Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sondheim Rules!

A new production highlighting the life and work of Stephen Sondheim opened at the Roundabout Theater last week.

Stephen Sondheim has always been a huge inspiration for me. I listen to his work when I want to get inspired. When I am in a transitional phase his words and music play in my head and there is no doubt his rhythms have always offered profound insights into life, love, heartbreak, anxiety, artistry and that intricate dance of romance.

If you are in New York you have two opportunities to catch the Sondheim genius... you can roll by the Roundabout and check out Sondheim on Sondheim...

Here's one of the productions stars Vanessa Williams performing on Regis & Kelly...

or you can rumble to the Walter Kerr Theater to catch the final performances of Tony nominated Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury in one of my favorite musicals of all time A Little Night Music based on a Bergman film.

For a little dose of the master listen in to Sondheim chat about the show on Fresh Air with Terry Gross here. Around 33 minutes into the hour Terry Gross asks the classic musical question "Which comes first the music or the lyrics?" Sondheim's answer is one of a true collaborator, one who is in tune with the sounds and voices of the work. He follows the librettist characters and dialogue from the book and explains the most important thing is to know what you want to say.

He always seems to know what he wants to say and does so with such beauty and a haunting complexity.

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