Saturday, September 22, 2007

Three Degrees of Sondheim

It's happened. It's finally happened.

I am now "Three Degrees of Stephen Sondheim."

Check it out: My good friend Karen Bronson is very good friends with Ann Morrison.

Ms. Morrison was the star of the original Broadway production of MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG.

And the score of MERRILY was written by? That's right, Stephen Sondheim.

Now, this little connection probably won't ever put me in the same room with Mr. Sondheim, but that probably is for the best.

Let's face it, if I ever met him - - well, I would faint right off the bat, just to prove to the world that I'm a geeky, musical theatre gayrod.

Then, I would say something amazingly stupid like, "Hey! We have the same first name! AND we spell it THE SAME WAY!! Two "PH's." Isn't that WILD?!?!"

Then, I would most likely gush about how brilliant he is and at the same time, I would be bragging about how I am the only East Tennessean who knows all the lyrics to "Welcome to Kanagawa."

And then, I would let him know in a very un-subtle way that I love being tied up and that I would look FANTASTIC bound, gagged and tied to a pole in the dungeon basement of a certain Tony Award winning composer's Manhattan townhouse.

Oh, come on! If that's what he's in to, all I have to say is...

"Thank you, Mr. Sondheim, Sir! May I have another?"

But again, that ain't gonna happen. for Sondheim's sake, I hope the "Meeting of the Stephens" doesn't occur.

However, I hope that my "Two Degrees of Ann Morrison" connection comes through, because after hearing her sing (her work on the MERRILY Original Cast Recording is absolutely brilliant) and after reading this article about her, I am insanely in love with her.

This section of the interview at BroadwayWorld.com really struck a chord with me.

Theatre people forget sometimes - - most of the time - - why we do what we do. But these words by Ann Morrison really tell you what it's all about...

"I think it [theater] is a healing experience. It’s healing for the audience.

"I go to the theater and I want to feel differently, I want to think differently, I want to go home and see if I can be a better person because of what I saw.


"And the same thing when I’m on stage. I’m hoping I’m the shaman for you for the evening.


"I’m not responsible for what you do think or feel, but that you do think or feel."


That last sentence is my favorite. Simple and brilliant.


Special Note to Karen: If the situation ever presents itself and you graciously introduce me to Ann, I promise - - as God as my witness - - I promise I won't start singing "Not a Day Goes By."

I WILL be humming "Now You Know," but look - - that can't be helped! It's Ann "friggin" Morrison!!! Ok?

18 comments:

Dovajorth said...

I got to meet Annie Morrison through Sue Keenan, an old friend of Annie's parents.

It was somewhere around 1993, I think. Annie was back in the Chicago area for the retirement of her high school theatre teacher, who had directed her in "The King & I" back in the day. Through my connection with Sue, I was Annie's accompanist for the retirment event. She did "Hello Young Lovers," I think. And another song that was an original written by a friend of hers, that I loved. It was an honor to play for her.

Which means I, like the imitable Karen Bronson, am only 2 degrees from Mr. Sondheim.

Stephen Rader said...

Doug - I knew someone (other than Karen) would be closer than me!!! Next, I'll find out that some other Tennessee boy knows all the words to "Welcome to Kanagawa!"

Palm Springs Savant said...

you ARE moving up in the world! I think you need to start an exclusive "Stephen Club". So exclusive, of course that there would only be 2 members. You can send him a golden ticket invitation to join. I suggest the first meeting in your boudoir...

Stephen Rader said...

Rick - If "The God of All Things Musical Theatre" would even ENTERTAIN the fact of meeting me in my bedroom, I just might lose my mind... and my virginity.

Did you buy the "virginity" thing?

Lance Noe said...

I BEG TO DIFFER! YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY EATS TENNESSIAN TO KNOW ALL THE LYRICS TO WELCOME TO KANAGAWA OR ANY OTHER SONG FROM THAT SHOW!

Lance Noe said...

OH YEAH! and I am only one degree away from the man! I MET HIM!

Stephen Rader said...

Lance - When I wrote that, I knew you would respond with a comment like this!! And I love it!!!

Now, do you have to rub in the whole "I've met the man" thing?!?

Did you sleep with him? You slept with him, didn't you?!? God, I hope you slept with him!!!

Lance Noe said...

I didn't. i was in love and he didn't ask but he did say while putting his hand on my knee, " so, what are you handsome young men seeing tonight?"

I couldn't speak! I just gazed at his hand and said over and over in my head "YES, DADDY! I LIKE IT SIR! YES DADDY! I LIKE IT SIR!"

Lance Noe said...

I love that he has a japanese bed! he is a rice queen like me!

Stephen Rader said...

Lance - His... hand... was on... your knee?!?!?! Have you washed it since?!?!?

What are we seeing tonight, Mr. Sondheim? Your Japanese bed, hopefully!!!

Bob said...

OH - Me too! Four degrees. My friend Steven's mother goes to the same Church as Ms. Morrison in CA. They're both crystal-huggin, fairy-lovin, aura-reading nuts.

Stephen Rader said...

Bob - I SO love that!!! This Ann Morrison article is really great. As if I didn't love her already!!!!

khbronson said...

Stephen,
I promise if I find out soon enough when Annie is next in town, I'll try and get you a chance to meet her. Then you can be 2 degrees! :)

Stephen Rader said...

Karen - You know that I love you, right? Regardless of getting close to Sondheim or Ann, I love me some Karen!!

Master Aaron said...

I'm sure I haven't had The Pleasure of The Sondheim. But I know a sex bed when I see one. And who lounges in the come-to-Daddy pose with pages of sheet music thrown across them? He needs better friends. Let's go help him!

Stephen Rader said...

Master Aaron - I'm afraid your "my cock is the only cock in the room" rule might not fly with Mr. Sondheim. Or would it? Hmmm....

Master Aaron said...

Some people are kept busy looking at my very small hands.

Stephen Rader said...

Master Aaron - You could make a FORTUNE off of those hands!!! I'm tellin' you!!!