Simply Sondheim: Cast's Favorite Sondheim
Photo of the cast of Simply Sondheim by Margot Schulman.

Blog: Simply Sondheim: Cast's Favorite Sondheim

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Simply Sondheim is a celebration of our 25-year partnership with Stephen Sondheim, who in his 85 years has given the world beautiful, intelligent and complex pieces of theater. Let’s check in with some cast members to find out what their favorite Sondheim songs are and why.

“My favorite Sondheim song is ‘Your Fault/Last Midnight’ from Into the Woods. I love this song because it is so very human. It exposes how we try to justify and rationalize why something went wrong – not wanting to take the blame for whatever part we played in making the mess, instead opting to point the finger at who we think pushed the first domino. The Witch ultimately slaps everyone with a dose of reality – even herself – and forces each person to look at how they contributed to the problem at hand. When she says ‘I’m not good, I’m not nice, I’m just right…I’m the witch, you’re the world. I’m the hitch, I’m what no one believes, I am the witch…’ – it is a very real proclamation about life. Sometimes the truth of a situation is not good or nice, and most times no one wants to believe it. Yet the truth is what it is – always right. It’s the hitch in the bliss of ignorance. I think this song – and the entire show – is a brilliant commentary on life.”
–Kellee Knighten Hough

“My favorite Sondheim song is the duet ‘My Friends’ from Sweeney Todd. It occurs early in the show, just after Mrs. Lovett has returned Sweeney Todd’s box of razors to him. Todd pulls one out and a wonderfully pensive, moody vamp begins as he caresses it, then begins to sing to the razor, equating its years of being locked away with his years of banishment. His growing madness is palpable. Eventually Mrs. Lovett joins him in counterpoint, moving closer to touch him and reveal that she’s always liked him. Both characters are deep in their own dreams: his a delirium of revenge and murder, hers a twisted image of love. The music builds to a sexy, scary climax which Todd breaks by shouting, ‘At last my right arm is complete again!’ It gives me shivers every time!”
–Donna Migliaccio

“To be completely honest, my knowledge of Stephen Sondheim music was extremely limited…until now. It’s ironic that my first Sondheim show is a revue. After these past few weeks, it’s hard to pick a favorite but I have fallen in love with the ‘Now/Later/Soon’ trio. I’m in awe of how Stephen Sondheim has managed to not only overlap these stories but also intersperse the three themes between the characters. Add on Jonathan Tunick’s orchestral arrangement and I’m sold.”
– Austin Colby