When I joined Tumblr, I only had FuckYeahStephenSondheim so I followed everyone from there. Now that I’ve got a pretty good sense of how I use that account vs. this one, I’m going to start migrating the folks I follow who have little-to-no showtunes content over here. So if it looks like I unfollowed you from FYSS, I probably didn’t do it to dump you, just to move you.
As someone who’s of a visible minority, I’ve always found it amusing when someone decides to dine at an “ethnic” (let’s not delve into the issues with that word today, okay?) restaurant and adheres to the “if there are more white diners than [insert ethnicity here], than the food’s probably not very good and the place is not authentic” rule.
I’ve never met someone of a visible minority who has ever thought this. I’m not saying that they don’t exist but I’d be willing to bet that more white people think this than the type of diner that they look to as badges of authenticity. Maybe it’s because we realize that in North America, the people that can still afford to eat out most frequently are affluent white people, so we aren’t really surprised when a restaurant is filled with them at any given time.
Or maybe we just don’t give a fuck. Either way.
I’ve been following Kallen’s Tumblr for a while now, but lately he’s been firing on all cylinders. If you’re not already following him, now’s a great time to start.
Last week on Fuck Yeah Stephen Sondheim I shared Jason Robert Brown’s arrangement of “Sunday" as an example of how arrangement changes a song.
This, and the post that will follow in a second, continues that discussion. Here’s “Say Yes” from 70, Girls, 70 by Kander & Ebb, performed by Mildred Natwick on the original cast album.
Liza heard it, and as is her wont, she added it to her repertoire of Kander & Ebb songs and decided to open her Liza With A “Z” concert with the number. That sounded like a great idea, but Bob Fosse thought it needed a new arrangement to start the concert off the right way.
Anonymous asked: Someone told me today that his racism is “limited to his sense of humor.” Is that a real thing? I’m guessing that’s just a clever way of admitting he’s racist, but I’d like confirmation.
Critics and tastemakers nominate their choices. An example:
John Lahr, New Yorker critic: In my nearly fifty years of theatre-going, “Ari,” the adaptation of Leon Uris’s novel, which featured Holocaust survivors dancing over barbed wire, was the absolute worst. No discussion.
K picked me up at the bus stop to get some more groceries on the way home. When we were waiting in line at the cash desk I whined about my day, the weather, basically everything. You know those days. K teased me about my bad mood and kissed. A super innocent kiss. Close-mouthed innocent. The toddler’s mother in front of us whipped around and said: “You know how disgusting that is? Don’t do it in front of my child.” Meanwhile the heterosexual teenager couple in front of her was just a layer of clothes away from public fucking, which somehow did not offend her. I’m bad in these situation, my fuse is too short to deal with it in an adult way. That’s what I have a level-headed girlfriend for. But even she was gobsmacked. But the little old lady behind us chimed in with a very sweet, yet deathly determined: “I think this lovely couple is not at fault if you insist on raising your child to be a close-minded asshole.” (hihi, she said “asshole”) The mother stood there slack-jawed and was too offended to say anything else. The little old lady snickered and told us very sincerely that she thinks it’s awful we have to put with such crap.
So, shut the fuck up hateful mothers and let the little old ladies speak.
I’m pretty sure that about 50% of the kisses I get from James in public are in hopes of provoking such a moment.
There weren’t a lot of choices for songs from Woman of the Year or The Rink. I couldn’t find any Scottsboro Boys or Skin of Our Teeth and only one song from The Visit. Even so, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Sorry, my Rocky Horror obsession will probably continue for a few more days.
Anyway, you may know that despite the play being a huge hit in London and doing well in Los Angeles, it was a 45-performance flop on Broadway. However, one of the sound engineers at the Belasco made a soundboard recording, from which this recording of the floor show sequence comes.
Little Nell, who played Columbia in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, cut a few singles that were minor hits in the UK. “See You ‘Round Like A Record” was the B-Side to her dance version of “Fever” (the pop standard made famous by Peggy Lee). The song was co-written by Richard Hartley, Little Nell, and Brian Thomson, all of whom had worked together previous on Rocky Horror.
The first time I ever encountered Rocky Horror was when I was in the fifth grade and spent my first summer (well, two weeks) at overnight camp. Our counselor used to play music after lights out to help lull us to sleep, and for reasons that I for the life of me can’t understand to this day, he generally alternated between A Chorus Line and the original Los Angeles cast album of The Rocky Horror Show.
