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
Assassins, Original Off-Broadway Cast
Gypsy, 2003 Revival
Follies, New York Philharmonic Concert Cast
A Collector's Sondheim, 1986 (SO much Sondheim ...)
Into The Woods OBC
Mandy Sings Sondheim
Bernadette sings (mostly) Sondheim