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24 January 2010 / April

Theater nerds own my life

Yesterday, I was peacefully eating a late breakfast at around 11:30 when my phone started buzzing.  It was Will telling me that I should be at Goodrich NOW to program lights for the ethnographic theater production I will be teching on Tuesday.  I considered telling him it would take more than NO TIME to finish eating, get my shit together, and walk to Goodrich.  I decided against it.  Of course, after rushing over, it turned out that they barely needed me.  They like to keep me on my toes I suppose.

At 2 was “A Celebration of Sondheim,” which was a revue of a bunch of showtunes Sondheim had composed or written lyrics for.  Now I’ve heard and played some Sondheim, and I like to think I know Sondheim well enough to appreciate the man and his music.  But sitting next to some seriously obsessed Sondheim nerds, I felt like a complete ignoramus.

The show was pretty spectacular– Williams kids, damn talented as usual– but it was all just prelude to the real event of the day: Stephen Sondheim himself coming back to his alma mater to be interviewed by NYT columnist Frank Rich.

I repeat: Williams “kids,” damn talented as usual.

I would’t have been surprised if hearing Sondheim speak had been more impressive than enjoyable, per se, since I feel like brilliant people don’t usually explain things well to non-brilliant people.  But Sondheim was incredibly articulate, interesting, and funny.  He said some especially fascinating things about writing lyrics, writing lyrics for “Somewhere” specifically (“there’s A place for us….”), musicals being made into movies, how Williams changed his life…

Sure, he seemed arrogant at times, but only in the way that we’re all a little arrogant when we decide we have standards and refuse to lower them.  And it’s not like Sondheim doesn’t have a reason to be arrogant or anything.  It’s not like he’s written music and/or lyrics to any musicals you might have heard of.  Or any incredible musicals that you should have heard of.  (Assassins I’m looking at you.  I’m looking at you with great love and awe.)

… Sorry, I keep trying to work on this post while sitting in the common room with a bunch of people, which is a very poor idea.  So pretend that this is a thorough and eloquent description of what Sondheim talked about, and how lucky we were to hear him speak, and how I’ve spent so much of the past couple days in the company of theater nerds, and stuff.

Gah, how is winter study ending so soon?

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One Comment

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  1. kati / Jan 25 2010 7:20 am

    (: (: (: (: (:

    that is all I have to say. Happiness.

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