Sondheim on video

Started by Meldince, Jul 03, 2017, 02:33 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I had no idea! 
Self indulgence is better than no indulgence!


Quote from: Gordonb on Jul 19, 2017, 09:09 AMI had missed/forgotten that you work on MSec - I will now watch with much greater interest. Do you get a credit? It's on tonight so I'll check anyhow.
No credit, sadly.  Our crew head does get one, but we underlings remain nameless and unsung.  Screen credits are actually in surprisingly short supply in this business -- though you might not guess it from the endless crawls at the end of most films (even seemingly small ones).

With TV -- especially network television, as opposed to cable or streaming -- it's understandable: airtime is expensive.  Including every member of every crew in every department on our show would lengthen the credit list somewhere between five- and tenfold (at a rough guess, depending on the episode), meaning our 30-second end credits -- most of which already flash by too quickly to read -- would balloon to an interminable 2-to-5 minutes, practically begging viewers to switch channels.  Since  those few minutes would presumably come out of the show itself (not the commercials), several scenes, perhaps a subplot -- in one form or another, roughly 5-to-10% of the running time of each episode -- would have to be cut just to make way for a lengthy credit crawl that no one ever reads.

IMDb can sometimes be persuaded to include uncredited "roles," on- or offscreen, in their listings -- though they have to be labeled as such, which sorta dampens whatever cachet one might attach to such things.  I've never submitted any of my "uncredited credits" (which would be all of them, as far as painting for film and TV goes) -- judging by their detailed FAQ page on the subject, it seems like a potentially complicated process -- but one of these days I'll quit being lazy and give it a try.

Chris L

@AmyG has added herself to the IMDB credits for movies where she worked on costumes. She can probably provide a tutorial on how to get yourself rightfully credited.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?


Quote from: Chris L on Jul 24, 2017, 02:45 PM@AmyG has added herself to the IMDB credits for movies where she worked on costumes. She can probably provide a tutorial on how to get yourself rightfully credited.
I totally forget how I did it but I was listed in the credits on those movies. It's probably harder if you aren't. I also fixed my title on those that had it wrong. Here's my page. Some really arty stuff there. ::)


Youtube has so much Sondheim videos that one could spend days watching them.  There is a full version of Pacific Overtures.  There are multiple performances of various songs.  Judi Dench's Send in the Clowns from the 1990's revival is called the definitive version and it is.  She is wonderful. Stritch's Liasons is also available but the beginning is not great filming.  She has the lyrics down pat here.  There are also multiple versions of I'm still here.Gre

Of course Great Performances has Sunday/Park, Into the Woods, and A Little Night Music.  I have all 3.  The first 2 have original cast members and Night Music is a NYC Opera production with Sally Anne Howes and Regina Resnick.


Random find, while down a YouTube rabbit-hole – this enjoyably hammy rendition of "Unworthy Of Your Love" by Ryan Scott Oliver and Lindsay Mendez:

More specifically: he's playing the straight man, she's casually gnawing down the set around them -- but they never sound less than lovely.  Except, perhaps, her pointedly toneless "...If that's what you want me to do."

I kid because I love; writing new roles for Mendez ought to be a cottage industry by now.  And mark my words: her Madame Rose, in a decade or two, will be a thing of shock and awe.


Self indulgence is better than no indulgence!


Off-topic, here's more of the divine Ms. Mendez:

"Bless The Lord" (Godspell, B'way 2011)
"Hand In Hand"  (Kerrigan & Lowdermilk @54 Below, 2012)
"Pretty Funny"  (Dogfight, Off B'way 2012)
"The Wizard And I"  (Wicked, B'way 2013)
"Meadowlark"  (Mendez @54 Below, 2017)

And of course, her latest: unveiling a startlingly assured legit soprano in her Tony-winning performance in Carousel (which, sadly, closes in two weeks).  Audra McDonald likewise won her first Tony in this role, and while I didn't see her (except on YouTube), I have yet to hear anyone criticize Mendez's interpretation by comparison with McDonald's -- a rare instance where the consensus actually celebrates both rather than taking sides.

And in the unlikely event that anyone should henceforth think to relegate Mendez to "backup" ever again, Seth Rudetsky says don't:

"Mooning"/"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"/"I Feel Pretty" (Rudetsky "Obsessed!", 2015)


Self indulgence is better than no indulgence!


I just came across this, from 2016:

I love the way the arrangement moves restlessly yet fluidly between the three songs, often adding new key shifts within a song, while remaining largely faithful -- and, even with the occasional deliberate change, always acutely sensitive -- to their original harmonic structures.  None of which could be called late-breaking innovation in the cabaret-medley genre; but this seems to me a particularly well-executed example of the form.

And in terms of their lyrics, it's a truly inspired mashup of some classic SJS preoccupations: I'd never before noticed the thematic affinities between these specific songs, but the title pretty much says it all ("The Road You Didn't Take / Growing Up / Move On").


And speaking of...

Apart from being a masterful performance, period, this strikes me as a brilliantly gauged one, all the more haunting for its simplicity and understatement.

I'm used to the more embattled middle-aged Ben of Follies proper (as established by McMartin in 1971), performing meticulously-curated self-satisfaction for Sally's benefit -- without ever being, himself, fully taken in by his own pose.  But in this 2010 birthday-concert performance, we're presented with a kind of subtly meta-textual Ben, four decades further on, who now seems more effortlessly convincing in (and convinced by) his own mellowness, no longer protesting-too-much, still formidably lucid and articulate but perhaps softened just a bit by age.  The flickers of doubt are rarer, tinier -- and twice as disconcerting to witness, when they do (just barely) surface.

Partly this is an artifact of casting: similarly to the way in which Prince cast the original production, the simple fact of having McMartin sing this song again at 80 brings a whole set of associations to our perception of his performance.  But it seems to me that at certain moments he's also using his age -- the formerly rich baritone gone reedy, the patrician features now gaunt and milky -- to shrewd effect.  Instead of a forty-year-old's barely-sublimated rage at life's inexorable passage, the older McMartin pares the character's underlying pain down to the merest whisper, a bewildering twinge, not wholly understood even as it's being revealed... and consequently all the more heartbreaking to watch.  His final note -- the voice almost shockingly feeble, the gaze stricken -- just devastates me.


Posted a couple weeks ago, here are six hours (!) of interviews conducted in 1997 by Mark Horowitz for the Music Division of the Library of Congress (which would result, five years later, in Horowitz's book Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions):


...And here's a less exhaustive musicological overview, also posted in December:

It's an informative and entertaining hour featuring aptly-chosen musical excerpts (from SJS and various of his acknowledged influences, for illustration and comparison) as well as interview snippets (including several from the Horowitz tapes) and a trio of musicologists offering insightful commentary.