Sondheim Symposium [Sequence Index]

In the summer of 2012, I threw the best birthday party ever when I bribed all my friends with pizza and cake in order to get them to watch a Sondheim double feature.  First, we watched Company, Sondheim's concept musical about marriage, and then we saw Passion, which has a linear narrative but still manages to be a lot more disorienting.  And then we had an argument.Since Company was, at the time of writing, available on Netflix instant play, I invited blog readers to watch along and cont … [Read more...]

Let Augustine Move Up a Weight Class

I got to see Restless Heart, the new Augustine biopic last night.  It's not yet in theatres, but community groups can do special showings, and I was lucky enough to snag tickets to the one sponsored by St Anthony of Padua Church here in DC.  (You can put in a request to host a showing or see the list of upcoming events here).  Here's the trailer:The trailer is super dramatic, but large parts of the movie are just people in period clothes standing around talking to each other... which is j … [Read more...]

“Careful the wish you make, wishes come true. Not free”

Yesterday, in my review of inSignificant, I started teasing the next thread of the Sondheim Symposium. For Bobby to progress, he needs to make himself vulnerable and unsafe.  We think of him transitioning into the role of servant, as Christ does.  A future Bobby, we hope, won’t still be able to be described as “Exclusive you! Elusive you!  Will any person ever get the juice of you?” as he is in “You Could Drive a Person Crazy.”If Company ends with a choice to give oneself (albeit it to an as … [Read more...]

Weakness as Strength

   I received a free copy of inSignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World to review as part of the Patheos Book Club, but was not subject to any limitations on my post.I tend to read and review apologetic works (or totally off-topic ones) that may be of interest to anyone in my weird audience.  So, fair warning, inSignificant is written for Christians, and is probably not of interest to the non-Christian readers of the blog.  It's also much cheerier … [Read more...]

“What do you wanna [stay single] for?”

I'm delighted to say that Christian H of The Thinking Grounds has sent in a guest post for the Sondheim Symposium.  Christian H is an English Lit grad student in Canada, and his blog is one of the reasons you should use RSS readers: it updates irregularly, but is always interesting.  Take it away, Christian!Sondheim’s musical Company might strike many as being strangely silent on the subject of what marriage is, and what it is for, considering that it is a musical about marriage. Or, rat … [Read more...]

Son of RomCom Myopia

Apropos of the discussion of romances that end with a clinch, not a child, I thought I'd share an excerpt from io9's review of The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  This is the recently released film where two childless parents write down all the qualities they'd like their kid to have, bury the list in the backyard, and have a magical 10 year old sprout up. Watching The Odd Life of Timothy Green, I kept being reminded of Ruby Sparks, which only just came out a few weeks ago. In both movies, the l … [Read more...]

What Can You Do in the War?

Given the way our discussion of pacifism has meandered over to a debate about martyrdom, what you want to "accomplish" with your death (and whether that's a coherent question), I'd like to recommend something for your summer reading list: Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War.  It's a fabulous book.  It doesn't presuppose that you're a Civil War buff, so casual readers have no barrier to entry, and it delves into a strange, tightly-circumscribed  topic, … [Read more...]


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