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6.3.3.1 Shows (as composer and lyricist)




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This article is from the Theatre FAQ, by aku@leland.Stanford.EDU (Andrew Chia-Tso Ku) with numerous contributions by others.

6.3.3.1 Shows (as composer and lyricist)

*SATURDAY NIGHT

Sondheim's first Broadway musical, abandoned when its producer
died. Several of its songs have been recorded in anthologies
(see below).

*A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

A fast-paced farce in which the songs serve as interludes.
The film dropped many of the songs and was overproduced, but
does preserve the performances of Mostel and Gilford.

>OC: Broadway Angel CD
- Cast: Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford.

*ANYONE CAN WHISTLE

A 9-performance flop.

>OC: CBS CD; the CD adds music omitted from the LP.
- Cast: Angela Lansbury (her first musical), Lee Remick, Harry
Guardino.

*EVENING PRIMROSE

Based on a short story; score comprises only 4 songs. No
recording except for a medley of the songs on Mandy Patinkin's
"Dress Casual" CD (Bernadette Peters as guest artist).

*COMPANY

The show that established Sondheim's stature, a mixture
of musical and revue with urban life and personal commitment
as the themes.

Tony awards: Musical, Music, Lyrics, Book, Director, Scenic
Design
>OC: CBS CD.
- Cast: Dean Jones, Barbara Barrie, Elaine Stritch, Donna
McKechnie, Beth Howland, Charles Kimbrough, George Coe.
- There is also a "London Cast" album which is the OC with
Dean Jones's voice tracks replaced by those of his
replacement, Larry Kert (to be reissued on CD on English CBS).
V>Video documentary of recording session: RCA Video.

*FOLLIES

None of the three recordings conveys the full stature of
this score and show, arguably Sondheim's finest. The first
is too truncated, the second inattentive to dramatic values,
the third unwisely revised; all are seriously incomplete.

Tony awards: Music and Lyrics, Director, Choreographer,
Scenic Design, Costumes, Lighting, Actress (Alexis
Smith)
>OC: Broadway Angel CD.
- Cast: Alexis Smith, Dorothy Collins, Yvonne De Carlo,
Gene Nelson, John McMartin, Mary McCarty, Ethel Shutta.
- CD contains 1 song not on LP.
>Concert cast: RCA, 2 CDs.
- Cast: Barbara Cook, Lee Remick, Carol Burnett, George
Hearn, Mandy Patinkin, Elaine Stritch, Comden & Green,
Liz Callaway, Howard McGillin.
>1987 revision, London cast: First Night, 2 CDs.
- Cast: Julia McKenzie, Diana Rigg, Delores Gray, Daniel
Massey.

*A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC

Based on the Bergman film SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT, with an
operetta score based on variants of triple meter.

Tony awards: Musical, Music and Lyrics, Book, Actress
(Glynis Johns), Supporting Actress (Patricia Elliott)
Academy award [film version]: Adaptation Score
>OC: CBS CD.
- Cast: Glynis Johns, Hermione Gingold, Len Cariou,
Patricia Elliott, Victoria Mallory, Laurence Guittard.
V>The film version is too poor to be worth much attention.
V>The NY City Opera production televised on PBS is better,
but not commercially available.

*THE FROGS

Originally done in and around a swimming pool. No recording;
2 songs ("Invocation and Instructions" and "Fear No More"--
lyrics by Shakespeare) have been recorded in compilations.

*PACIFIC OVERTURES

A depiction of the recent history of Japan in modified Kabuki
style, with an all-male (till the finale), originally
all-Asian cast.

Tony awards: Costume Design, Scenic Design

>OC: RCA CD.
- Cast: Mako, Soon-Teck Oh, Sab Shimono, Gedde Watanabe,
Isao Sato.
>English National Opera production: TER, 2 CDs (complete
including dialog).

*SWEENEY TODD, THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Sondheim's closest approach to opera, a large-scale piece
in which all but about 15 minutes is set to music, and which
has been done by opera companies.

Tony awards: Musical, Book, Score, Actor (Len Cariou),
Actress (Angela Lansbury), Director, Scenic Design,
Costume Design

>OC: RCA, 2 CDs (highlights on 1 CD).
- Cast: Len Cariou, Angela Lansbury, Victor Garber.
V>Video of LA stage performance (RKO Video)
- Cast: Lansbury, George Hearn, Cris Groenendaal, Betsy Joslyn.

*MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG

A Broadway failure which has often been performed by schools
and universities, and which has been repeatedly revised by its
authors.

>OC: RCA CD.
- Cast: Jim Walton, Ann Morrison, Lonny Price, Jason
Alexander.
>Leicester Haymarket (1992, released 1994): TER CD.
- Cast: Michael Cantwell, Maria Friedman, Evan Pappas
>York Theater Company (1994): Varese Sarabande CD.
- Cast: Malcolm Gets, Amy Ryder, Adam Heller

*SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE

An examination of the artist's changing role in terms of
the painter Georges Seurat and a modern counterpart.

Tony awards: Scenic Design, Lighting Design
Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1985)

>OC: RCA CD.
- Cast: Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Charles Kimbrough,
Dana Ivey, Cris Groenendaal, Barbara Bryne, Robert Westenberg,
Brent Spiner.
V>Video of stage performance: original cast. (Karl-Lorimar Video)

*INTO THE WOODS

This combination of 4 traditional fairy tales with a new one,
examining the aftereffects of their stories, provided Sondheim
with his longest Broadway run since FORUM.

Tony awards: Score, Book, Actress (Joanna Gleason)

>OC: RCA Victor CD.
- Cast: Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Tom
Aldredge, Robert Westenberg, Chuck Wagner, Kim Crosby,
Ben Wright, Danielle Ferland.
>London cast: RCA Victor (one new song in this version).
- Cast: Julia McKenzie, Imelda Staunton.
V>Video of stage production: Original cast. (only available
on laserdisk)

*DICK TRACY

Academy award: Original Song ("Sooner or Later")

- 5 "period" songs. 3 sung by Madonna (one as a duet with
Mandy Patinkin); they are performed by her (not the
soundtrack performances) in her album "I'm Breathless."
The other 2, background choral numbers in the film, can
be heard on the Carnegie Hall concert recording.
V>Film available on video (Touchstone/Buena Vista)

*ASSASSINS

A 90-minute one-act show, an examination of the role of
assassins in American history in revue-like nightmarish
format.

>Original cast: RCA Victor CD.
- Cast: Victor Garber, Jonathan Hadary, Terrence Mann, Annie
Golden, Debra Monk.

*PASSION

A one-act chamber musical, set in 19th century Italy, about an
ugly, sickly woman in pursuit of a handsome soldier.

Tony awards: Musical, Score, Book, Actress (Murphy)

>OC: Angel CD.
- Cast: Donna Murphy, Jere Shea, Marin Mazzie, Gregg Edelman,
Tom Aldredge, Cris Groenendaal, Francis Ruivivar, George
Dvorsky

 

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