Advance attention for a different show in Elliott Harper’s new season


~ by Servetus on November 29, 2016.

18 Responses to “Advance attention for a different show in Elliott Harper’s new season”

  1. I just read that article this morning. Also, related to Richard, soon after the end of the infamous Francis/Chilton scene on Hannibal, I calmed myself down by hearing Raul Esparza singing “Being Alive” from Company.


    • I don’t know this musical. I liked Sondheim music a lot when I was in high school, though. We performed a lot of his stuff in choir and band. In retrospect now it seems very 70s so an update will probably be a good thing.


  2. This sounds pretty good. I liked her War Horse production. It was one of the few times that I actually cried at the theatre, because it was so heart-breaking.


  3. This musical has SO many problems in the playing of it today that any attempt to find a new way into the work is worthwhile. Many of the individual songs are terrific. Glad to hear that Sondheim is also involved with the process on some level. He’s notorious for protecting his shows as is, so when he allows a conceptual change to be made, it’s kind of a big deal.


    • What I know of his work is that it’s more musically than dramatically interesting, but that’s true of a lot of musicals. He is a great songwriter. I hadn’t heard of this musical until the article in the Mail over the weekend about the Elliott Harper season.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s an obsession for a certain sort of “deep cuts” musical fan. Concert versions get done from time to time as fund-raisers for musical theater oriented groups.

        It’s not my favorite Sondheim.


        • I suppose everybody’s seen Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods. I remember liking a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, but I only saw it once, over twenty years ago now.


          • I saw a production of Forum two years ago after a 20 year gap and I was shocked at how much I disliked it. Our attitudes about so many things have changed, it was hard to view it without a certain amount of presentism. I try to avoid it, but it was impossible with that one. Company can have the same problem.


            • I can totally imagine that. I saw it when I was just starting graduate school and my attitudes about a lot of things have changed since then. I also think it’s harder to avoid presentism w/r/t things roughly in our own lifetimes, so to speak. Less distance. Roman slavery bothers me less than 19th c. US slavery, for instance (not that they were quite the same thing).

              This discussion actually makes me think of that song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” We learned it high school choir as a sort of classic of American songwriting and a flirty, jokey song, but almost none of my friends see it that way anymore. “Hey, what’s in this drink?” Not funny.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Precisely. (My friends call it the “Date Rape” song.)


                • Mine too. It wasn’t a thing in 1985, though.

                  I always wonder how much of this stuff actually survives the centuries, and now particularly since middle brow / pop cultural stuff is so dominant in the cultural realm. It’s interesting to see which plays and musicals “survive” and why, which songs they play on Oldies radio and so on.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Have you ever read or seen Anne Washburn’s “Mr Burns, a post electric play”? Set in a post apocalyptic world where one group retells the Cape Fear episode of The Simpsons around a campfire and it grows into its own form of culture in the subsequent generations. It’s an odd play, but I like it. (I know people who didn’t, though.)

                    I like the idea that it’s bits and pieces of pop culture that become the basis for the future. The way opera in the 19th c is viewed differently than today. Or the way ideas and props in Star Trek influence tech design today.


                    • I haven’t and I’m the only person I know who’s never seen an episode of the Simpsons, but there are a lot of studies of this kind of thing for how medievals and early moderns processed the ancients and so on. (Before the Enlightenment, everyone admired Sparta; it’s only the emergence of popular sovereignty that puts Athens in all the textbooks, and so on). It’s always fascinating what people take away (similarly to what people think is important about an Armitage interview).

                      Liked by 1 person



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