Posts filtered by tags: Sondheim[x]


The “West Side Story” Story — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #114 Did it make sense for Steven Spielberg to remake one of our nation’s most beloved musicals (with music by Bernstein and Sondheim!), attempting to fix the parts that did not age well politically? Is the new version a modern classic or a doomed Frankenstein? Your host Mark Linsenmayer is joined by Broadway scholar, theater critic, and actor Ron Fassler; Remakes, Reboots, and Revivals co-ho...
Tags: Apple, Facebook, Podcasts, Film, College, Theatre, Broadway, Steven Spielberg, Bernstein, Sondheim, Frankenstein, Leonard Bernstein, Tony Kushner, Ron Fassler, Jon Burlingame, Ed Morales

The Sondheim Musical The Tributes Haven’t Been Mentioning Too Much

Assassins — “It wasn’t exactly a flop, but it’s not exactly celebrated, either. … The songs are just as catchy, melodic, and surprising as most Sondheim, … but is there ever a good time to mount a musical in America about assassins?” – Salon
Tags: Art, Theatre, America, Sondheim

Sondheim’s “Assassins” And American Gun Culture

“In Assassins, the gun serves not as a tool of self-defense … but as an instrument of self-expression and self-realization. The assassins, who saw themselves as the ‘good guys with guns,’ are, in a perverse way, the epitome of American individualism.” – The Conversation
Tags: Art, Theatre, Sondheim

The Sondheim Musical The Tributes Haven’t Been Mentioning

Assassins — “It wasn’t exactly a flop, but it’s not exactly celebrated, either. … The songs are just as catchy, melodic, and surprising as most Sondheim, … but is there ever a good time to mount a musical in America about assassins?” – Salon
Tags: Art, Theatre, America, Sondheim

Snapshot: Stephen Colbert interviews Stephen Sondheim

An extended version of Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” interview with Stephen Sondheim. This longer version aired on CBS after Sondheim’s recent death: (This is the latest in a series of arts- and history-related videos that appear in this space each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
Tags: Art, Stephen Colbert, Stephen Sondheim, Cbs, Ajblogs, Sondheim

Sondheim Also Revolutionized Crosswords

“Sondheim is particularly remembered among connoisseurs of word puzzles for his role in introducing Americans to British-style cryptic crosswords. … The crosswords that he created for New York Magazine in 1968 and 1969 were instrumental in popularizing the cryptic genre on this side of the Atlantic.” – Slate
Tags: Art, Ideas, New York Magazine, Sondheim

Sondheim And The Art Of Mentoring

As a mentor, as a letter writer, as an audience member who showed up far beyond Broadway to witness new work, he quietly, faithfully nurtured generations of theater makers. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Broadway, Sondheim

Theater, on the record

Here are the Wall Street Journal drama columns I wrote during my hiatus from this blog: • To read my review of the off-Broadway revival of Paul Osborn’s Morning’s at Seven, go here. • To read my reviews of Alice Childress’ Trouble in Mind and the Broadway transfer of Diana, go here. • To read my review of Classic Stage Company’s off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, go here. • To read my review of the Broadway premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s, go here. I also wrote an a...
Tags: Art, Stephen Sondheim, Broadway, Diana, Wall Street Journal, Ajblogs, Clyde, Sondheim, Lynn Nottage, Classic Stage Company, Paul Osborn, Alice Childress

Grappling With The Enormity Of Losing Sondheim

Sondheim deserves a spot on playwriting’s Mt. Rushmore, for his contribution to the theater is as significant from a literary as it is from a musical standpoint. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, People, Sondheim

Sondheim Placed The Musical Firmly At The Heart Of American Culture

Before the pandemic, his songs permeated U.S. media. “His primacy within wider culture came from the widest possible acknowledgement that not only had Sondheim created a succession of groundbreaking hits, but that in the mostly reactionary world of the American musical, he was a revolutionary.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Ideas, Sondheim

Broadway Gathers To Mourn Sondheim

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban, members of every Broadway show up right now, and many, many other people gathered “on the red stairs above TKTS in Times Square” to sing the composer’s “Sunday.” – Variety
Tags: Art, Theatre, Broadway, Times Square, Sondheim, Lin Manuel Miranda Sara Bareilles Josh Groban

Composer And Lyricist Stephen Sondheim, Master Of Musical Theatre, 91

Impossible to sum the central figure of American musical theatre up, but: “Sondheim not only bound music, lyrics and book inextricably together, but he explored in far greater depths the human condition in all its anxieties and moral complexities.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Featured, People, Stephen Sondheim, Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim: a daring and dazzling musical theatre icon

The American composer and lyricist, who has died aged 91, shaped the musical artform with his wise, witty and extravagantly clever workStephen Sondheim achieved such acclaim – for deepening the content and extending the lyrical ingenuity of musical theatre – that, from the age of 50, each major birthday was celebrated with tribute concerts in London, New York or both.Watching the composer-lyricist of Sweeney Todd and Follies at such events – taking a bow, with his wry smile – it was impossible n...
Tags: Into The Woods, Musicals, Theatre, Culture, Stephen Sondheim, Stage, Broadway, West End, Sondheim, Sweeney Todd, London New York, West Side Story, Cole Porter Irving Berlin George, Oscar Hammerstein Continue

