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January 10, 2014

The 2014 Broadway University Midterm Exam

How many musicals are for the ages? SHOW BOAT, PORGY AND BESS, OKLAHOMA! – yeah, we know the others on the list, too.

But many more musicals are “for the ages” in the sense that they mention ages (or at least allude to them) in their lines and lyrics.

For these exams, I usually arrange the quotations in the chronological order in which their shows debuted. This time, however, I just arranged them in a different chronological order: from the youngest to the oldest. (Hey! That sounds like a lyric from HERE’S LOVE.)

Send all answers to me by Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 11:59 p.m.
at Hope this exam doesn’t make you old before your time!

1. “I was just seven hours old, truly beautiful to behold.”

2. “I could barely walk when I milked a cow, and when I was three, I pushed a plow.”

3. “From the time I was five in KING AND I, KING AND I.”

4. “Before it’s too late -- before you are six or seven or eight.”

5. “When I was eight, I was in a school play”

6. “I knowed what’s right and wrong since I been ten.”

7. “And it pays real good -- if you’re eleven.”

8. “Jenny made her mind up when she was twelve.”

9. “Happy birthday! Thirteenth birthday, from the ones who love you so.”

10. “I’ve been ‘the other woman’ since my puberty began.”

11. “When you’re a skinny child of fourteen wired with braces from ear to ear.”

12. “Ruined at the age of fifteen!”

13. “Why don’t you forget that stuff? You look like you’re sixteen.”

14. “I’m seventeen and I’m new here today. The village I come from seems so far away.”

15. “I am seventeen going on eighteen. I’ll take care of you.”

16. “They said you were a queen, and everybody envied you when you were just eighteen.”

17. “Now that I’m nineteen, I’ll do something incredible that blows God’s freaking mind.”

18. “He’s twenty; I’m thirty; does it matter?”

19. “Free, black and twenty-one.”

20. “I can’t believe this beast I see is really me. I’m twenty-three.”

21. “Many a lassie as everyone knows’ll try to be married before twenty-five.”

22. “A shame you did it all at twenty-six.”

23. “Died in a barn, in pain and bitter: twenty-seven years of age.”

24. “If you felt like Catherine the Great at twenty-eight.”

25. “Granny dear, mother mine, old and gray at twenty-nine.”

26. “Now I’m halfway through my thirty-second year and I still get thirsty for a can.”

27. “Mercy me! Thirty-nine and divorcee!”

28. “Men of forty go to town; women go to pot.”

29. “I’m only forty-one; I still have my virility.”

30. “By the time I was twenty-five, I looked forty-two, with seven hungry mouths to feed.”

31. “In a way, I’m forty-four.”

32. “Resume well-honed at a well-toned forty-nine.”

33. “He’s handsome, he’s young -- all right, he’s sixty-two.”

34. “You see, my birth surprised them: Mom was sixty-three.”

35. “But the only thing I’d trade ‘em for is sixty-seven more.”

36. “It could be if I wait comes along a perfect mate, but for this a man could wait until he’s eighty.”

37. “Who’d think of marryin’ an octogenarian – an eighty-seven year old hag?”

38. “A nattering, chattering ingénue is making me feel I’m ninety-two instead of a muscular forty-five.”

39. “Grandpaw Bill lives on the hill with someone he just married. There he is at ninety-three.”

40. “That fellow? He was over ninety-five, and I think he had a week or maybe two to stay alive.”

41. “By day he’s like a five year old; at night, he’s ninety-seven.”

42. “Me, I’m a hundred; you, you’re a blessing.”

43. “He may be too old – he’s six hundred and ten.”

44. “But who calls dat livin’ when no gal’ll give in to no man what’s nine hundred years?”

45. “I wonder how old I am.”

         — Peter Filichia

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