The Six Degrees of Sondheim

Started by Chris L, Jul 20, 2017, 12:40 pm

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Chris L

Jul 20, 2017, 12:40 pm Last Edit: Jul 20, 2017, 04:10 pm by Chris L
This game goes back to the Sondheim listserv in the 1990s, where it was a running joke that people would justify off-topic discussions by showing that there was some obscure Sondheim connection. Eventually we made a formal game out of it.

The rules are the same as the Kevin Bacon game. You start with a person and connect them to Sondheim, either through appearances in his shows or being married to someone who was in one of his shows. (More inventive connections are also allowed, even encouraged.)

Here's an example. Start with the name Buddy Hackett. Hackett was in the movie The Love Bug with Dean Jones. Jones, of course, was the original star of Company. That puts Hackett two degrees from Sondheim. (If Hackett was ever in a Sondheim show, that puts him closer, but I don't know if he ever was.)

You don't have to know in advance if someone has a connection, because there's always going to be a connection (at least if you name an actor or other theatrical persona), no matter how obscure. With people from outside theater (Donald Trump, for instance), you might want to have a connection in mind before you play their name. You may use the IMDB, IBDB or Wikipedia or any other resource as a reference.

I'll start with one that should be easy:

John Lithgow


But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

AmyG

Oooh, fun!

John Lithgow was in the original M. Butterfly cast with B.D. Wong who was in the Pacific Overture revival in 2004.

Okay. Just for laughs...

Donald Trump

Chris L

Jul 20, 2017, 01:13 pm #2 Last Edit: Jul 20, 2017, 02:00 pm by Chris L
Donald Trump hosted The Apprentice, where guests included James Lipton, who interviewed Sondheim on Inside the Actors Studio. (Great interview!)

Senator Chuck Schumer
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Vera Charles

Quote from: Chris L on Jul 20, 2017, 01:13 pmSen. Chuck Schumer

I have no idea who this is. Do the rules of the game allow us to look the subject up, or do we have to rely on our little grey cells?

Chris L

Quote from: Vera Charles on Jul 20, 2017, 01:29 pm
Quote from: Chris L on Jul 20, 2017, 01:13 pmSen. Chuck Schumer

I have no idea who this is. Do the rules of the game allow us to look the subject up, or do we have to rely on our little grey cells?

Oh, by all means look things up! I don't think this game would be playable without references.

(A hint on Schumer: Think about his last name.)
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

I want to emphasize that this game is meant to be playful and inventive. There are no rigid rules as to what kind of connection you can use, as long as it can be plausibly argued that it's a connection. Certainly blood relatives/in-laws are as valid as costarring connections. Think outside the box and have fun. Play to enjoy as much as you play to win. Just remember to leave another name after you make your connection.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

Okay, I'll give out a possible first connection because it seems to be a difficult one to research. Senator Chuck Schumer's cousin is actress/comedian Amy Schumer.

Senator Chuck Schumer
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Leighton

Chuck Schumer is in the Senate with Al Franken
Al Franken worked with Eddie Murphy in Trading Places
Eddie Murphy worked with Anika Noni Rose in Dreamgirls
Anika Noni Rose worked with Tonya Pinkins in Caroline, or Change
Tonya Pinkins worked with Anna Francolini in the London production of Caroline, or Change
Anna Francolini was in Company at the Donmar

(That's fairly convoluted!)
Self indulgence is better than no indulgence!

Leighton

Self indulgence is better than no indulgence!

Chris L

Quote from: Leighton on Jul 20, 2017, 03:02 pmChuck Schumer is in the Senate with Al Franken
Al Franken worked with Eddie Murphy in Trading Places
Eddie Murphy worked with Anika Noni Rose in Dreamgirls
Anika Noni Rose worked with Tonya Pinkins in Caroline, or Change
Tonya Pinkins worked with Anna Francolini in the London production of Caroline, or Change
Anna Francolini was in Company at the Donmar

(That's fairly convoluted!)

Convoluted is fine as long as you stay within six degrees. (And I'm happy that you avoided the Amy Schumer route. Stay creative, folks!)

Victoria Wood
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

MartinG

Not too baffling, thank goodness  :) , thanks @Leighton.

Victoria Wood's friend and frequent co-star was Julie Walters.
Julie Walters appeared with Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!
Meryl was the witch in the Into The Woods film.

Barry Gibb
Morals tomorrow

Chris L

Off the top of my head:

Barry Gibb and his brethren supplied the songs for Saturday Night Fever, starring John Travolta.
John Travolta is a scientologist, as is Tom Cruise.
Tom Cruise starred in Edge of Tomorrow with Emily Blunt.
Emily Blunt played the Baker's Wife in the movie of Into the Woods.

Cary Grant
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

KathyB

Cary Grant starred in The Philadelphia Story with James Stewart.
James Stewart starred in Anatomy of a Murder with Lee Remick.
Lee Remick was the original Nurse Fay Apple in Anyone Can Whistle and was also Phyllis in Follies in Concert.

Melinda Gates

Chris L

Jul 20, 2017, 05:01 pm #13 Last Edit: Jul 20, 2017, 05:05 pm by Chris L
Quote from: KathyB on Jul 20, 2017, 04:45 pmMelinda Gates

Melinda Gates is married to Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.
Microsoft has the naming rights to the Microsoft Theater in LA.
The Microsoft Theater hosted the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.
At the 58th Annual Grammys, Hamilton won Best Musical Theater Album.
Hamilton was written by and stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, who played Charley Kringas in the Encores production of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along.

Joan Crawford
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

AmyG

Joan Crawford was depicted in Feud.
Catherine Zeta-Jones played Olivia de Havilland in Feud.
Zeta-Jones played Desiree Armfeldt in the 2009 revival of A Little Night Music.

Elvis Presley