Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Drama Workshop's Presentation of Putting It Together, Words and Music by Stephen Sondheim

 After the play, I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  All the songs were unfamiliar and there was very little plot.  But this is a play which is sticking with me the way a good book does.  I continue to remember bits and pieces that made me feel this is right, exactly the way life is, exactly the way people feel.  As I told Ray after the play, I would like to see this play again.  There is too much in it to be able to grasp it all the first time.


From left  to right...Robin Baker as The Husband, Bree Hunter Sprankle as The Younger Woman,  Stephen Cox as The Younger Man, Cynthia Mottel as The Wife, David L. Radtke as The Observer.

This play does not have the kind of plot that is usual in a traditional musical. It is a revue featuring Sondheim songs from various plays  The songs are loosely held together by the theme of a cocktail party held in the home of The Husband and The Wife.  The audience are guests along with The Younger Man and The Younger Woman.



The Observer, David L. Radtke, introduces the play, provides one or two word transitions as the evening progresses and also fills in as an extra who can be whatever the situation requires, even a household maid with a little white apron.  He gets his moment in the spotlight to dance as he sings "Buddy's Blues" from Follies.

What I noticed most about the songs in the revue was that they are purposeful.



Some are thought-provoking commentaries on life such as "The Road You Didn't Take" from Follies.  The Husband, (Robin Baker) in a pensive mood, sings this one.  The Husband and The Wife also sing an amusing true to life conversation about buying a "Country House" (from Follies).

Other songs are focused on attitudes."Rich and Happy" from Merrily We Roll Along sung by the entire cast comes to mind.


The Younger Woman, Bree Hunter Sprankle, sings a wonderful  blues song, "Sooner or Later".  It's   from the movie, Dick Tracy.  Her dancing as well as her singing shone in "Bang", also from Dick Tracy,  a number which includes the Younger Man and The Observer.


The Wife, Cynthia Mottel, amazed me, never missing a beat on songs with rapid fire lyrics on a variety of topics women can relate to. Housework, homemaking and everything associated with both are satired in the song, "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  "Ladies Who Lunch" from Company lampooned  things women do  when gathered together.


What I remember most about The Younger Man, Stephen Cox, is his pensive rendition of "Marry Me a Little" from (Company).  He and The Younger Woman, Bree Hunter Sprankle, sang a lovely duet, "Unworthy of Your Love" from Assassins.

"Putting It Together"  sung by the entire company, is  from the play, Sunday in the Park with George which uses the painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, as its inspiration.  Seurat was a noted pointillist who used small dabs of paint to create his works.  And the play is just that, putting together songs to create a completed work.

There are three more performances of this play, December 19,20, and 21, 2014.  For more information, contact The Drama Workshop.

The website address is

www.thedramaworkshop.org

You can also call 513.598.8303.



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2 comments:

Far Side of Fifty said...

We missed two great chances to get out and see Amal and the night visitors and a comedy at the Long Lake Theater that my cousin was in. Too much happening this time of year! Other commitments. I am thankful that we can still attend some activities.
If I don't get back here to say Merry Christmas I am saying it now:)

Pauline Persing said...

Merry Christmas to you and Far Guy. You are right. Lots of things to do this time of year.