(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
Last Monday, I gave my Broadway University students a quick pop quiz in which I cited songs from shows that mentioned products -- though certainly not as many times as In My Life does. I was astonished at how many of you answered, which suggests to me that such product placements do insinuate themselves into your memories.

Those students who did especially well were Peter Alfano, Joanna and Steve Bell, Christine Caccipuoti, Susan Cassidy, Ben Cornish, Dennis Crowley, Robert Diamant, Jason Flum, Barbara Gowans, Cathy Jones, Doug Knight, Tom Lancaster, Steve Leifer, Beth Mandelbaum, Paul Mendenhall, Paul Roberts, Arthur Robinson, Marcia Rovins, Jennifer A. Tepper, Jere Williams, and Zoneace. None of them got all 40 answers right, but special mention goes to Jeff Bowen, who came mighty close. (You'd expect that from one of the authors of [title of show], which celebrates so many musicals.)

By the way, I loved how Mark Stevenson argued that In My Life isn't Broadway's champ at product placement after all. "No contest," he wrote, "the Lifetime Achievement Award for the trifecta of product placement must go to Spamalot for putting the product in the title of the show, in a song ('We eat ham and jam and Spam a lot'), and in an onstage product giveaway. Give extra credit, too, for getting the brand to create a special show-version of the product for sale." Anyway, here are the answers to the quiz, so you can see how well you did.

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1. "I would gladly give up coffee for Sanka." ("Bianca," Kiss Me, Kate)

2. "I could say life is just a bowl of Jello." ("A Cockeyed Optimist," South Pacific)

3. "Keeping house but clutching a copy of Life, just to keep in touch." ("The Ladies Who Lunch," Company)

4. "I cook like Betty Crocker and I look like Donna Reed." ("Somewhere That's Green," Little Shop of Horrors)

5. "She cooks like my mother and sucks like a Hoover." ("My Girlfriend Who Lives in Canada," Avenue Q)

6. "We'll hide these incongruities with cloaks from Abercrombie-Fitch." ("When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich," Finian's Rainbow)

7. "Or tickle your wrist with a single-edge razor, or buy you a beer with a Drano chaser." ("Big Ass Rock," The Full Monty)

8. "And braggin' all about how they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen." ("Ya Got Trouble," The Music Man)

9. "Hey. Pass that Geritol." ("Timeless to Me," Hairspray)

10. "He wore an aura of nobility; I wore these Ferragamo shoes." ("What Was a Woman to Do?", Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)

11. "When I sit at my desk on the 41st floor, in my copy of a copy of a copy of Dior." ("There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This," Sweet Charity)

12. "And he smells from Vitalis and Barbisol." ("Guys and Dolls," Guys and Dolls)

13. "You're an old Dutch master, you're Mrs. Astor, you're Pepsodent." ("You're the Top," Anything Goes)

14. "Came upon the scene as fresh as Listerine." ("Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo.," Damn Yankees)

15. "I bet you squeeze the Charmin. That's wonderful " ("The Grass Is Always Greener," Woman of the Year / And the World Goes 'Round)

16. "Anyone for M&M's? Delicious and appropriate. Anyone for chewy Goobers?" ("My Unfortunate Erection," The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)

17. "But stiff back or stiff knees, you stand straight at Tiff'ny's." ("Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)

18. "Schlitz down the drain. Pop the champagne." ("The American Dream," Miss Saigon)

19. "We import the drinks that you buy, so your Perrier is Canada Dry." ("La Cage aux Folles," La Cage aux Folles)

20. "No bathrobe, no Steuben glass, no cappucino makers, no pearls, no diamonds." ("Christmas Bells," Rent)

21. "There's a yummy Friday special at Stouffer's." ("Been a Long Day," How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying)

22. "If you don't have S.T.P., Crisco will do just fine." ("Slide Some Oil to Me," The Wiz)

23. "I don't care if you are called 'The Fair Miss Frigidaire.' " ("You're Sensational," High Society)

24. "I'm so broke, couldn't buy a girl a nickel Coke." ("Standin' on the Corner," The Most Happy Fella)

25. "No Benzedrine in your Ovaltine." ("Go Into Your Trance," High Spirits)

26. "Dreaming in my Maidenform bra, dreamed I danced the cha-cha-cha." ("Chop Suey," Flower Drum Song)

27. "Will their faces be stony when they see on their Sony someone handing the phony the Tony Award." ("It's a Hit," Merrily We Roll Along)

28. "Watch her pucker those red-hot Tangee lips." ("Who's That Girl?", Applause)

29. "There's Reddi-wip and instant tea and Minute rice." ("Coffee in a Cardboard Cup," 70, Girls, 70)

30. "So, what's the problem? You'll get a wedding dress from Lane-Bryant." ("Shakespeare Lied," How Now, Dow Jones)

31. "Shop for groc'ries. Look for specials. God, it sounds so Mickey Mouse." ("Just a Housewife," Working)

32. "Sweet like Chanel; hey, there's a smell!" ("A New Pair of Shoes," What Makes Sammy Run?)

33. "How come a trip to McDonald's is making her hum?" ("Miss Byrd," Urban Blight / Closer Than Ever)

34. "I am in love with the Breck girl." ("20 Million People," My Favorite Year)

35. "Till the whole world reels to shouts and squeals and the clicking of Rolliflexes." ("Why Do the Wrong People Travel?", Sail Away)

36. "Just like Ivory Soap, I'm 99 and 44/100ths percent pure." (Nobody Makes a Pass at Me," Pins and Needles)

37. "Here I am: Thomas J. Moody. Three-year-old suit from Robert J. Hall." ("Everything's Great," Golden Boy)

38. "Duco cement or twins from Siam can't be more stuck than you and I am." ("Stuck With Each Other," Tovarich)

39. "Si, they're having it my way on ev'ry big highway; what sign do you see? Taco Bell " ("Maria's Recipe," Smile)

40. "Cinecolor, or Warnercolor, or Pathecolor, or Eastmancolor, or any color." ("Stereophonic Sound," Silk Stockings)

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[To contact Peter Filichia directly, e-mail him at pfilichia@theatermania.com]