Sunday Sondheim: Finale of ‘Sweeney Todd’ – Korean Cast

 

This is one of the most marvelous versions I’ve ever seen, especially the technical aspects: superb lighting, chilling sound design (especially the machine sounds at beginning), and the scenic/staging design is brilliant, especially the ritualistic handwashing and the coats lifted aloft, first looking like a mass lynching and then a line of coats representing those people Sweeney killed.  Freakin’ marvelous!

Oh yeah, the music’s not bad either.  Who’s the composer again?  😉

     
     

Sunday Sondheim: Raul Esparza and cast sing Side By Side (from Company)

Raúl Esparza and cast sing "Side By Side By Side" from the 2006 revival of Stephen Sondheim‘s Company.  This video is an excerpt from the highly recommended 2008 PBS DVD "Company."

 

 

In 2007, Company won Tony Awards for "Best Revival of a Musical" and "Best Direction of a Musical (John Doyle)." Raúl was nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. The original 1970 production was nominated for 12 Tony awards and won 6 of them.

Interesting comment exchange

 

Ok., can someone explain why Raúl goes blank after his little kazoo bit and why he looks like he just came to a huge realization? 5 months ago

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  • well, his kazoo playing was not answered by a woman; when all the other men played their instruments they were answered by a woman. 4 months ago

     

    Bobby is the eternal bachelor. Everyone had a "response" from their spouse except him (as he’s single)…the "Side By Side" and "What Would I Do Without You" aspect that is reinforced as he is beside no one… 2 months ago

     

    It’s the realization he has no one to "play against." This part of the song is a form of call and response where the husband plays first and the wife next. Bobby clearly expects someone to jump in there but no one does and it’s a continuation of Bobby’s journey into possibly entertainiing something permanent. 2 months ago

    Sunday Sondheim: Carol Burnett and Ruthie Henshall sing "There’s Always a Woman."

     

     

    Stephen Sondheim wrote this for Anyone Can Whistle. This song was cut from that Broadway production, which only lasted nine performances. It’s perfect for Putting It Together, though.  This excerpt, featuring Carol Burnett and Ruthie Henshall, is from the highly recommended Region 1 DVD "Putting It Together" of a live 1999 performance.

     

    Fun YouTube comments:

    what does Coq Au Vin mean?

    It’d be something like: "Cock In Wine" – it’s a French Classic dish, basically it is an old cock with lots of red wine that simmers for hours in order to get the cock soft, but some say that the fact the cock is old makes it more flavorful.
    Btw, I think the word joke with "coq/cock" also works in French, correct me if I’m wrong for those who speak French better than me. lol
    Explaning it or not, the talent shown in this video is just contagious and hilarious! 😀 2 months ago

    the joke does work in French, but more in an ‘asshole’ type of way not a sexual type joke

    Sunday Night Sondheim: Everybody Says Don’t

    Here’s 2 separate versions of Stephen Sondheim’s “Everybody Says Don’t” from Anyone Can Whistle.

     

     

    Regine Velasquez sings “Everybody Says Don’t”

     


     

    Lea Salonga also sings “Everybody Says Don’t”

    Sunday Night Sondheim: Anyone Can Whistle – Cleo Laine

    Though I don’t get her leopard “jumpsuit” or some of the staging, Cleo Laine really gives us a wonderful performance with this somewhat obscure song from a rarely produced Stephen Sondheim show with the same title: “Anyone Can Whistle”  Below the video I’ve attached several YouTube comments that are quite informative and insightful.

    Question: I adore Sondheim and his work, and almost always understand it (even the most complex) but for some reason I never understood this song. Any explanations?

    The character in the musical (Anyone Can Whistle) is singing about how she can do hard things without problem or error, but the simple things she wishes she could do, she cannot. "What’s hard is simple, what’s natural comes hard." She’s unable to let go of her troubles and she wishes someone could show her how to do that.

    From what I read the song is allegorical to the composer’s own insecurities. How many other songs deal with this subject? A masterful yet simplistic and touching song.

    I agree. I love it, it’s a shame that it’s so obscure.
    I believe it’s about how for somewhat uptight people like Faye (the character), the most challenging things in life (dancing a tango, reading Greek) come natural to them because it actually requires heavy thinking. But an act as easy as whistling (which anyone can do), Faye can’t do it because all it requires is carefree-ness.

    and of course whistling is also a metaphor for that simple thing of falling in love which she also finds hard even though she’s desperate to. such a wonderful way of putting it!

    Makes me feel like shes packing up to go, maybe begin another life, another time and place, or leaving to go be herself and wander. Gives me hope somewhat in knowing so.

    SNS: Elaine Stritch sings The Little Things You Do Together

    Sunday Night Sondheim: “The Little Things You Do Together

    In the recording studio with Stephen Sondheim, recording the cast album for “Company”.  In the recording you’ll see a much younger Sondheim.  One question for Sondheim fans, who is the guy that gives instructions before the recording begins? Is this the book writer of Company?

    Elaine Stritch sings "The Little Things You Do Together" from the original production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company in 1970.

     

    A few YouTube comments of note:

    1. i love how elaine just commands the room and listens to the other actors as well.

    2. Elaine is just being Elaine. She always has to be the center of attention, even now she still doubts her own talents, I would guess. Only proves no one ever gets to be the person they always wanted to be, even when everyone says they’re the best.

           2a. bold statement, do you know Elaine personally i wonder?

           2b. Well said.

    3. I don’t think I would be that upset if 70’s styles came back in fashion.

    4. Is that Barbara Barrie in the sunglasses?? She’s great!

    5. If you look closely you will see Beth Howland singing who played Vera on Alice

            

    Sunday Night Sondheim: Sweeney Todd in Japan

    Japanese professional theatre’s rehearsal of “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd”, the finale of Sweeney Todd.

    CAST: Masachika ICHIMURA (Sweeney Todd), Shinobu OTAKE (Mrs. Lovett), Midoriko KIMURA (Beggar Woman), Sonim (Johann), Yu SHIROTA (Anthony), Michitaka TACHIKAWA (Judge Turpin), Satoru SAITO (Beadle), Shinji TAKEDA (Tobias), Amon MIYAMOTO (Director)

    favorite comments:

    – I think I prefer this in English
    – that’s cuz you speak English
    – Reply: No, I just prefer the singers. I’m usually a big fan of Japanese songs

    And here’s the Japanese trailer for the movie opening of “Sweeney Todd”, starring Johnny Depp.