Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Huzzah for Birthday 87!

 Born in 1930, in NYC,
Stephen Joshua Sondheim's
first experience with musical theatre
happened at the age of 9,
when he was taken to see a show called Very Warm For May.
 "The curtain went up and revealed a piano. 
A butler took a duster and brushed it up, tinkling the keys. 
I thought that was thrilling."

With Leonard Bernstein,
after the opening of West Side Story.
(I think Stephen wants that suit!)
 With Richard Rodgers in 1965,
working on Do I Hear A Waltz?
Rodgers was evidently difficult to work with,
hiding vodka bottles in the piano,
and dismissing Sondheim's lyrics. 
Sondheim felt obligated to do the project;
Oscar Hammerstein, his friend and mentor, had hoped
he would succeed him as Rodger's partner.

At the top, a rather posed rehearsal pic
with book writer George Furth,
Dean Jones, Elaine Stritch, Hal Prince, Barbara Barrie,
and choreographer Michael Bennett.
Above, the recording session with
Pamela Myers, readying for her rendition of 
"Another Hundred People".
The show set a record for Tony nominations: 14.
It would win 6, including Best Book, Best Score, Best Direction, 
and Best Musical.

In London,
after the opening of the "Lansbury Edition"
of Gypsy, 1973.
Originally, Elaine Stritch was set to star,
but they couldn't raise enough capital with her name,
but Angela's fame brought in the dough!
From left, Jule Styne, composer,
Angela, Arthur Laurents, book-meister,
and Stephen.

 Opening night of Sweeney, 1979,
with Len Cariou and Angela (again)!
 8 Tony wins for this one...

 Working on Sunday in the Park
with Mandy and Bernadette, 1984.
 A Pulitzer, but no Best Musical Tony...
Jerry Herman's La Cage Aux Folles scooped it.

With Harold Prince,
director/producer of 6 Sondheim's creations,
and winner of 21Tonys
(more than any other person!).
The two parted ways after Merrily We Roll Along,
til 2003 (with Bounce).

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