The Hopes and Fears of All the Years
The Porch and The Stars
1951 Trio - (the 11 o'clock number) - Injured in the Korean War, Mickey returns home for the holidays with Ben, the army buddy who saved his life, in tow. Unable to share his experiences with his fiancee Kitty, Mickey confides in Ben instead. Kitty, in addition to Mickey's emotional distance, has to contend her less than welcoming potential mother-in-law. Ben has his own secret - he is in love with Mickey. [Sample scenes from 1951 are available via the quote links - "You don't knock at home, Ben" and "They said I'd probably never walk again. Is that the kind of stuff you want to hear?"] In this song, with Mickey asleep nearby, Kitty shares her feelings with Ben. Despite his own longing, Ben reunites Kitty and Mickey. As the two lovers sing their still separate songs together, Ben keeps watch and sings alone.
Merry Ex-Mas 1971
1971 Solo - (the opening number of Act Two) - In this song, the newly-divorced Kitty prepares for the holidays, while her less-than-supportive children sing backup. [The 1971 nuclear family meltdown which follows is available via the quote link - "You be as boring and morose as you want. That's what family's for."]
1998 Duet - In this song, newlyweds Molly and Ethan try to come to grips with their impending parenthood in the aftermath of the death of Ethan's father. [The 1998 setup scene which precedes this song is available via the quote link - "I've already told my mother. And I don't want to have to kill her just to keep your mother from finding out.]
Red On Red
1921 Quintet - David is preparing to leave his family alone at the holidays in order to take a job in another town, the only employment he can find in tough times. He is concerned his family may not want or need him to return. Meanwhile, in this song, David's wife Abigail confides in her friend Ann. Abigail has decided not to speak to David about her own struggles as she also tries to raise money to keep the family afloat, afraid that it may further undermine David's faltering confidence. Ann doesn't think much of David as a provider, and isn't afraid to say it. As Abigail and Ann's melodies progress, the children, Margaret and Joshua, battle over sorting through the Christmas tree ornaments singing a carol ("Gather, Gather Round The Tree") and David returns to sing of his own fears ("Wood Too Green").