by Brenda W. Clough
This is one of the major pillars of the modern musical theater. It won six Tony awards in its day and though it’s getting on for fifty years old, it’s still able to speak to us. This is because the musical deals with what we’re all wrestling with — finding connection and intimacy.
The production I saw in February was put on by the McLean Community Players, one of the many local theater groups in my area. And as a production it was …okay. There is a palpable difference between community theater and a professional production. Like all of Stephen Sondheim’s scores, this is difficult to sing. There are just not that many young and handsome superb tenors floating around in the suburbs; all the really good ones moved to New York or LA.
But even here it’s a wonderful concept musical, as sophisticated as a Gibson martini. There’s not a bad song in the score, and all the funny bits are as funny as ever. It’s extraordinarily difficult, and yet you can’t go wrong with it. Who could ask for more?