma Showstoppers is all about Broadway musicals most memorable numbers why they were so effective, how they were created, andwhy they still resonate. Much of it is told through the eyes of the performers, songwriters, directors, and choreographers who first built these explosive numbers and lit the fuse.

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