[personal profile] wonderboynj
I saw the concert last night with the NY Philharmonic, I thought it was very enjoyable. David Hyde Pierce did a good job as the host and even got lots of foreign language bits in even they he said they turned down his request to do the whole show in languages other than English, like West Side Story recently did.

It was a little slow to get started but after the first few pieces it got really good.

The first section was songs that Sondheim wrote the lyrics for.

The show began with the company from West Side Story doing "America", and since they have a performance tonight I don't know if they will do something different in that piece or skip it altogether.

Marin Mazzie & her husband sang "We're Gonna Be Alright" from Do I Hear A Waltz? with alternate lyrics.

Victoria Clark sang the song Sondheim wrote lyrics for Judy Holiday to sing in Hot Spot.

The next sequence was shows Stephen wrote in the 70s.

Nathan Gunn sang "Johanna" from Sweeney Todd

"You're Gonna Love Tomorrow" was performed by four people, only one of whom I recall - Matt Cavenaugh.
"Too Many Mornings" performed by Nathan Gunn and Audra McDonald (this was one of the highlights of the whole show)

The next sequence was songs performed by the original performers.

"The Road You Didn't Take" performed by John McMartin
"It Takes Two" performed by Chip Zien and Joanna Gleason. Joanna got a big laugh when she started "You've changed"
"Finishing The Hat" performed by Mandy Patinkin
"Move On" performed by Mandy with Bernadette Peters
"Pretty Women" performed by Michael Cerveris and George Hearn
"A Little Priest" - Patti LuPone with two Sweeneys Michael Cerveris and George Hearn

The Second Act

Began with "Goodbye for Now" from Reds, featuring two dancers from the American Ballet Theater. Very moving.

Laura Benanti sang "So Many People In The World" from Saturday Night

David Hyde Pierce sang "Beautiful Girls" while the evenings Beautiful Girls walked out. Audra McDonald, Donna Murphy, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Marin Mazzie and Elaine Stritch

They all wore red gowns, except Elaine who wore a red suit with a hat. They sat in a semi circle to perform the next section.

Patti LuPone started with "The Ladies Who Lunch". There was a collective gasp from the audience when we realized she was singing Elaine's song, with Elaine sitting there. Patti did a good job and Elaine stood up and walked over and hugged her when she was done. Big laugh on the line "Does anyone still wear a hat" since Elaine was indeed wearing a hat.

Marin Mazzie did a great job of "Losing My Mind"

Audra McDonald sang "The Glamorous Life" from the movie of A Little Night Music

Donna Murphy sang "Could I Leave You?"

Bernadette Peters sang "Not A Day Goes By"

Elaine Stritch sang "I'm Still Here". In my opinion, and I love her generally, she didn't do a very good job. You couldn't hear her very well at all and she seemed to flub and or forget several lines.

For the finale, they brought out actors and actresses from shows currently running on Broadway, there was many, at least 100 of them. All dressed completely in black they filled the stage, the aisles of the main floor and the aisles on the first and second tier. They sang "Sunday" and I don't think there was a dry eye in my section for this part.

The actors/actresses quickly left and were replaced by the "stars" of the evening who sang "Happy Birthday"

At this point Sondheim walked up from the audience and clapped and cried and bowed, it was very moving. He said something I couldn't understand because everyone was clapping so loudly and he was clearly very emotional.

That was the end. Just slightly over two hours.

I was kind of surprised by what they seemed to skip over. They do only one song from A Little Night Music and not Send In The Clowns even, nothing from Passion, Assassins, Anyone Can Whistle (being done by Encores! in a few weeks) or Pacific Overtures.

Date: 2010-03-17 05:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sirpupnyc.livejournal.com
Lonny Price has been doing these things for ages, so he should have it down by now...although perhaps he's done so many he's running out of ideas. It seemed like the two main ideas were the original-performer segment and the six-women segment, and the only real idea for the filler was "let's not do the obvious things" (with a dash of "well, who's hot right now and what can they do?").

A non-obvious obvious might have been to give Donna Murphy "Anyone Can Whistle," which she won't get to sing at Encores! (Although I wouldn't trade her "Could I Leave You?," which she *did* do at Encores!) As I said, it did seem a little odd to have that "here's the 70s" set-up that didn't pay off...maybe there was more but they had to cut to keep the time down. (Although the whole program seems to be Follies, Sweeney, Sunday...and other stuff.)

Stritch's "I'm Still Here" was impressive to me because she somehow managed to rally and pull it together (and pretty darn well) after wandering off from the orchestra's tempo and key quite thoroughly in the first half. She started into an epic train wreck and saved it.

Date: 2010-03-17 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrdreamjeans.livejournal.com
What an amazing experience! I'm jealous! You will have this memory forever. I'm surprised the tribute was not on his birthday. As you know, Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, myself and five LJ friends have a birthday on Monday. :)

Is this a series of concerts? Was it filmed? Too bad Angela Lansbury couldn't do "A Little Priest".


Date: 2010-03-17 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wonderboynj.livejournal.com
The concert was two nights, Monday & Tuesday. Last night the cast of West Side Story didn't perform, but Alexander Gemangani sang "Something's Coming" also somebody sang a song from Merrily We Roll Along, I forget who at the moment.

Both nights were filmed and there will be a special on PBS this fall.

Date: 2010-03-17 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sirpupnyc.livejournal.com
Jim Walton, the original Franklin Shepard. Although the song was "Growing Up," which wasn't in the show on Broadway.

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