I knew nothing about Rocky Horror, but I was already deeply in love with show tunes, and these songs were tuneful and memorable. Of course, not knowing anything of the story (and generally falling asleep about ten minutes into the album), I had connected the lyrics from the opening number “See androids fighting / Brad and Janet” with those of the following song (“Dammit Janet”) and assumed it was a musical that took place in outer space featuring a pair of bickering, star-crossed robot lovers. (Alas, it’s not, but perhaps some day I will write that musical.)
What do you think of Patti in the 2008 Gypsy recording? My default "listenable" Gypsy has always been Bernadette's (everything prior is either shit or gold, shittily recorded). But I've given Patti's another chance and am now feeling feels that defy description... my reaction is mixed all over the map and my opinion shifts radically, sometimes within the space of three bars.
Well, I can tell you right off that bat that you and I have different taste, because Bernadette’s recording is one I rarely listen to. (The only one I listen to less is Tyne Daly, and that’s because of the vocal problems she was having when it got recorded.)
I tend to default to either Ethel Merman or Angela Lansbury, but I like Patti’s recording. There are some issues with how it’s recorded (fucking Robert Sher, after all these years of producing cast albums, should be able to avoid the high-end distortion on the loud bits). But I think it captures the energy of this production well, despite featuring a totally different approach by Patti than what I saw in the theater.
When I saw the show on Broadway, Patti was a force of nature, and all her tics, slurring, overdone vowels and MIA consonants worked to heighten this portrayal. She was overwhelming in the best possible way. But it would have been a terrible thing to listen to divorced from the visuals and the book. So I really appreciate that she reigned it in for the disc, giving us one of her most “listenable” recordings since Les Miz, without sacrificing characterization at all.
I also appreciate the bonus tracks, and I think that Leigh Ann Larkin and Laura Benanti knock “If Momma Was Married” out of the park.
So while it’s not my go-to recording, I definitely appreciate it.
I stumbled into a little cohort of gay lady tumblrs that have me thinking about some stuff. All of these girls/women post things about finding their lady knight in shining armor, getting married, going to prom, wedding dresses, etc. This is really hard for me to process.
There isn’t (or shouldn’t be) anything inherently radical about a gay identity, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for me when gay women basically just aspire to replicate a heteronormative relationship with another woman. There is nothing wrong with it. I don’t care how any individuals want to lead their life, but on the whole it seems like an incongruous trend.
Everyone should have the right to marriage, but I’m not sure why same-sex marriage is upheld as the forefront of progress. It is a super-heteronormative, super-illogical institution, that even if it were extended to queer folks, would still essentially be outmoded. Sure, give everyone marriage equality, but don’t act like it is some radical step forward with respect to identity politics. It doesn’t further our mass cultural understanding of sexuality or identity. It just lets more people enjoy an incredibly limiting/limited institution slash conception of relationships.
So yeah, I support gay marriage, I’m just not sure why I should want to.
I’m not sure how much sense I’m making. Please banter with me a little on this/correct me/gimme some stuff to read on the topic?
Check out Michael Warner’s book The Trouble With Normal. It dates to the beginning of the push for same-sex marriage, but addresses a lot of the questions you bring up. (spoiler: He’s not for gay marriage either.) I don’t agree with everything he says, but I love the questions he raises. The book makes me think really hard.
In general, I think we want to support individuals’ rights to make decisions for themselves, even if they make bad decisions. Part of that means giving all people equal access to institutions, however problematic, that others already can access. Marriage may be broken, but that’s not enough of a reason to keep it away from gay people.
Probably my favorite song from Matilda, although one that’s completely superfluous to the show. It opens Act II, and helps quiet down everyone from the intermission ice cream riots, but it’s followed by another song that might as well be an Act II opener and doesn’t really tell us anything about these characters that we don’t really know. It is, however, incredibly entertaining (moreso in person than on the album), so there you have it.
The primary singer is Paul Kaye, playing Matilda’s father. You’ll also hear Peter Howe as her brother.
The funny thing is, I was originally going to say something about the line coming from the book, but I didn’t have a copy handy and couldn’t verify from the internet which of the two Auntie Mame books it came from.
When Dear World opened, Jerry Herman became the first composer/lyricist to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway (along with Hello, Dolly! and Mame), a record he held by himself until Stephen Schwartz joined the club with the opening of The Magic Show (joining Godspell and Pippin).