Posted by: AlanScott 05:42 am EST 02/08/24
In reply to: re: GROWING UP - Chromolume 05:49 pm EST 02/07/24

It's long been my impression, bolstered by at least one piece of external evidence and one piece of hearsay related to that external evidence (and in synch with the evidence), that it was Furth who especially wanted to revise the piece, and that it was Furth who was most opposed to allowing the original version to be done.

That most important piece of evidence is that Furth did not show up for the reunion concert. Sondheim, of course, did. Prince, feeling he had failed the cast, originally didn't want to go, but he was persuaded to go, by Sondheim I think, and he ended up very glad he did.

Also, only the barest minimum of book was used in the reunion concert. My understanding is that originally it was to be a concert version of the whole show, but to do the 1981 version of the score — admittedly, adding "Growing Up" (although just the first-act version), putting back "The Blob" (always in the licensed version), and giving Beth "Not a Day Goes By" (again, always in the licensed version) — and use the revised book would not have worked very well. But Furth (again, this is hearsay, but this makes sense) refused to allow the original book to be done, so they were stuck. (Oddly, the reunion concert restored "Thank You for Coming," cut early in previews in 1981 and not, to my knowledge, heard in any major production since except the reunion concert.)

Furth relented to the degree of allowing some of the original book to be done because certain things just couldn't work without some of it (such as the opening scene). But he wasn't happy.

After Furth's death, things were allowed that I think would have made Furth turn over in his grave (forgive the cliché). In some cases, I think he would have been well-justified in screaming about things.

Further, Furth (!!!) never allowed the monologues that were added during previews in 1981 to be in the original licensed version, apparently feeling that he had added them under duress to help the audience understand what was going on. I've heard he hated those monologues. They worked well for the audience.

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