Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Good Vs. Evil: Musical Theater Birthday Edition

I never knew this before: Andrew Lloyd Webber, devourer of all things beauteous and subtle in musical theater and Stephen Sondheim, god's gift to the same struggling but invaluable artform share a birthday. God has a weird sense of humor, don'cha think?



Beezelbub Andrew is 58 today and Stephen turns 76. For Webber's birthday I would like to give him the gift of silence. It truly is golden. This gift is large enough to allow for the immediate closing of Phantom of the Opera. Let the curtain fall instead of that damn chandelier! May Sondheim receive immortality as a genius musician --oh, wait he already has that. OK, may he live to be 100 and write one or two more musicals as great as Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and Sweeney Todd (currently revived, deliciously, on Broadway. GO SEE IT).

tags: Stephen Sondheim, Broadway, theater, theatre, musicals, Sweeney Todd

18 comments:

J.J. said...

I agree: Woods, George and Sweeney are the master's top three. I wormed my way into his helter-skelter 75th birthday gala last year at the New Amsterdam. Highlight? Fierstein "singing" Rose's Turn.

NATHANIEL R said...

i was there too. only i didn't see the batch of performers that included Fiersein. boo hoo

adam k. said...

Um... Woods, George, Sweeney... AND West Side! Isn't that generally acknowledged as his masterpiece? Or is that just me? Is it just too obvious to put on the list or what? Whatup?

NATHANIEL R said...

he only did the lyrics to west side story. but yes. it is a masterpiece as well.

adam k. said...

Oh my, you're right. Silly me. Oh well. It is great anyway. Are there other things he only did lyrics for?

OhMyTrill said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
OhMyTrill said...

Actually...many people beleive that Sondeim DID write the music to West Side Story, since it doesn't really resemble antyhing else written by Bernstein...I guess we will never really know!

I personally would like to think that he did...just another reason to love...

Arkaan said...

Replace "Into the Woods" with "Company" or "Follies" or "A Little Night Music" or "Assassins"... and then we're talking.

And "Into the Woods" ain't that bad either. What a creative force.

Anonymous said...

Have loved me some "Into the Woods" since way back in the day. Anybody see it when Vanessa Williams did it on Broadway? Heard she was simply fab.

Sondheim rocks...and it don't stop. Webber though, not so much. Any wonder he picked Joel Schumacher to bring "Phanton of the Opera" to the big screen. Hack extraordinaires, both of them bitches.

M

NATHANIEL R said...

arkaan
i can't go without into the woods. i'm sorry. ;)

but yes. those are just my three favorite. i love those other ones too. with the exception of ASSASSINS... not because I don't think it's good but because i think the book is too problematic for the show too ever be great. I need more music.

in second tier you listed I would replace Assassins with Passion.

i saw VW as the witch. Good but not great. Strangely the cast was not top drawer to my way of thinking (Laura Benanti was out the night i saw it. no surprise. she's always out) but it was still a great show. Hard to mess up Sondheim.

Nick M. said...

Is Webber the Ron Howard of the theater world?

Anonymous said...

I think Webber is the Joel Schumacher of the theater world. No subtlety or grace chez lui. Why the latter continues to get work is beyond me. Oy vey, when's the last time Joel Schumacher even had a hit film? Even after the Phantom of the Opera debacle, he still has three (!) new movies in the works.

NATHANIEL R said...

that's why they call it Hollyweird.

why, for example, did they give HAIRSPRAY --a major property -- to the director of The Pacifier?

there are more questions than answers when it comes to hollywood directorial assignments (excluding auteurs of course who are playing their own game)

adam k. said...

Nathaniel, what did you think of Merrily We Roll Along? My school is putting in on next year, I hope it's good.

Hope you're still checking the comments on this post...

NATHANIEL R said...

i always check comments.

i'm sick that way. I confess that I'm not too familiar with Merrily We Roll Along

Anonymous said...

Merrily We Roll Along is Brilliant! I would rank it up there with Sunday and Sweeney.

Anonymous said...

Merrily We Roll Along is Brilliant! I would rank it up there with Sunday and Sweeney.

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