There are no gibbering fools on this week's podcast. At least no more than usual. Elizabeth Keep joins the show for the first time to discuss the two songs I'm Calm and Impossible. Are they funny? Do you need to see the staging for them to work? Those and other fraughter things are to be expected this week.
Is Forum sexist or does it just feature sexist characters? Matt Sampson return to try and answer that questions, while also playing his piano to show how clever Sondheim can be, even with a generic list song.
Pretty Little Picture is certainly a witty song, but is it funny? William C. White returns to offer his opinions on a song that Sondheim considers one of his best. They also debate whether Zero Mostel or Nathan Lane sing it better.
The song Lovely appears twice in the show. The first is between two lovers, and the second is between two liars. Gus Gowland, UK-based musical theatre composer, joins the show to discuss which works better. Gus and Kyle try their best to be winsome while also making reference to the 1980s sitcom Perfect Strangers.
Is freedom the necessary essence of democracy? Maybe or maybe not. Erik Stadnik returns to discuss how Pseudolus not only desires freedom but also desires to be looked at as a man. Pseudolus wants to be a real person. Perhaps Sondheim was trying to give characterization to caricatures.
Love is a theme in many songs. For Hero this might just be the first time. Karen Unland returns to discuss young love and whether Sondheim is able to capture it effectively. Especially considering that he didn't find love until he turned 60.
Federico Tedeschi returns to the podcast to discuss Plautus, Roman drama, and a little farce. The new season is here! A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is the first Broadway musical that Stephen Sondheim was (finally) able to write both lyrics and music. Comedy Tonight is the most famous song from the show. On this episode Federico and Kyle discuss whether it holds up, if it's actually funny, and the differences between the original and the revivals.
I force Matt Mort to watch the 1962 film Gypsy to wrap up our conversation of the musical this season. We spend a few minutes talking about the movie and then spend the rest of the episode discussing my eccentricities and existential crises.
The moment we've all been waiting for. Mama Rose comes to the realization that she's been forcing her children onto the stage not for their benefit but for hers. But, can we also feel sympathy for her? Layan Elwazani returns to delve into that question, plus play the game How Many Tonys Was This Show Nominated For?
Sometimes you just need to shake it 'til you break it. Erik Stadnik returns to discuss burlesque dancers needing a gimmick. This song is all about the visuals, so does it work to to just listen to? Listen to find out! Plus, weirdly, MMMBop is referenced.
John Mulaney and Seth Meyers co-wrote an episode of the IFC show Documentary Now! In it they parody the classic documentary about the musical Company. Kyle invites on Eric Matthew Richardson to discuss their thoughts about what worked, what didn't, and wonder if anyone is going to understand it.
Who knew a seemingly simple song could have so many different recordings? Matt Sampson calls in from Durham, North Carolina to offer his insight on a song sung by a trio of amigos. Or, could it be that it's actually Rose psychologically manipulating people to her whim? Also Kyle struggles to recall an anecdote from the seminal 1994 film The Little Rascals.
Eric Matthew Richardson is a composer who lives in Chicago. He may or may not have some radical things to say about Everything's Coming Up Roses, the song that closes Act 1 of Gypsy. Certainly he is knowledgable about the song and the history of the show. Plus, we hear some audio snippets from Arthur Laurents as he discusses not only Gypsy, but what makes a good musical director.
Adam Kostanuick returns to discuss why Tulsa's song in Gypsy may or may not be needed. Plus we delve deep into what Harris tweed is and why Kyle should consider buying a jacket made from it.
Darby Turnbull calls in from Melbourne to discuss his life as an actor and creator, plus offers insight into If Momma Was Married. What some may disregard as a fluffy song is actually a deeply layered character piece where two sister talk openly about their mother and wish for a better future.
Federico Tedeschi is an Italian student who has a deep love for Stephen Sondheim. After researching who made the music for Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd he discovered an entire body of work that he happily consumed. In this episode he discusses with Kyle how Europeans aren't as interested in musical theatre as they are with other art forms, how this song is necessary for the whole show, and how Rose may be a tragic figure.
Isaac Bernier-Doyle returns to the show to explore two (somewhat?) contentious songs. Kyle certainly discovers that he likes a certain song less and another song he begins to appreciate more. Also, what would happen if Mr. Goldstone were combined with Little Lamb as Sondheim once considered? It's a fascinating alternate universe. How do you like them egg rolls?
Trunk Songs and Cut Songs (Baby June and Her Newsboys, Dainty June and Her Farmboys, Broadway, Nice She Ain't, Smile Girls) – Gypsy
An episode where it's just Kyle! We explore many of the different "trunk songs" and a couple of the cut songs from Gypsy. This is an evolution from the Great American Songbook, which Jule Styne would have been greatly familiar with. Plus, you'll learn how Jule and Kyle share a special connection.
Nathaniel Claridad brings his experience as an actor, a director, and a (reluctant) producer to discuss Small World. This is a song in stark contrast to Mama Rose's first song, Some People. Instead of the brash chutzpah that has already been shown, this song is soft and intimate. Each actress to portray Rose has had a slightly different approach to singing it and the discussion turns to whether it works better to be sung sweetly or sensually.
Some People is a song sung by a desperate woman. Or, perhaps, it could be looked at as an ode to the entrepreneur. At any rate Karen Unland returns to the show to discuss how Rose's first song of the show informs her character and how–depending on the performer–it can change the interpretation we have of them.