sat 01/10/2022

Sondheim

Into The Woods, Theatre Royal Bath review - If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise

What will get audiences back into theatres? Revivals of old favourites. Works from popular genres like musicals. Pantomimes. This production of Into The Woods kinda ticks all those boxes, but it also ticks the box that matters most. It is a unique...

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Album: Congotronics International - Where’s The One?

The album title ‘Where’s the One?’ is the question that often cropped up during the album’s creation. That’s to say, ‘the One’ is the opening beat of each bar that the western rock musicians often had trouble locating in the rich, complex brew of...

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Steve, Seven Dials Playhouse review - everything’s charming, except the script

Steven (David Ames) is having a birthday party. He’s invited his closest friends – two of whom have recently started dating their personal trainer, Steve – and his partner, of course: Stephen (Joe Aaron Reid). Their eight-year-old son, Stevie, is...

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Stephen Sondheim in memoriam - he gave us more to see

It seemed impossible and yet, the other evening, while idly flicking through emails, I learned the unimaginable: Stephen Sondheim, age 91, had passed away. And very quickly by all accounts, given that he was reported to have enjoyed a Thanksgiving...

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A Little Night Music, Opera Holland Park review - wasn't it bliss?

A lot of rain and untold bliss: those were the takeaways from Saturday night’s alfresco Opera Holland Park concert performance of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s eternally glorious 1973 musical, A Little Night Music. I doubt any of the 200...

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Theatre Unlocked 4: Shows in concert and a contemporary classic comes to TV

After months spent sifting amongst the virtual, I'm pleased to report that live performance looks to be on the (socially distanced) rebound. The week ahead sees the start of a six-week run at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park of the alfresco...

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Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration, Broadway.com/YouTube review - slick, often sombre, but when funny, hilarious

Maybe you can't compare incomparables, but it was instructive to watch this Broadway lockdown gala feting nonagenarian Stephen Sondheim a night after the Metropolitan Opera's galaxy of stars welcoming us into their homes. More slick, no doubt (once...

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Sondheim at 90 Songs: 5 - 'Every Day A Little Death'

“Whipped cream with knives” is how Harold Prince, who directed the Broadway premiere of A Little Night Music in 1973, famously described this particular Sondheim show. And nowhere is that borne out with more exquisite agony than in this duet between...

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Sondheim at 90 Songs: 4 - 'America'

Ever since I heard the quintessential prog rock group The Nice do a psychedelic instrumental version of “America” in 1968, I have loved this song. Later on, I was better able to appreciate Sondheim’s lyrics, whose satirical sharpness and superb...

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Sondheim at 90 Songs: 3 - 'Johanna' (Quartet Version)

Along with many others, my first exposure to Stephen Sondheim’s art was through watching the film of Bernstein’s West Side Story as a child. The song which still floors me is the Quintet near the end of Act 1. Bernstein’s ecstatic, dynamic...

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Sondheim at 90 Songs: 2 - 'Epiphany'/'A Little Priest'

Two numbers, one hair-raising slice of music-theatre. When Sondheim's paying homage to the older, revue type of musical, you can extract a string of top hits: Follies, from which Marianka Swain chose "I'm Still Here" yesterday, could yield at least...

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Sondheim at 90 Songs: 1 - 'I'm Still Here'

Surely there’s never been a more apt time for Sondheim’s great cry of defiance? “I’m Still Here” is sung by showgirl-turned-actress Carlotta in Follies (1971) – added during the Boston try-out in place of “Can That Boy Foxtrot”. Loosely...

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