New Sondheim Doc To Air On HBO In December

robbie_731
Chorus Member
joined:12/15/06
SIX BY SONDHEIM (Dec. 9) is an intimate look at the prolific career of renowned Broadway lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim (“Company,” “Follies,” “Sweeney Todd”). A story of both his life and work, the film highlights his experiences writing six of his most celebrated songs: “Something’s Coming,” “Opening Doors,” “Send in the Clowns,” “I’m Still Here,” “Being Alive” and “Sunday.” Told primarily by Sondheim himself, it draws on his extensive personal archive and dozens of interviews from all stages of his career, underscoring his honesty and passion for his art. New performances by such stars as Audra McDonald, Jarvis Cocker, Darren Criss, Jeremy Jordan, America Ferrera and Sondheim himself have been produced exclusively for the feature documentary. Directed by Tony winner James Lapine, with musical segments directed by Todd Haynes, Autumn de Wilde and James Lapine.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/tca-hbo-plans-series-monday-documentaries-fall-alec-baldwin-whoopi-goldberg-and-more-106041
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Sounds less like a documentary and more like a musical theatre workshop class.

I'm sure it will be fascinating though.

I'd rather see clips and photos of the original shows than "newly produced performances" by stars who weren't there at the time.

But okay.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
You get Audra McDonald, but then you get Darin Criss? And since none of them are old enough to sing "I'm Still Here", I hope the "performance by Sondheim himself" will be of that one. I don't think he's danced in his skanties for three bucks a night, though.

I'm looking forward to this. There have been documentary specials on Frank Loesser, Jerry Herman, and Kander and Ebb in recent years, but none on Sondheim, so I'm glad he's getting one. I think Frank Rich is one of the executive producers, too.
hanschens
Stand-by
joined:6/9/13
Lineup could have been worse, Aaron Tveit could have been involved. Although I don't understand Jarvis Cocker - have I missed something?
all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
Aside from the line-up, I'm very much looking forward to this,

How are they planning to put together a Sondheim documentary without Bernadette??
SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
I believe Darren Criss, America Ferrera and Jeremy Jordan are performing Opening Doors.

And I think that sounds delightful. Actually...I think this whole thing sounds delightful. So much of what's being discussed has been recorded with original (or close to) casts, that this sounds absolutely intriguing.

Though I do wish they would have done Sondheim's favorite song...Someone in a Tree.
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
So we have Audra, a grande dame of the theatre; Darren Criss, the current undisputed wunderkind of the musical theatrical world; then Jarvis Cocker, smart nineties pop songwriter.

Criss, I'm almost certain, will sing "Something's Coming," which he has done in his concerts and on Glee. I would not be surprised if Cocker is singing "Being Alive," the song closest to the pop idiom.
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
"Darren Criss, the current undisputed wunderkind of the musical theatrical world..."

Oh, I think there are some who might dispute that...
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
Jeremy Jordan is more of a wunderkind of the musical theatrical world than Criss.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
"Darren Criss, the current undisputed wunderkind of the musical theatrical world"

I pray to Baby Jesus that you are being full on sarcastic right now. Please, say it ain't so.
"I'm fine, and my hips are fine. My false knee is fine. My false hips are fine. Everything's cooking." -Liza
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
I believe Darren Criss, America Ferrera and Jeremy Jordan are performing Opening Doors. And I think that sounds delightful.

