Stephen Sondheim, who was still actively working on new projects at age 91, is dead.

(I know he died a few days ago, he's still dead now)

"Are you working on something new?"


"That isn't like you, George."

Edited to add: the intersection between Sondheim and Seurat is a musical called Sunday in The Park with George.

Today is George Seurat's 162nd birthday, and Google has doodled him.If you google "Color and Light Sunday" you get the good version. At least I do. If your algorithm doesn't deliver Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, here you go ...

Rabbit and I were talking about versions of musicals and how she can appreciate > 1 version of a show whereas I have traditionally listened to the one version I liked and found all others unacceptable. That has changed for me over the years in many cases. Here are some examples:

Sweeney Todd - Len Cariou (Original Soundtrack) and George Hearn (original filmed stage version) are both great Sweeneys. Ken Jennings (OST) and NPH (revival) are both great Tobys.  Also, I enjoyed the casts of Sweeney in two local productions I saw. So I am expanding my horizons.  Johnny Depp's attempt at Sweeney - still unacceptable.

Gypsy - my favorite Mama Rose is Bernadette Peters, but I also like classic Ethel Merman and the two local Mama Roses I saw.

Jesus Christ Superstar - Murray Head (Concept Album) is still my favorite Judas (I know, I know ...) but I like Carl Anderson (Original Movie Cast)'s performance. Ted Neely (OMC) as Jesus can go sing country somewhere else, Ian "Deep Purple" Gillan (CA) is my Jesus! Though I have seen local performances with good Judases and Jesuseseses ... I don't know where to stop, it's like banana ...

There are more, but is already TL:DR ...

So, ok, long list of progress with the open-mindedness, yeah?

But let's get back to my complete LACK of progress, the hill on which I am sure I shall die.

The Mandy version is always the best version, with one and only one known exception.

No, the exception is NOT Evita. Mandy singing "High Flying, Adored" is the reason I am obsessed with musicals. Eight year old me understood what it was like to hear the voice of an angel coming from my friend's parents' record player ... 

The exception is the 1990 studio cast version of Man of La Mancha.  It's fine but not great. Mandy's performance is excellent and he is a strong contender for my "favorite Sancho Panza", but Placido Domingo just doesn't deliver Quixote as well as Brian Stokes Mitchell. You can survive with an okay Sancho or a so-so Aldonza, but a Quixote who doesn't knock it out of the park deflates Man of La Mancha like it was poked by the lance of the Knight of Mirrors.

Right, where was I?  Happy Birthday Georges Seurat!

The Mandy version of Sunday in The Park With George is the best version, but it's not exclusively because of Mandy. Bernadette Peters also makes it great - she glows like a Seurat painting and each of them individually and the two of them together make this musical, which, admittedly, has some serious flaws in its plot/construction ... iconic. 

"There are only two worthwhile things to leave behind when we depart this world of ours: Children and Art." - James Lapine, book, Sunday in the Park with George

I included the clip above. Just listen ...

We'll miss you, Mr. Sondheim. So much.


Recommended listening if you want to hear some Sondheim ...

Sweeney Todd, OBC

12/2 '21 5 Comments
I also mostly like really random, short, obscure songs in musicals, so for me, it helps that Timothy Spall was probably born to play Beadle Bamford, even if Depp sucks.

And to be fair, I am insanely picky about A Little Night Music. Only the 1990 Lincoln Center performance will do, but that has to do with how bad the OBC Desirée is.
Rabbit 12/2 '21
You probably know this, but: today I learned that after a failed show, he considered turning to video game design before rallying and creating Sunday in the Park with George.

Yes, video game design. Yes, in '84 or '85.

I'm glad he changed his mind, but I would definitely like a peek at the universe where he designed video games.
Thomas Boutell 12/3 '21
i was completely obsessed with Sunday in the Park back in the day... i wanted to be bernadette peters soooooo badly. god, sondheim left such a legacy...
Jenn A 12/3 '21
But…Colm Wilkinson!!!

CM Adams 12/4 '21
You mean Jean Valjean? ;)

This morning's soundtrack, because when I am happy, I sing showtunes.

One Day More, Les Miserables, OBC

Do You Hear The People Sing?, Les Miserables, OBC

Everything's Coming Up Roses, Gypsy revival w/Bernadette Peters

Comedy Tonight, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to The Forum, OBC

Free!, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to The Forum, OBC

Love Makes The World Go 'Round, Carnival OBC

Direct From Vienna, Carnival OBC

Yorktown, Hamilton OBC

Here's Anna Maria Alberghetti singing "Love Makes the World Go 'Round":

"OBC" = Original Broadway Cast (Album)

Trump is not President. I will be able to hug my parents in 2021.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been inagurated as President and Vice President of the United States of America.

Other sources of happiness:

  • The odds that no one I love will die of COVID-19 have dramatically increased. 
  • The odds that no one else I love will be permanently affected by the after-effects of COVID-19 have also dramatically increased.
  • No one will be inside the Capitol of our United States wearing Nazi fashion ever again. The leader of the free world will not tell anti-Semites that they are "good people" and that he loves them.
  • A competent government will handle vaccine distribution and injection. Said government will not prioritize people based on "red state"/"blue state" or who they voted for.
  • My sons will be able to safely go to school in person.
  • My sons will be able to hang out with their friends again.
  • My college boy will be able to get up to normal college shenanigans. (yikes!)
  • I will be able to hang out with my friends again! In groups! 
  • When the President speaks, he will tell the truth (to the best of his knowledge) and he will speak in full, coherent sentences.
  • The President of The United States will speak of progress, not of grievances.
  • We elected our first female, Black Vice President of Indian Descent. Also, her husband and kids will be the first Jews to be a Veep's family.
  • I won't be embarassed to be an American. At least, not mostly. We Americans are very talented at embarassing ourselves.
  • If I want to watch a train wreck reality show, I can choose to, but I won't be forced to watch one because it's our government.
  • Vacations!  Remember traveling?  Maybe Europe will even let us in again.
  • Archer will be able to improv again and I will be able to watch him perform in person!
  • Hunter will finally be able to take his archery lessons!
  • My mental health will be at its normal level of fuckery.
  • And ... and theatre will be back. 

There are more reasons to be happy. And more work to do.

We have a Republic, America. We may even be able to keep it.

1/20 '21 5 Comments
I'm with you.
You can annoy me any day xx
Beth Adele 1/24 '21
Well said.
Thomas Boutell 1/21 '21