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? ;)