We’re Still Here (Stage/Web Thoughts: Take Me To The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration, BroadwayCom)

maxresdefaultThe neon lights of Broadway may be dimmed right now, show queens like me? We’re still here. I was waiting with anticipation for ‘A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration’  on Sunday night, and the tech problems that they were initially having just whet my appetite for it more – it was a shame that it was up against the LGBT fundraiser concert as I would like to have checked that out as well. I was watching it very briefly while waiting for this concert, but as soon as this worked out it skinks, I abandoned it. This was a truly emotional evening, and all in all, I don’t know if there was a performance I would have taken out. But first, let me start with the ones I connected with the most – Donna Murphy’s ‘Send In the Clowns’  took my breath away – she knew how to mine those lyrics without an ounce of overselling. And ‘Someone In a Tree’ is already hard to pull off on stage, and here with the four square Zoom blocks, I was surprised to see it done just as effectively. There’s a certain poignancy to Mandy Patinkin’s ‘Lesson no 8’ out in the fields, and Jake Gylenhaal and Annalyn Ashford’s ‘Move On’ wrecked me to copious tears. But that’s just the top. I know everyone and their mothers are creaming over the “Ladies Who Lunch” with Audra, Meryl and Christine (first names only, please) and of course I loved that too, and it was especially poignant to see Aaron Tveit do ‘Marry Me A Little’ knowing he had the COVID 19 virus. I asked myself – were there any performances that I thought were ‘weaker,’ and in this context, a weak one in this lineup would still be miles better than anything else, and I just had to say NPH’s smugness turns me off, putting his performance of ‘The Witches Rap’ there, and my irrational dislike of Randy Rainbow mars that performance for me as well. But all in all, I am in awe of this line up, of this celebration on these times.

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