A new Sondheim score
Posted by: peter3053 03:36 pm EST 11/24/23
In reply to: You can always just ignore the glibness. - Genealley 12:15 pm EST 11/24/23

Don't forget that people found Sunday in the Park with George a bore, and they walked out of Sweeney, Merrily and even Follies that had no intermission.

Hasn't harmed their longevity.

But a key factor is that Here We Are is the first genuinely new Sondheim score in decades.

Almost every other recent Sondheim experience, people have walked in humming the dissonances.

But take it from me, as an "oldie", virtually every time one first hears an unrecorded Sondheim score in the theatre, it feels intangible.

I remember at A Little Night Music, the one thing that stuck at intermission was the musical phrase of "A Weekend in the Country" because it was deliberately repeated a thousand times in the song immediately prior to the break. Nobody went out humming the trio part of Now/Soon/Later!

And at Sweeney Todd, even though you knew the music was making sense dramatically (and on that set, spectacularly), it was only "The history of the world..." musical phrase that thrummed in your ears as you headed to the bar - again, deliberately, given its repeatedness and placement just prior to the break.

At Sunday, the audience I saw it with was utterly befuddled at intermission, and it was only after Marie's song in Act Two that somebody dared to call out, "beautiful!", and tears flowed at the end - and what a bizarre end!

With Sondheim, the winning bet will almost always be on rediscovery and respect over time.

I think London will completely embrace Here We Are. And then wait for Theatre du Chatelet ... and then, who knows - Estonia?
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