Two Sondheim's and a Guttel
Posted by: MikeP (ACL15@aol.com) 11:56 am EST 02/18/24

Recently saw Sweeney, Merrily and Wine and Roses.

I saw the end of the Groban/Ashford run in Sweeney. I've always viewed Sweeney as a masterpiece and the jewel in Sondheim's very bejeweled crown. This production didn't disappoint.

Groban was wonderful and in gorgeous voice. He has come so far as a stage performer. When he did Chess in concert he was a piece of wood. A lot of friends had issues with Ashford's Lovett. I didn't although it was very different and slapstick.

A few disappointments in the supporting cast and I didn't find the direction very distinguished but...heating this score with a full orchestra is a gift!!

Merrily was good but left me cold. I've never warmed to this story. The leads were impressive but the production was not. It felt cheap. I always find actors endlessly move set pieces to be cheap and annoying.

Wine and Roses is gorgeous. Guttel's score is beautiful. Very reminiscent of Piazza. I wish he worked more! It's rare that a book is so strong but this one is. It's excellent. The performances are damn brilliant and the direction is perfect. See this show!

P.S. I'm a frequent lurker and don't post much. Thank you all for giving me so much great reading!
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