“Nobody human can stand all that everlasting affection!”

The quote is from Company, the subject is Passion, as the Sondheim Symposium goes on. This installment includes spoilers for 1984.At the climax of 1984, Winston is broken by the tortures in room 101. The moment that anihilates him and represents victory for Big Brother is the moment where he cries out: Do it to her! Do it to Julia! I don’t care what you do to her, but do it to her! Tear her face off! Do it to Julia, not to me! Do it to Julia! Not me! If this is betrayal, we might assume tha … [Read more...]

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

Bobby and his three girlfriends (the image links to the song)

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...]

“It’s not so hard to be married. I’ve done it three or four times.”

"Everything's different..."

Inspired by the Sondheim Symposium, my college friend Katharine Pitt offered a guest post based on her own experiences acting marriages in Shakespeare (She's pretty awesome, so I'm sure she won't mind me inserting a plug for Slings and Arrows in the intro to her post).  I think all the rest you need to know is she's awesome (bears repeating), the photos below were taken by William Sacco (captions courtesy of Katharine), and everything that follows is hers.  Take it away, Kate, the prettiest Kate … [Read more...]

Ending with a clinch, not a child [Sondheim]

This post is part of a symposium on Stephen Sondheim's Company.I really enjoyed Gilbert's post on the absence of children in a musical about marriage.  This isn't a problem unique to Company, but I think it's more noticable these because Company seems like it's intended to say more about marriage.In most romances, the catharsis comes with a clinch, not a child.  The couple run at each other in slow motion, the music swells, and the pair lock lips.  Sometimes the camera will swoop out, … [Read more...]

“Maybe we just weren’t meant to have children” [Sondheim]

I want to kick off the Sondheim Symposium this week with a guest post by Gilbert of The Last Conformer.  He originally wrote it as a comment on the original post, but I like starting off the conversation by discussing something omitted, plus I want to reply to it tomorrow.  I'm in italics, everything that follows is his.  Oh, and I'm to blame for the stealing the post title from a different musical, I couldn't let Eve Tushnet have all the fun.  Take it away, Gilbert!As an entry point … [Read more...]

Leah Libresco’s Sing-Along-Blog

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 th … [Read more...]

A Martyr for All Seasons

Two weeks ago, I had an absolutely lovely time reading A Man for All Seasons out loud in a coffee shop with a new group of friends.  In what I hope was not type-casting, I read the part of Cromwell. (ok, it was probably type-casting).  I greatly enjoyed the play (though I'm now going to have to put aside all the very nice spiritual reading people have recommended or lent me, so I can reread Wolf Hall), and there was one exchange that particularly struck me, just after More resigns his position a … [Read more...]


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