Saturday, November 27, 2021

Children and Art- A farewell to Sondheim Part 1

This will probably take many days to write. But tonight I will begin with thoughts on the end of an era of musical theatre. Stephen Sondheim (3/22/1930-11/26/2021) made history in our world by always moving forward. The great mind mentored by Oscar Hammerstein II pushed boundaries just like his second father did. Sondheim in return became a mentor to so many of the next generation and I think that is what makes him a great artist. There are many songs of his to mark the grief of his passing but I can't stop thinking about "Children and Art" the song that Marie sings to George in Act 2 of Sunday in the Park with George. A song about the most important things we leave behind in this world. Children and Art. He left no biological children but even beyond the countless theatre artists he mentored he inspired even more he never met. We are all his children. He is our musical theatre father (which makes Oscar our grandfather which feels about right to me honestly). He left both children and art. Children of his own art. And I am forever grateful. 

There are already many lists indicating favorite scores and songs of his. This one by Linda Holmes from NPR is lovely. As with most things in this blog my list is more for my own emotional release than anything else but if anyone else enjoys it that's always good too. Again, this isn't gonna be your average list. Because if you read my blog you may have already noticed that my favorites are not always everyone else's favorites. But these are the songs that make me the happiest for whatever reason whether that is his incredible gift of wit and rhyme or his completely heart wrenching melodies. 

Edit: Nope this is gonna be several lists. Sorry. In fact let's just call this the table of contents post for a few posts to follow. I will come back and do a post about each list. Like I don't have enough to do. But let's call this my mourning process. I mean, if you're here reading my blog you can probably handle a few more Sondheim posts right? I may come back and edit this table of contents but for tonight it is good enough.

The Moving Emotional Ones:

"Children and Art"-Sunday in the Park With George

"Everyday a Little Death"-A Little Night Music

"Anyone Can Whistle"- Anyone Can Whistle

"Losing My Mind"- Follies

"Move On"- Sunday in the Park With George

"Finishing the Hat"- Sunday in the Park With George

"Not a Day Goes By"- Merrily We Roll Along

Group Numbers That Make Me Giddy:

"Please Hello"- Pacific Overtures

"A Weekend in the Country"- A Little Night Music

"The Frogs"- The Frogs

"Opening Doors"- Merrily We Roll Along

"Getting Married Today"- Company

"Someone in a Tree"- Pacific Overtures

Funny/Witty (this list might get longer):

"A Little Priest"- Sweeney Todd

"A Country House" - Follies

"Agony" - Into the Woods

"Mr. Goldstone, I Love You"- Gypsy*

"Officer Krupke"- West Side Story*

"Pretty Little Picture"- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

"I'm Calm"- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

"Chrysanthemum Tea"- Pacific Overtures

Unsettling yet Beautiful:

"Unworthy of Your Love"- Assassins

"Not While I'm Around"- Sweeney Todd

"Pretty Lady"- Pacific Overtures

"I Remember"- Evening Primrose

"Johanna (Quartet)"- Sweeney Todd 

"Loving You"- Passion