Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Obama, Iconis & Sondheim

Wait! Barack Obama listens to Joe Iconis? When asked about late-period musical theatre, Obama replied thusly:

Despite the emergence of the Brown-Lippa-LaChiusa triptych and younger, DIY voices like Lopez/Marx and Joe Iconis and in the post-Larson era, no one writing today even approaches the emotional depth, harmonic complexity and the spiritual clarity evident in the work of the still-living legend Stephen Sondheim. Maybe Adam Guettel, but he supports drilling.

Of course, I think it is a bit unfair and premature to compare Joe Iconis to America's most revered living musical theatre composer, who happens to be 50 years Iconis' senior. I also have a hard time believing that Obama is rocking out to Iconis on his iPod... I'm just saying.

And since we're speaking of Sondheim...

FINALLY - some casting news for the much-anticipated revival of West Side Story: Matt Cavenaugh (A Catered Affair, Grey Gardens) will play the coveted role of Tony, a move guaranteed to catapult him to Broadway superstardom. The remaining casting decisions remain a mystery but, with a February opening, I suspect they will be announced soon.

The WSS announcement comes directly on the heels of The Public Theater announcing the Off-Broadway run of Sondheim's Road Show. The musical, whose previous incarnation under the title of Bounce, will be directed by Sondheim's staple director of late John Doyle. The production will star Michael Cerveris and Alexander Gemignani.

And in more solemn Sondheim news, George Furth, the librettist for Company and Merrily We Roll Along, passed away at the age of 75. Merrily is one of my favorite Sondheim musicals, one that is also rumored for revival. Strangely enough, in my quest to find a composer for my musical project, I received a resume from someone who recently worked with George and cited him as one of his references. Perhaps this is a sign. And you know how I am about signs...

Related Article: Barack Obama and John McCain Weigh In On Pop Culture

1 comment:

Joseph Gomez said...

Obama now has my vote for sure.