I’d like to try out a new kind of post/talkback opportunity this week. I’m having my birthday party this week, and my plan is to make all of my very nice friends watch two Sondheim musicals with me (Company and Passion) and then have a discussion about the telos of love and marriage. Plus cake.
Passion is really weird and a little tough to track down (though, in case this is an inducement to order it, after I saw it staged, I told a friend I thought it was a Nietzschean horror story about the weak enslaving the strong by virtue of their weakness. Note: this is definitely not Sondheim’s read of the musical).
But the Raul Esparza staging of Company is available to stream on Netflix. So I’d like to reserve this comment thread for discussion of the show, the characters, and the purpose of marriage. If you can’t watch it, you’re still welcome to riff off of other people’s comments. And if you end up with something a little long to say, you’re welcome to email me to talk about a guest post or crosslinking. Getting to host a Sondheim symposium is the best present you could give me as a blogger.
And now, to whet your appetite, John Barrowman singing “Marry Me a Little” in concert (a song from Company, and still my go to example of everything wrong with a bland, “as long as both people are happy” conception of marriage).
And just because I can, and it was recently my birthday, precious, here’s a link to the allegedly crypto-Catholic paper I wrote in college for my Sondheim seminar on Sweeney Todd : “If Only Angels Could Prevail: The Moral Tragedy of Sweeney Todd.”
Definitely one of my favorite papers I got to write in college, especially because I managed to find a way to cite Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art when discussing the role of the Chorus.