Saturday Night Sondheim

Honest to MaryMartin, sometimes, the only thing standing between me and suicide, is the fact that Stephen Sondheim songs sung by brilliant divas exist. I am feeling really really really not so great, and so, turn to Sondheim songs – maybe not the best choice, but, you see, at least I am sobbing FOR A REASON.

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MY FOLLIES: I Thought I’d Be Phyllis . . .

Oh dear. In my Sondheim obsession/fanaticism, when it came to Follies, I always thought I would end up being Phyllis; all Could I Leave You? and The Story of Lucy and Jessie… (I can’t decide between Donna  Murphy and Jan Maxwell. I love them both. So, here they are.)

…telling my own personal Benjamin Stone (as he sings The Road You Didn’t Take) about his delusions, delivering the, “I’m nothing. That’s not much.” And knowing in the end, I’d won. Or, worst case, I’d be Carlotta; belting I’m Still Here.

But I will be doubly damned if I haven’t turned out to be — at best — the nearly insane and clearly delusional, Sally,

Or, worse, I’m just one of the fucking ghosts wandering (and wondering) around in the background. The only Phyllis I will ever be … this one …

… or this one …

phyllis diller

So done.

 

#StephenSondheim HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Stephen_Sondheim_-_smokingI love and adore Stephen Sondheim. His work, his example, his presence on this earth has so enriched my life in ways and to degrees incalculable. What to list? How to list? Do I go on about what it meant to me to see Angela Lansbury in Gypsy and Sweeney Todd? Or, how incredibly rewarding and life altering it was to play Sweeney in Sweeney Todd? Or, to play Marta in Company and sing Another Hundred People, decades before real-Broadway had nerve to go gay with the show? Or, how about all of the times and casts of Follies I have seen? Or, oh my, yes, all the versions of Merrily We Roll Along, including the one I directed? And that time I was asked to sing Not A Day Goes By for my dearest . . .

No, you see, there it is and there you have it, not a day goes by that I do not, somehow, somewhere, have Sondheim’s words, music, work, his genius, as part of my life, my history, my heart.

Thank you, Mr. Sondheim. I love you.

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And your music . . . your words . . . your music . . . your words . . . your heart . . . your soul . . . your music . . .  your words . . .

 

 

…2nd post of the day…GYPSY again – I am MAMA ROSE – but where’s my fucking fur coat? zeit-bite RANTING…

As everyone knows (and by “everyone” I mean the three people who still give a flying fuck about me) (and by “knows” I mean I have told the story so goddam many times that I THINK everyone knows it but, actually, who the hell ever really listened to me – turns out mostly people were just PRETENDING to listen when  I had some power to cast them) “GYPSY” is one of my very favorite musicals.

GYPSY

Briefly; it was the first professional show I EVER saw, the tour starring Miss Angela Lansbury, to which my precious aunt, Sissie, took me repeatedly. I later in life saw productions starring Donna Migliaccio, Bernadette Peters, and Patti LuPone, and I twice directed the show – both of which were colossal failures. It is best we not talk about the filmed versions featuring Rosalind Russell and Bette Midler.

Now, Signature Theatre in Virginia – where I have seen some of the most wonderful productions of my life – is doing “GYPSY” again. I got the e-mail today. They announced that Sherri Edelen (who I love) will be playing – wait for it – MOMMA Rose. Uhm, Signature, home of Sondheim, WHAT THE FUCK? IT IS MAMA ROSE.

(HOLY MOTHER – I JUST WENT TO SIGNATURE SITE TO LINK – AND “GYPSY” IS OPENING ON DECEMBER 17 – WHICH IS MY AUNT SISSIE’S BIRTHDAY!?!?!?! WHAT THE HOLY ALL THAT IS HOLY MOTHER OF HOLY WEIRD COINCIDENCE SYNCHRONICITY WEIRD SHIT GOING ON IN MY LAST EIGHT MONTHS!)

I cannot believe it. In any event; here’s my favorite MAMA Rose – even though I didn’t actually see her in person – Betty Buckley. (Don’t start with me, J.)

Not that I don’t love this one:

…because it reminds me of the years I spent doing this song in one after another mirror in one after another place I lived…and believe me, “Rose’s Turn” – not without some real resonance in my life – only none of those bitches ever gave me a fur coat – and I’m still waiting for my turn after plenty of “one fucking quick look as each of ’em leaves you.” Yep. Sometimes, not even that, although usually, plenty of slander after the fact.