Stephen Sondheim: master craftsman who reinvented the musical dies aged 91

Scoring his first big hit with West Side Story at 27, the US composer and lyricist raised the art form’s status with moving and funny masterpieces including Follies and CompanyStephen Sondheim, the master craftsman of the American musical, has died at the age of 91.Over the course of a celebrated career spanning more than 60 years, Sondheim co-created Broadway theatre classics such as West Side Story, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods, all of which also became hit movies. His intricate and ...
Tags: Musicals, Theatre, US, UK News, World news, US news, Culture, Stephen Sondheim, Stage, Broadway, Sondheim, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, Georges Seurat

Why Did The Old Vic Cancel “Into The Woods” So Suddenly Last Week? A Staff Rebellion

The high-profile revival of the Sondheim musical was to be directed by Terry Gilliam (yes, from Monty Python), who has made some, er, controversial remarks (such as declaring himself “a black lesbian in transition”). Sondheim himself is said to be furious. –
Tags: Art, Theatre, Monty Python, Terry Gilliam, Sondheim

Angels in the Snow

The Story of My Life is about Tom's quest for The Answer -- though arguably, Tom is asking the wrong question. In many ways, this is a Hero Myth story, but an entirely interior one, taking place entirely inside Tom's head. We know, from the beginning of the show, that Alvin is dead, and Tom is trying to write his eulogy.But each of those two facts carry with them powerful meaning, subtext, pain, and serious symbolic heft. And as Tom works through all he has to work through, the images and phras...
Tags: Theatre, Live, Performing Arts, Broadway, Alvin, Muse, Catherine, Broadway Musicals, Tom Sawyer, Tom, Don, Sondheim, George Bailey, Scott Miller, Brian Hill, Bartram

Just because: Donna Murphy sings Sondheim

Donna Murphy sings Stephen Sondheim’s “Loving You” in the original 1994 Broadway production of Passion, directed by James Lapine: (This is the latest in a series of arts- and history-related videos that appear in this space each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
Tags: Art, Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine, Broadway, Ajblogs, Sondheim, Donna Murphy

The Ghosts of Dick and Ockie & Their Eleven O'Clock Number

One of my favorite things is the mashup, combining two things that don't seem like they'd go together, but they actually make something wonderful. A good example is Head Over Heels, the sublime rock musical that marries a 16th-century comic romantic novel with the songs of The Go-Go's. New Line's production of Head Over Heels was rudely interrupted by the virus last year, but we're bringing it back next March. Another example is my own project, The Zombies of Penzance, a crazy mashup of Gilbe...
Tags: Amazon, Musicals, Horror, Theatre, Performing Arts, Broadway, Theater, George Romero, Dick, Hamilton, Finn, Poe, Broadway Musicals, Dickens, Sondheim, Rodgers

‘Follies’ At 50: Why Sondheim’s Musical May Be The Most Important Flop Ever To Run On Broadway

“It was supposed to be a murder mystery: two couples, four motives, one gun. What it became was a different kind of mystery entirely: a musical that got prominent pans, alienated much of its audience and lost most of its investment — yet survived. Not only is Follies, which opened on Broadway on April 4, 1971, still here 50 years later, trailing a string of revivals, revisals and gala concerts, but it is also now recognized as the high-water mark of the serious ‘concept’ musical.” Jesse Green o...
Tags: Art, Theatre, Broadway, Sondheim, Jesse Green, Follies, 03.31.21

Tick Tock Goes the Clock! 25 Years!

Since the pandemic has forced me to focus on only one of my two passions, writing about musicals, but not making them, at least for a while still, an interesting thought crossed my artsy brain last night. It was twenty-five years ago that I wrote my first book of musical theatre analysis!The spark that started it was the still very new Sondheim Review (1994-2016), a wonderful magazine all about Uncle Steve's shows! For one of the earliest issues, the editor Paul Salsini asked me to write a piec...
Tags: Texas, Theatre, Harvard, Performing Arts, Theater, Verona, Steve, Hamilton, Broadway Musicals, Rocky Horror, George, West Side, Sondheim, American Idiot, Sweeney Todd, Scott Miller

COVID Baby (with apologies to Mr. Sondheim)

(to the tune of Sondheim's "Broadway Baby") I'm just a COVID Baby,Isolating all day long,Fearing the infected throng,Surviving somehow.COVID Baby,Learning how to work from home,Like I'm sealed inside some dome;Apocalypse Now!Gee,It seems to meWe should agreeTo take on this task;It's true, The one thing youJust have to doIs wear a damn mask!COVID Baby,Captive of conservatives,Left to wonder just what gives,And why they're so mad. Hey! COVID denier!Your country's on fire!You and QAnon --You fell...
Tags: Musicals, Theatre, Live, Stephen Sondheim, Performing Arts, Broadway, Theater, Sondheim, Scott Miller, Musical Theatre, Follies, Pandemic, Broadway Baby, COVID-19, Schwartz Dietz, UberEats Cause

What Rhymes with Hamilton?

