Either less or more Either less or more

An elegantly streamlined production of Into the Woods now on stage at Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre makes the best case for the show I’ve yet seen

on June 10, 2022 at 7:48 AM
A crash course in adult relationships A crash course in adult relationships

The mixture of romance and realism in Sondheim songs, the revelation that while love could be grand and passionate it could also be mundane or inconvenient or mistimed or just plain embarrassing, was such a relief.

on November 29, 2021 at 4:00 PM
Anyone can puzzle Anyone can puzzle

Steve adored puzzles, solving them and creating them, so it makes you wonder that this one continued to fester—was that so few of his songs attained the rank of “standard.”

on November 29, 2021 at 2:00 PM
Learning how to laugh Learning how to laugh

When I think of Stephen Sondheim, so many of my memories are not simply about shows of his I loved and learned from—they are experiences that literally shaped my life.

on November 29, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Take Me to the World Take Me to the World

Tout le monde assembles online to celebrate the 90th birthday of Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim.

on April 26, 2020 at 4:19 PM
Sondheim sensibility: postmodernism Sondheim sensibility: postmodernism

In crafting his musicals, Sondheim’s focus, regardless of genre, tends towards the processive.

on December 13, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Sondheim sensibility: camp Sondheim sensibility: camp

The singularity of Stephen Sondheim contributes to the conception of him as a camp figure.

on December 12, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Have I got a girl for you Have I got a girl for you

I was floored to find that Company with a female protagonist, at least in Marianne Elliott’s West End production, is a better and more complete show than original recipe Company.

on October 29, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Phone rings, door chimes, in comes Sängerkrieg! Phone rings, door chimes, in comes Sängerkrieg!

“Heinrich, come on over for dinner! / We’ll be so glad to see you!”

on October 16, 2017 at 10:36 AM
White people problems White people problems

How on Earth will these fictitious luminaries of turn-of-the-century Swedish society keep their clothes clean?

on October 16, 2017 at 7:45 AM
It gives her purpose, gives her voice It gives her purpose, gives her voice

Here the first video of Natalie Dessay in Sondheim’s Passion at the Théâtre du Châtelet.

on March 19, 2016 at 8:11 AM
Deep in my art, dear Deep in my art, dear

I give you a complete performance of Stephen Sondheim‘s Sunday in the Park with George from the Théâtre du Châtelet.

on December 14, 2015 at 11:22 AM
Leave it to cleaver Leave it to cleaver

If I’d gotten an hour less sleep you’d now find me mixing everything up and writing about Mrs. Lovett making her entrance on a bronze horse like Peter the Great.

on September 15, 2015 at 11:00 AM
“Give me Kitty Carlisle any day!” “Give me Kitty Carlisle any day!”

“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.”

on March 13, 2015 at 9:00 PM
Not pretty or safe or easy Not pretty or safe or easy

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!)

on March 11, 2015 at 2:11 PM
Blood types Blood types

“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.”

on March 11, 2014 at 7:08 PM
Hats off! Hats off!

The stunning New Broadway Cast Recording of Sondheim’s Follies is currently on sale on Amazon for an astonishing $4.99.

on December 27, 2011 at 6:36 PM

“…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…

on November 21, 2011 at 9:24 AM

“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…

on November 15, 2011 at 8:23 AM

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)

on September 15, 2011 at 11:12 AM

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.

on August 11, 2011 at 9:47 AM

The snafu over “homophobia row opera” Beached by Billy Elliot creator Lee Hall has been resolved thanks to a small lyric change.

on July 07, 2011 at 8:08 AM
Who is Heidi? Who is Heidi?

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.

on June 21, 2011 at 3:41 PM