Ranking YouTube’s Dozen Most Devastating Performances of “Not a Day Goes By” From Merrily We Roll Along
February 14th, 2019
by Josh Ferri
Stephen Sondheim’s cult favorite Merrily We Roll Along is finally back in NYC in an intimate new off-Broadway revival from Fiasco Theater and Roundabout. In this Merrily, Brittany Bradford plays Beth and delivers the musical’s breakout song, “Not a Day Goes By”, as she packs up to leave her cheating husband.
In a sick celebration of Valentine’s Day, here are 12 of our favorite versions of the Sondheim killer “Not a Day Goes By”. PS: Video performance only (so apologies to Betsy Wolfe and Barbra Streisand).
12. Joan Vázquez
Joan has a big voice and delivers a grounded, believable performance.
11. Deborah Meister
She’s very how I’d imagine a contemporary Beth. And she sounds so fierce and passionate.
10. Nathan Gardner
Nathan is giving you all those vocals and emotion—it’s so strong and clear.
9. Lea Salonga
The beloved Tony winner is giving us her full Eponine redux in this performance, and I live. Get ready for her 2:20. Also, why hasn’t she played Sally in Follies somewhere?!
8. Christine Ebersole
What is more iconique than Tony-winning queen Christine Ebersole, coiffed hair, yellow dress blowing in the breeze as she P-E-R-F-O-R-M-S Sondheim?! Come on!
7. Molly Pope
I stan Molly Pope in a major way. The song begins at 1:20. Why isn’t she in everything? This performance and those one-of-a-kind vocals that only true legends have all adds up.
6. Whitney Bashor
Whitney played Beth in Michael Arden’s incredible LA production, and anyone who saw her in Bridges knows she sells a song. You 100% believe her entire performance.
5. Kevin Thomason & DC’s Gay Men’s Chorus
This heartbreaking performance is so deliberate and haunting. Feels like such a confessional, and it’s so beautifully sung.
4. Audra McDonald
It doesn’t start until 3:05, and my gosh. Can we talk about her 3:54 to 4:22?! I was on the edge of my seat.
3. Patti LuPone
Patti could teach a class that solely focuses on how to build momentum in a song. It’s B’way heaven when she throws down the score at 2:21 and just goes full Patti. Then she ends with those Norma Desmond arms. It’s epic. (Also, she’s def. a Gussie, right?)
2. Marin Mazzie
If you’ve never seen this video of the late great Marin Mazzie at Sondheim’s 75th, then brace yourself for :41-1:05. It’s really the whole video. It’s next level vocals meets an incredibly raw, true performance.
1. Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters has never played Beth or been in Merrily, and yet this feels most like her signature song. Her performance is transportive. We could talk about it all day. What is she going through from 1:19-:30—those line readings! Imagine being on the receiving end of this? At 2:25 when she shakes away the mic and then cries?! I die day after day after view after view. Bravo, queen.
'Merrily We Roll Along' runs at off-Broadway's Laura Pels Theatre through April 7.