If you're someone who also happens to be acquainted with me on Facebook, then you'll know I've been going through a miniature, but solid, Stephen Sondheim phase. Being a fan of musical theater practically since birth, (ok, ok, since I was 4, but there's not that large of a gap there, so I was only slightly exaggerating) I've usually been reprimanded for my lack of Sondheim exposure. I mean, of course I know Sweeney Todd, and I've seen Company (well the PBS version with Raul Esparza). I would love to get in to the city to see A Little Night Music, since it at least has managed to hang on to most of its cast and not fly them through the air to their doom (yes, I'm looking at you Julie Taymor) and I was reared on West Side Story (I know, I know he only did the lyrics for that one). There are roughly four or five of his shows that I'm waiting to be resurrected on the stage, including Merrily We Roll Along and Follies.
While I've been seeking out more and more of his work, I keep coming back to a song that is quickly gaining repeat play on my Ipod. I'm not sure why that is exactly, it's just that it kind of feels like every emotion stuck into a four minute extravaganza of sound.
"Marry Me a Little" was originally supposed to be in Company and it's essentially a commentary on marriage (obviously) but more about what we expect out of it, which is usually the romanticized, idealized version. You know, the part where you skip over all of the tough times and compromise. It didn't appear in some of the first staged versions, but it has been added again, and now appears towards the end of the first act. If you want to hear Raul Esparza sing the crap out of a song (that's the technical phrasing for it) just listen:
But what I had no idea was that Sondheim had Harry Nilsson record a version for his friend. I have, apparently, been extremely lax in my Harry Nilsson education, although my dad's a big fan of "Everybody's Talkin' ". Harry's version can be found HERE if you want to give it a listen. It's stripped down with a slightly more laid-back approach than the urgency of the song in the show. Just thought it might be good for those who are fans of Sondheim, Harry Nilsson, trivia, or all of the above.
Just for fun, here's a couple other Sondheim songs courtesy of Youtube:
For crying out loud, the man made a musical about assassins: