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Author Topic:   Sondheim
MichaelMon
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Posts: 248
From:Riverside, CA
Registered: May 2000

posted July 30, 2000 08:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MichaelMon   Click Here to Email MichaelMon     Edit/Delete Message
I'm a huge fan of Stephen Sondheim. He is hands down the greatest lyricist in the history of musical theater and arguably the greatest composer. He has taken musical theater to another level everytime a new show of his opens. The problem is the quality of theater falls apart after a show of his closes.

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opus_125
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From:Portland, Oregon
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posted July 31, 2000 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for opus_125   Click Here to Email opus_125     Edit/Delete Message
The only composer (well, he and Leonard Bernstein) to attempt to turn the fluff that is musical theatre into something a little more interesting. His lyrics are a wonder.

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I_RULE
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From:Encino, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

posted July 31, 2000 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for I_RULE     Edit/Delete Message
FROGS KICKS ASS!

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MichaelMon
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From:Riverside, CA
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posted July 31, 2000 10:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MichaelMon   Click Here to Email MichaelMon     Edit/Delete Message
Frogs? Certainly you've heard more than that one. I don't even think there's a recording. It wasn't even a full score. It had some good songs like "Invocation and Instructions to the Audience" but it certainly wasn't a highlight in my opinion.

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AuthorAuthor
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From:Des Moines, Iowa
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posted August 01, 2000 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AuthorAuthor   Click Here to Email AuthorAuthor     Edit/Delete Message
The guy is really awesome. He made a musical about Presidential assassins and a murdering barber WORK. Sweeney Todd is one of the greatest musical ever written. It's a shame that Wise Guys didn't work out. I was really looking forward to that one.

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jpgordo
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From:Studio City, CA
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posted August 01, 2000 11:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message
How quickly pity leads to love.

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PeopleHater
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posted August 03, 2000 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeopleHater     Edit/Delete Message
Sondheim sucks. Glad to see this is in the 'theater' section rather than 'music' as the guy hasn't done anything 'musical' since West Side Story. Just a bunch of random notes. I could get more music by pushing a piano out the window.

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MichaelMon
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From:Riverside, CA
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posted August 03, 2000 01:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MichaelMon   Click Here to Email MichaelMon     Edit/Delete Message
That's a real help to the discussion. Thanks very much.

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TomStoppard
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From:London, England
Registered: May 2000

posted August 04, 2000 12:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomStoppard   Click Here to Email TomStoppard     Edit/Delete Message
Anyone with the opinion that Sondheim sucks is a) an idiot; b) obviously not a person who has learned to read; c) a person who has raped children; and/or d) someone who would rather criticize than listen or read the man's words. Sondheim is an amazing musician/composer/poet and philosopher. Silly people. So unenlightened.

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PeopleHater
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posted August 04, 2000 04:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeopleHater     Edit/Delete Message
"Unenlightened"? Glad YOU are so enlightened that you can be the judge of that! Where'd you get your degree in Enlightenment?

Elitist bullshit!

You forgot to say that people who prefer Peanut Butter sandwiches to lobster are also inferior and not entitled to an opinion. Obviously the 'sandwich eaters' just haven't read the right books and been schooled in why lobster is empirically the superior food.

I don't especially like N'Sync, but I'd take them any day over the nonsense Sondheim now tries to pass off as music. And if you put it to a vote at the coming election, the majority would back me up on this. Of course people like you always PREFER to have the minority opinion. Makes you feel special and 'enlightened'. Of course there's no way anything the majority could think or do or appreciate that's of any worth.

It's elitist, acquired-taste crap like what Sondheim creates that's responsible for the downfall of Broadway. You want to make something that appeals to a very small minority? Fine, more power to you. But realize it's not going to draw a broad audience like the South Pacifics of yesteryear and, more importantly for the survival of musical theater, those audience's dollars. It's not going to become part of the public consciousness like an Oklahoma.

And why shouldn't musical theater be 'fluff'? The foreign concept of interspersing or joining normal human drama with characters breaking out in song seems MUCH more condusive to a lighter situation than something deep/especially meaningful. IN REAL LIFE PEOPLE DON'T BREAK OUT INTO SONG. THE WHOLE CONCEPT IS FOREIGN AND LAUGHABLE!!!

While there's no way to get across the sound of a Sondheim piece in this message (well 'aknvkgfokewkaokvkakwkne' comes close), we can address the lyrics you guys are praising. You call this a good lyric?

"Johnny Booth was a handsome devil
Got up in his rings and fancy silks
Had him a temper but kept it level
Everybody called him Wilkes"

Forcing something as ridiculous as 'fancy silks' in there just to have a rhyme with Wilkes? Weak.

Oh, here's another good one:

"Everyone hates me-yes, yes
Being the mayor-ess, yes"

'Me-yes' rhyming with 'mayor-ess'. Forget the bad rhyme, using a term like 'mayor-ess' is unforgivable enough on its own!

I'll take ANYTHING a guy like Andrew Lloyd Weber creates over a Sondheim show whose songs I can't even hum at the end of the evening. Being able to be accessible to the majority is not a weakness - it's a skill and accomplishment, one that is arrived at as difficultly if not more than a guy like Sondheim managing to make a small group of elitist snobs happy. (And there's no question the minute Sondheim's got his next mainstream popular piece, they'll abandon him like a hot potato. As it is, even those who enjoy current Sondheim go out of their way to discard his early work.)

In the end, I'M willing to acknowledge that any feelings on a thing like this are subjective. It's either clicks with you or it doesn't. You like the peanut butter, you like the lobster, you like them both, or you like neither. It's all just opinions, and my opinion is that his more recent works suck (i.e. are not something I want to listen to). But it's people like the last poster who claim that only those who are unenlightened who don't appreciate something like Sondheim who are truly the close-minded ignorant ones, the ones who would have us live in a world without peanut butter sandwiches.

Elitist pricks!

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MichaelMon
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From:Riverside, CA
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posted August 04, 2000 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MichaelMon   Click Here to Email MichaelMon     Edit/Delete Message
People Hater, you really take the fun out of every discussion. I'm finished with this topic.

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WrongWrongWrong
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From:borneo, CA., US
Registered: Aug 2000

posted August 04, 2000 09:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for WrongWrongWrong     Edit/Delete Message
Peoplehater, why spend so much time on something you obviously disdain, you must be a closet Sondheim admirer

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TomStoppard
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From:London, England
Registered: May 2000

posted August 04, 2000 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomStoppard   Click Here to Email TomStoppard     Edit/Delete Message
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, and we can all go onto Yahoo and search for Sondheim lyrics and find brilliant ones as well. And, ee gads, I bet we could even find some bad poetry in Shakespeare. Did you know that Einstein once fell down? And he actually didn't carry the "1" a couple of times in various calculations. How could this happen? How could Picasso have painted something that looked like that? You mean every one of his paintings aren't masterpieces? Did you know that the Beatles had a couple of bad songs?

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PeopleHater
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posted August 04, 2000 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeopleHater     Edit/Delete Message
I like EARLY Sondheim (when it was still music). If somebody here had said something positive about West Side Story, etc., I'd have agreed with them.

I don't disdain him or this topic. What I DO disdain is you people just wanting these threads to be little cheering sections. Why do you guys even create a forum for certain topics if you're not willing to hear and discuss multiple sides of the issue? You really think it's fun just to start a topic to hear your own damn opinions thrown back at you over and over? Well why not just walk around talking to yourself all day then? And I'm not saying the things I'm saying just to be some sort of devil's advocate, I'm being sincere.

I said I like early Sondheim and that I'd even give that musical taste is a subjective thing, so if you like him you do and that's fine. It's not something that need or can be changed. (Anymore than I can make you enjoy peanut butter more than lobster.)

The only thing I was vehement about was anyone who feels that musical taste (or otherwise) is something empiricle and anyone who doesn't buy into a particular artist, etc., is unenlightened/wrong and that THEY for some reason should change. That's garbage. There are not RIGHT opinions. I wouldn't even say that a majority opinion makes it RIGHT.

And while I don't claim to know every lyric of everything Sondheim has ever done by heart, if you think I'm going out and doing research for the sake of participating in something like this you're insane. I saw the thread and had opinions on him based on my experience with his work. (Looking at a list of his work now, I've seen the shows or listened to the soundtracks of all but about 3 or 4 of his works.) If you can all go to Yahoo and pull great lyrics, why haven't you? Why don't you back up your smack rather than simply saying "I like Sondheim, he is good". Those kinds of statements are as boring and simplistic a discussion as you'll get from pre-teen girls on the N'Sync forums. I've backed up my dislike of current Sondheim with reasons (that you can agree or disagree with) and examples. What have most of you said? "I like him." Why? What are these lyrics you so adore that make him "hands down the greatest lyricist in the history of musical theater"? Why is he the greatest composer? (Again, that's a subjective thing that people are bound to disagree upon, but I'd love to hear your reasoning.)

If you're not open to discussing these topics that you start, then the whole process is just a waste of bandwidth. Just little advertisements you're putting online. If you feel so strongly that I'm wrong, you should tell me why rather than just getting hurt and wishing me away.

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TomStoppard
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From:London, England
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posted August 04, 2000 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomStoppard   Click Here to Email TomStoppard     Edit/Delete Message
Jesus, man, do you anything with your time other than post this long boring messages.

So you just knew that lyric from "Anyone Can Whistle" off the top of your head? (Early Sondheim, by the way, and one of his first produced musicals in which he wrote music AND the lyrics).

And you knew that lyric from "Assassins" off the top of your head? Well done. You're a real informational databank and a true musical theater fan.

My apologies.

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