Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Damn Frogs.

 Ya gotta "Dress Big,"
with Burke Moses (as Heracles) giving Nathan Lane
(as Dionysus) fashion advice. 
Stephen Sondheim, Burt Shevelove and Nathan Lane
mounted a 2004 revival of The Frogs at Lincoln Center.
Is Nathan checking his cell phone?  Patti Lupone will have a fit!
 Peter Bartlett as Hades, with Nathan.
Dionysus travels with his slave, Xanthias (played by Roger Bart)
to Hades, hoping to bring George Bernard Shaw back to life and
make the world a better place.
Or Shakespeare...or...well, somebody, anybody!

 Those nasty frogs.
 Sondheim wrote seven new songs for this revival...
Critics said the low brow comedy warred with high ideals,
but somebody pointed out that's exactly what Aristophanes did.
And who's to chide Aristophanes? 

Opening night at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre...
from left: Roger Bart, Michael Siberry, John Byner 
(who played Charon, the boater on the River Styx), 
Susan Stroman (who both directed and choreographed),
Burke Moses, Nathan Lane, Daniel Davis and Peter Bartlett.

In the original 1974 production at Yale University's pool,
the frogs were played by members of the Yale swim team.
Larry Blyden played Dionysus, 
and Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver and Christopher Durang
were in the (wet) ensemble.
Sondheim said the acoustics were like "performing in a urinal."

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