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re: SOUND ADVICE REVIEWS: "ANYONE CAN WHISTLE" and "THE SONDHEIM SESSIONS"
Posted by: AlanScott 06:24 pm EST 12/02/20
In reply to: re: SOUND ADVICE REVIEWS: "ANYONE CAN WHISTLE" and "THE SONDHEIM SESSIONS" - Erik_Haagensen 05:57 pm EST 12/02/20

Are you checking against the published script or the vocal score? At least the first two of those numbers have stuff in the weird published script that are not in the vocal score and those parts seem not to have been in the Broadway production. At Paul Ford's urging (or so he told me), that cut section of "Simple" was included in the Carnegie Hall concert. I guess parts for it must exist somewhere. I think it's also the case with "I've Got You to Lean On" that there is a section in the published script that's not in the vocal score and that I think was not in the Broadway production. I should check. It's all very odd. We know that published scripts and scores may not reflect what was performed on Broadway and there are often discrepancies between published scripts and licensed versions and acting editions, but these seem to me particularly puzzling ones.

John Yap says that a couple of cuts were done at the request of Sondheim and Laurents. Having said that, there are a few things left off that I think should be there, and I'm doubtful that Sondheim and Laurents told Yap not to include those, most notably the townspeople asking Hapgood what group they should be in. In the published score, above the music it just says dialogue there but with no lines. There are lines in the published script. I really think those lines need to be there or it makes no sense when Schub says "He's taking over! They're turning to him!"

In the case of this recording, I personally feel that the problems go beyond the actors simply not having played their roles onstage. So many things bother me (and not just me), including weird and sometimes harsh, edgy sound with odd balances and with the orchestra often having insufficient presence (and that is unusual for these JAY recordings) and the extremely well-behaved chorus who sound like they have no idea what's going on dramatically.
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