July 06, 2015

The Theatre Part III: Sondheim on Sondheim


The enchanting Emily Blunt in last year's Disney production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. I never knew she could sing and she does so beautifully and my EB crush is now raging.
I hated that I missed the recent short engagement of a doco-revue on the brilliant Stephen Sondheim's work called Sondheim on Sondheim that had a successful run on Broadway and recently was put on by Chicago's Porchlight Theater to rave reviews. The Chicago Tribune's Chief Theatre Critic, Chris Jones, gave it his highest praise calling it the very best production Porchlight has ever staged. But then the expat Brit Chris Jones is an avowed Sondheim devotee and confessed in his review how he'd even had all the music in his own recent wedding by Sondheim including the delightful Marry Me a Little.

85 year old Stephen Sondheim winner of 8 Tonys, 8 Grammys, an Oscar, a Pulitzer, and an Olivier. Sondheim is one of the Greatest Artists America has ever produced.

While I couldn't make these Sondheim on Sondheim performances, I was just able to watch some fascinating interviews with Stephen Sondheim on youtube including the wonderful 2010 South Bank show that featured snippets from the 1980 South Bank show featuring Sondheim. Nobody talks about the making of their Art better than Stephen Sondheim.

7 comments:

  1. I love Emily Blunt in anything. Sadly, I missed this in the theatre but will catch in at home.

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    1. I only discovered she could sing a couple of weeks ago and she's excellent. Love her unusual smile too.

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  2. I agree with you 100% on Sondheim. I recently watched a special features DVD about "West Side Story" and it was amazing listening to him talk about his contribution to one of the best movies of all time! I cannot get over how young he would've been at the time the movie was made, just 31 (or so), and already so accomplished and more than able to hold his own in that esteemed (and probably tough) company!

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    1. Now Jill just think he was in his mid 20s when beginning work alongside Leonard Bernstein on the musical that opened on Broadway in 1957.

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  3. 1987 CAMELOT with Richard Harris, already nearing sixty, playing the "Boy King," with his own brand of impish trepidation. Saturday matinee of a Girls' Weekend in Memphis, all arranged around the performance, and such a lovely memory---just being in the room with such a vital, joyous presence was magical.

    First, though, for various reasons---mainly the fact that my 12-year-old son had watched it TWICE on PBS, and requested tickets for his birthday---is Miss Julie Harris in Belle of Amherst. Such an incongruous request from a hard-working young farm boy of the hunting/fishing persuasion was a delightful surprise. He was the only one of us who was Not A Reader, and just the idea was a lovely bit of lagniappe in our plain quiet lives.

    1977, it was, and I so well remember the evening---the expectation and anticipation, the long trip and hotel, the unaccustomed dress-up-clothes for an evening's entertainment, right down to the silky drift of the tan-and- gold caftan I wore. We all still mention the magical transport to that other time and place and person.

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    1. Love your two Harris anecdotes so beautifully shared. I never had the pleasure of seeing either in person.
      Thanks for sharing Darling Rachel.

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