Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Road Show

I was glad to experience "Road Show" but to be honest its a Sondheim show that just has not stayed with me. Back in 2003, I saw the previous version, "Bounce".

Most of the Sondheim musicals have "hooked" me, taken me to a new place, and given me a new vocabulary. With "Road Show" I have failed to get caught up in the world of Addison and Wilson Mizner. With today's economic struggles, their story and version of the American Dream is more timely than back in 2003, but I find their characters interesting I have yet to discover their magic.

John Doyle's staging with his sweeping distribution of cash as important moments in the piece is striking and certainly a visual metaphor for two men unable to hang on to the fortune that they made. But John Weidman's book does not make the case for this Road Show as much as Sondheim's score. Since Sondheim always gets his musical language correct, much of Bounce's vamps and melodies remain. A new anthem the father sings early on and is reprised is downright ravishing. I am hoping there will be a new recording, especially in the light that the performance I attended on November 7 did not list individual numbers.

Now that Road Show has oppened, I am looking forward to another masterwork in the Sondheim cannon. No one writes like Steve. No one!

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