Sondheim on Sondheim is the Roundabout Theatre’s new musical revue that aims to give the audience “an intimate portrait of the famed composer in his own words… and music”, using exclusive interview footage to gain an inside look at Sondheim’s personal life and artistic process. Here are the first official production photographs, taken by Richard Termine.
Conceived and directed by James Lapine, the production features Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams, Tom Wopat, Leslie Kritzer, Norm Lewis, Euan Morton, Erin Mackey and Matthew Scott.
As followers of this blog might know, I haven’t been a punter of this show, despite being a fan of Sondheim’s work. I’m still not enamored by the idea of it all. Roundabout’s marketing of the show, first as an original musical – it’s not, it’s a revue and as such doesn’t deserve a nod in the “Best Musical” category or in any of the acting categories, for that matter – and now as an evening that is unique in its intent when it’s basically an updated Side by Side by Sondheim from a slightly different perspective with a bigger technical budget, hasn’t help to win me over either. The most intriguing part of the whole thing is the video material featuring the Sondheim interviews. I wouldn’t mind seeing those interviews ported onto DVD, but let’s lose the revue performances and replace them with archival performances from the actual shows or, when that kind of material isn’t available, with filmed reproductions of the songs as they were originally seen in their original productions. As they were meant to be seen.