Alive and Alone

As I’ve noted on other occasions, I’m not particularly fond of the climactic number, “Being Alive”, from George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s show Company. I’m in the minority on this, perhaps it’s time to elaborate a bit. It’s often been written, including by Sondheim himself, that the creators had difficulty coming up with an ending for … Continue reading Alive and Alone


Here’s a video of the recording of the song “Agony” for the 2022 cast recording of Into the Woods. Gavin Creel and Joshua Henry sing the roles of Cinderella’s Prince and Rapunzel’s Prince (note the irony of the the male roles being named for their relationship to women, usually it’s the other way around.

A Serpent’s Tooth

“Get thee glass eyes, and like a scurvy politician, seem to see the things thou dost not.” —Someone writing under the name William Shakespeare, King Lear I never studied King Lear in any formal class, unlike Shakespeare’s other three great tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, and the Scottish Play. And until the past few days, it was the only one of those … Continue reading A Serpent’s Tooth

At Tony Pastor’s

When Cornelius Hackl tries to convince Barnaby Tucker, his fellow employee at Horace Vandergelder’s shop in Yonkers, to go to New York City with him, he sings “Put On Your Sunday Clothes”, one of the great ensemble numbers in Hello, Dolly! Alas, Cornelius really doesn’t know much about the upper classes in NYC of the … Continue reading At Tony Pastor’s

Two Lansbury Stories

In preparation for Angela Lansbury’s receiving her lifetime special Tony Award tonight, I offer two stories in which she is featured. By happenstance Stephen Sondheim appears in them as well. This first story was related over 20 years ago on the Sondheim mail list, and while I can’t confirm its veracity, it sounds like something … Continue reading Two Lansbury Stories