“On The Academy Awards [Lady Gaga] was a travesty. It was ridiculous, as it would be from any singer who treats that music in semi-operatic style.” So says Stephen Sondheim, who did not go on to offer opinions about Stephanie Blythe and Bryn Terfel in Sweeney Todd. [broadwayworld.com]
La Cieca hears that the Théâtre du Châtelet will continue its series of Stephen Sondheim productions with Passion, set to star Natalie Dessay (as Fosca, bien sûr!) and Lambert Wilson, with Fanny Ardant directing. Said Sternstunde will reportedly transpire in March 2016.
“The finale of Sweeney Todd left the stage of Avery Fisher Hall littered with corpses, but the evening, for all its flaws, felt vibrantly alive. If only the Met could get similarly revved for its production of Wozzeck. On Thursday night, the opera, whose graphic violence quotient is small potatoes compared to the Sweeney Todd bloodbath, played to a listless half-empty house.” [New York Observer] (Photo: Chris Lee)
“…to a certain degree, good critics are no longer necessary to find. The phrase ‘Everybody’s a critic’ has taken on a universal cast. The internet encourages people to share their opinions with the world. In the theatre, the buzz created by chatroom chatters has become increasingly important to a show’s reputation before it opens. There are thousands of critics tapping away their opinions to whoever will listen – so who needs a paid pontificator to tell you what your opinion should be?” Stephen Sondheim rebuts Michael Kaiser and ponders the utility of Sanskrit to the librettist in excerpts from his [...]
“Instead of Bess’s leaving their Charleston ghetto for New York by herself, with the crippled Porgy giving chase some time later, the Broadway version would include a newly invented scene in which Bess tries to persuade Porgy to start a new life with her up North. She leaves, followed by Porgy; one final stage picture that was considered had the two looking at each other at a distance. The intent was to indicate that Porgy and Bess would be reunited.” [New York Times]
Our Own JJ returns to the pages of Capital New York to reflect on the current Broadway revival of the Sondheim-Goldman musical Follies: “one gorgeous zombie.” (Photo: Joan Marcus)
Musical theater doyen Stephen Sondheim is not amused by plans to “revamp” (or, La Cieca might venture to pun, “devamp”) Porgy and Bess, thus “to transform the classic 1935 opera into a commercial Broadway musical.” La Cieca thinks this controversy will make for a very interesting sidebar in the ongoing Regie debate.
The snafu over “homophobia row opera” Beached by Billy Elliot creator Lee Hall has been resolved thanks to a small lyric change.
UPDATE: La Cieca has just heard from Rosalind Elias‘s management with the news that the veteran mezzo will indeed transfer to Broadway with the Kennedy Center company of Follies. Apparently Playbill was given erroneous information.