I can't begin to tell you how much I miss making musicals. It's like someone cut a leg off.The only way I can keep my sanity during the Great Pandemic is to write about musical theatre. If I can't direct musicals for awhile, at least I can still do research and lots of pondering. I spent last year creating some really fun musical theatre novelty books -- a horror anthology, a Christmas carol collection, a children's book (that's not just for kids), and a "civilian's guide." And it was only last...
Tags: New York, Washington, France, Theatre, America, Rap, Harvard, Britain, Hip-hop, Ben Franklin, Broadway, Jackson, Madison, Hamilton, Lin-manuel Miranda, Thomas Jefferson

When Bernstein, Sondheim, And Robbins Tried To Adapt Brecht

It was a decade after West Side Story, and Jerome Robbins got the idea to make one of Bertolt Brecht’s didactic plays into a musical. Though Sondheim in particular required some convincing, it eventually became a promising project, with John Guare writing the book and Zero Mostel engaged to star. Finally, the piece was set to premiere on Broadway in 1968, and then 1969, as A Pray by Blecht. (The title was Lenny’s.) Never happened, of course. Jesse Green recounts the story of how it came togethe...
Tags: Art, Theatre, Broadway, Robbins, Sondheim, Bertolt Brecht, Lenny, West Side Story, Jesse Green, Jerome Robbins, John Guare, 11.02.20, Bernstein Sondheim

The ABC's of Broadway Musicals: A Civilian's Guide

After thinking of myself as a director first, and a writer second, for my entire adult life (and that's quite a while, at this point), the Great Pandemic of 2020 has forced me to strike that and reverse it. For now -- for a while -- I'm a writer first, and a once and future director second.So I've been brainstorming writing projects to take up my time while I can't make theatre.If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I've already published my first two pandemic projects, my antholo...
Tags: New York, Abc, Theatre, Broadway, Theater, St Louis, Stephen, Broadway Musicals, Off Broadway, Lin-manuel Miranda, Sondheim, Scott Miller, Lin Manuel, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Inc St Louis Shakespeare

Christmas Will Be a Little More Broadway This Year!

I got the idea around Christmas time last year.There are a handful of Christmas-themed songs from musicals (and you can hear most of them on the wonderful recording, A Broadway Christmas), but aside from those, the holidays tend to leave Broadway behind for most of us. Well, those of us who don't have Playbill ornaments on our trees (I have a lot). It occurred to me it would be nice to have some Christmas carols for people who love musicals.I know, I know, that's a really weird, random idea. Bu...
Tags: Parody, Theatre, Christmas, Holiday, Stage, Broadway, Mind, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Carol, Hamilton, Bethlehem, Wicked, Broadway Musicals, Lin-manuel Miranda, Tom, Scott

Can Copyright Catch Up To The Coronavirus Boom In Digital Culture?

From just about everything on TikTok to Broadway performers singing Sondheim on YouTube, there’s a lot of culture on the internet right now – and very few of the creators of that culture are getting their cut. “Streaming images, video, music and books turn every interaction and event into a performance, display or broadcast of intellectual property. And the law requires licenses for such streaming to protect the content of the creators.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Youtube, Broadway, Issues, Sondheim, 06.29.20

VIDEO: Aaron Tveit Sings Sondheim's 'Broadway Baby' with the Pasadena Pops

Broadway babyAaron Tveit Next to Normal, Grease Live gives a one-of-a-kind spin on one of Sondheim's greatest hits, from this Pasadena POPS performance from 2014 [Author: Stage Tube]
Tags: Theatre, Pasadena, Sondheim, Aaron Tveit, Stage Tube, Broadway Baby, Pasadena Pops

VIDEO: The Playbillies Perform 'No One is Alone' From INTO THE WOODS

The Playbillies, 'Broadway's Bluegrass Band' put their spin on Sondheim's No One is Alone from Into the Woods. Check out the video below For more info on The Playbillies visit httpstheplaybillies.wixsite.comwebsite [Author: BWW News Desk]
Tags: Theatre, Sondheim, BWW News Desk

VIDEO: Beanie Feldstein Talks Performing With Ben Platt For Sondheim's 90th, and More on THE LATE LATE SHOW

Last night on the at-home edition of The Late Late Show, Beanie Feldstein appeared as a guest [Author: Stage Tube]
Tags: Theatre, Beanie Feldstein, Sondheim, Feldstein, Ben Platt, Stage Tube

Jessie Mueller, Sean Allan Krill, David Cromer and More to Take Part in Porchlight's SONDHEIM @ 90 ROUNDTABLE

Porchlight Music Theatre's 25th Anniversary season continues with its new free virtual series 'Sondheim 90 Roundtable' with host Michael Weber, on Porchlight's Facebook page, www.facebook.comPorchlightMusicTheatre. [Author: BWW News Desk]
Tags: Theatre, Sondheim, BWW News Desk, Michael Weber, PorchLight, Jessie Mueller Sean Allan Krill David Cromer

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