The Sondheim Review

Articles from Vol. 14, No. 3, Spring

Ambivalence and Ambiguity
Seattle's 5th Avenue presents Into the WoodsPerhaps it takes a full-scale production of Into the Woods as sincere, well sung and straightforward as the one at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre (Oct. 20-Nov. 10, 2007) to reveal the assets and flaws of Stephen...
A Meaty Challenge
Florida students bite into Sweeney ToddWhen Sweeney Todd - School Edition premiered at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart, Fla., in November 2007, it was one of only four such productions in the country in 2007. The pilots were part of a collaboration between...
Biography of a Song
"Please Hello"BACKGROUND: Given an opportunity to introduce someone to Sondheim's work, I invariably play them the original cast recording of "Please Hello." I think it represents the fullest example of Sondheim's artistry and craft. Among its attributes:...
Children Will Listen
Billy Porter takes Sondheim to his worldIn his 2004 concert at Joe's Pub in NewYork, released on CD as at the corner of broadway + soul, actor-singer-director Billy Porter asked his audience to attend the talc of his infatuation with the work of Stephen...
Dispossessed
Arden's Assassins explores history and celebrityOn opening night of the Arden Theatre's production of Assassins (Sept. 13-Oct. 21, 2007) in Philadelphia, the macabre theatre lobby display included a bit of Charles Guiteau's brain and a piece of John...
Editor's Letter
When I became TSR's managing editor in 2004, I was unfamiliar with many of the magazine's regular contributors. One of my first tasks was to introduce myself to them and ask for suggestions for new features. Before long, I heard from Mark Eden Horowitz,...
High Times Ahead
European West Side Story is a museum pieceFifty years after its premiere, West Side Story still seems shockingly new, sometimes dangerously so when compared to the whitewashed jukebox musicals and Disney rehashes that have become Broadway staples. Arthur...
Inventing Broadway Shows
Book explores creators of 20th-century musical theatreIn his 25-year career with Time magazine, Stefan Kanfer was an influential film critic who did much to promote the "New Wave" of American cinema, which included Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate and...
Letters to the Editor
AS A PASSIONATE READER of the magazine with my own small Sondheim connection, I must take issue with an inference in Christopher Weimer's review of Meryle Secrest's Shoot the Widow. Referring to Somewhere for Me: A Life of Richard Rodgers, Mr. Weimer...
More Light Needed
Night Music's playful tone is nowhere to be found"If I were perfect for you, wouldn't you tire of me?" asks Anne, the beautiful, virginal and very young wife of middle-aged lawyer Fredrik Egerman, early in A Little Night Music. Stephen Sondheim (music...
News & Notes
Compiled and edited by Rick Pender with a contribution by Ben Magnuson and additional material drawn from Playbill.com, BroadwayWorld.com, TheaterMania.com, Entertainment Weekly, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), The Gazette (Colorado Springs), Rocky Mountain...
Old Friends
LuPone and Patinkin entertain PhiladelphiansThe City of Brotherly Love continued its love affair with Stephen Sondheim during the fall of 2007. Along with a first-rate production of Assassins at the Arden Theatre and Billy Porter's Being Alive revue...
Passion in Chicago
Chicago Shakespeare's revival of Stephen Sondheim's Passion gains immeasurably from being performed not in the company's grand Elizabethan-style theatre but in its upstairs house, a black-box performing space that has been set up for this production...
Paying Attention
David Mealor stages Assassins in AdelaideFollowing an increasingly popular career path from actor to director (for example, Mark Rylance in the U.K. and Cate Blanchett in Australia), David Mealor, after more than a decade as a successful actor in works...
Playing It Cool
New recordings mark West Side Story's 50thIn his latest book, Musicophilia, neurologist Oliver Sacks says that music occupies more areas of our brain than language. Further, it's perfectly common for catchy tunes to haunt us for hours, even years. Anyone...
Quiet Reception
Signed performance of Forum greeted in kindSilence greeted the curtain call of what must have been the umpteen-thousandth high school production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The quiet reception did not disturb the cast of hardworking...
Road Rage
Sweeney Todd takes revenge on a yearlong tour, starring Judy KayeIf you're kicking yourself for missing John Doyle's revival of Sweeney Todd in New York, that production is now on a one-year tour, and it's worth a trip wherever you need to go to catch...
Speaking of Sondheim
Daniel Evans and Maria Friedman have a conversationDaniel Evans, soon to appear on Broadway as George in Sunday in the Park with George, laid bare his deepest thoughts about appearing in Stephen Sondheim shows when he took part in a September 2007 conversation...
Strange Netherworld
Long Beach Assassins takes a shot in the darkThere's something intriguing - and a little unsettling - about a musical exploring the psyches of actual and wannabe presidential assassins staged on the grounds of a National Guard Armory. At the NGA in Long...
Sunday in the Park with George
Perhaps the headline writer at The New York Daily News was perplexed by Douglas Watt's review of Sunday in the Park with George, the new musical by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim opening on May 2, 1984, at Broadway's Booth Theatre. It was mixed-to-negative,...
Sweeney Hits the Road
Critics across North America assess John Doyle's revivalJohn Doyle's gorgeously surreal deconstruction of Sweeney Todd cuts through the baroque trappings of the story to reveal the naked viscera of the legend. The story of the demon barber of Fleet Street...
The Life in His Art
Arden Theatre's Terry Nolen brings his passion to the stageTerrence J. Nolen began his directing career in first grade. His debut was a backyard enactment of Winnie the Pooh authored by his 5-year-old friend Tom Donaghy. In the following season, the...
The Work of a Fan
Screenwriter John Logan talks about adapting Sweeney for the screenPerhaps you recently heard this holiday tune: "You better watch out/You better not cry/You better scream loud/I'm telling you why: Sweeney Todd is coming to town!" Every self-respecting...
Transformation
Gary Griffin stages an intimate Passion in ChicagoFew would dissent from the statement that Passion is one of Sondheim's most challenging musicals for audiences to embrace and for artists to perform. One can imagine Sondheim being attracted to the show's...
Wit, Emotion and Heart
Amateur staging of Woods succeeds in AdelaideOver a lifetime of several decades, the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of South Australia has occasionally ventured beyond the boundaries of its eponymous repertoire. But its September 2007 programming of...
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