Thursday, November 17, 2016

Visual Hits: Go on, inhale!

 The 1985 concert version of Follies:
from the left, George Hearn, Lee Remick, Stephen Sondheim,
Barbara Cook, and Mandy Patinkin.
Additional cast members included Elaine Stritch, Carol Burnett,
Phyllis Newman, Adolph Green, Betty Comden,
Andre Gregory, Liz Calloway (Ann's sister)...
man, you can guess the ticket prices on that!
"The concept behind 'Follies' is theater nostalgia, representing the rose-colored glasses through which we face the fact of age."
 Below, Lee and Jim Walton.

 Two Sondheim "also rans":
The Frogs (above with Nathan Lane and Roger Bart)
that Sondheim wrote while a senior at Yale,
and Saturday Night
(below with David Campbell and Lauren Ward),
written back in the early 50s,
but left unproduced til 2000.

 Merrily We Roll Along
(which wasn't so merry...the biggest flop of SS's career):
Jim Walton, Anne Morrison, and Lonny Price, 
the three leads.
Only 16 performances. Nuff said.
Well, not really...some really gorgeous songs came out of it,
like "Not A Day Goes By" and "Good Thing Going."
Sondheim has said that this musical is the closest
to "autobiographical" of all his shows,
writers trying to make it in the world.  

 Even his rejects have legs.
Above Stephen with Suzanne Henry and Craig Lucas,
who starred in Marry Me A Little,
which featured the goodies left out of several Sondheim shows.
 Company's "Side By Side/What Would We Do Without You?"
The cast was another hummer:  
Dean Jones (who replaced Anthony Perkins, 
who in turn was replaced by Larry Kert shortly after the opening), 
Barbara Barrie, Elaine Stritch, Beth Howland
Donna McKechnie, Susan Browning, 
Pamela Myers, Charles Kimbrough, George Coe, Charles Braswell...
with staging by Michael Bennett. 
Six Tonys, including Best Musical of 1971.

 Three from the cast of Sondheim On Sondheim,
a 2010 revue of songs from nineteen Sondheim shows:
Barbara Cook, Tom Wopat, and Vanessa Williams.
Reviews were mixed, saying some of the songs
were ill-chosen
(well, they CHOSE to do some of the eccentric ones,
thank the gods of theatre! We don't just want the over-played, right??)
and they didn't like Tom at all.
I like Tom. Piss off.

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