I do too.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Is he brilliant? Far from it. But he's the only big star who has made musical theatre the linchpin of his career since the beginning. He has done what Zac Efron and Lea Michele never quite grasped- making the public genuinely LIKE them. Style and charm may be there more than substance, but style and charm and good PR can overcome weak material and make you a pal with Obama and Sondheim, apparently.
Back Row
Understudy
joined:4/14/12
It seems to me that Jeremy Jordan, one of four actors who played Tony in the most recent West Side Story revival, would be the natural choice to sing Something's Coming. As for Criss, he is only a big star within the narrow demographic of people who watch Glee, which is not your typical HBO (or Sondheim) audience. The only truly big star in the lineup is Audra McDonald, and that is perplexing. It seems that they could have had anyone they wanted for a project like this. The choices seem a bit odd.
Will42
Broadway Star
joined:5/27/10
Nothing against those lovely and talented people, but I think at least one of the grande dames of Broadway theater like Lansbury, Stritch or Cook should've been involved.
SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
Because we have never, EVER seen Lansbury, Stritch or Cook sing a Sondheim song. Never. Like...there's no actual video record of them singing Sondheim.

Sorry that sounded so c*nty...but it's clearly an opportunity to show new interpretations of his work. I think that is what is thrilling and makes this noteworthy. There are many resources to see the grande dames do his work.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
darque, how could he possibly make musical theatre the linchpin of his career if his big break was on a television show?
"I'm fine, and my hips are fine. My false knee is fine. My false hips are fine. Everything's cooking." -Liza
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
His tv career was kick started by his Internet fame, covering show tunes and Disney songs on guitar and performing live theatre for live and YouTube audiences.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
I get what you're saying but his YouTube following never matched his national television fame.
"I'm fine, and my hips are fine. My false knee is fine. My false hips are fine. Everything's cooking." -Liza
HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
I'm a big Pulp fan, but Jarvis Cocker? Seriously? Have to admit I'm intrigued by that one.
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
"I get what you're saying but his YouTube following never matched his national television fame."

That doesn't stop musical theatre from being the lynchpin of his career. Musical theatre is clearly what he built his career on. Without his past experience with it, there would have been no Glee for him.
ClumsyDude15
Broadway Legend
joined:12/11/06
If anyone should sing "Something's Coming" it should be Jeremy, since Darren basically murdered the song with his out of his range, auto-tuned, assassination on Glee during season three. In fact, to rid myself of the memory of the atrocity, I went and listened to Jeremy sing it, and reminded myself that it can be done very well.

I love Darren, but whoever keeps getting him to sing classic Broadway scores seems to be a sucker for punishment - the guy doesn't have the vocals for it. He's a charmer, an adorable guy, and a sweetheart - but Broadway royalty, he is not.


"I'm raisin hell and I'm a felon in a four foot frame" --- Bring It On: The Musical.
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Updated On: 7/27/13 at 02:50 PM
broadwaybabywannabe2
Featured Actor
joined:11/9/11
Looks like I will have to finally buy a subscription to HBO.
jnb9872
Broadway Legend
joined:11/24/08
I'm definitely intrigued by Jarvis Cocker's involvement, as I love documentaries that feature artists from outside the subject's normal sphere of influence. By that score, I'm also intrigued by Todd Haynes' involvement as well.

Looks like something to keep an eye on, but HBO has so many widely-varied (and often excellent) documentaries this looks like just one of many to look forward to.
Words don’t deserve that kind of malarkey. They’re innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they’re no good anymore…I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.
MrMidwest
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/05
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
There's something ... off about that clip. When it first started to play, I thought, "Oh, cool! It's staged like a film." But it feels claustrophobic and dry. And they're up tight and mugging and not listening to each other. I admire the idea, but that felt really sterile. And some odd camera work, too. All that circling and strange angles.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Updated On: 11/26/13 at 03:15 PM
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
Would anyone expect anything LESS THAN shameless mugging from two of those three actors? (Guess which two and you win a prize! Hint: His name is not Jeremy Jordan.) Darren Criss BUTCHERS his reading of "I sort of enjoyed it." Like he's surprised. Wrong.

However, I sort of enjoyed the visual take. No pun intended. I'm really looking forward to the interviews and archival clips A LOT-- not so much the new film segments. Audra McDonald is a really bad choice for "the song", especially since she's been somewhat overindulgent vocally lately. (Save for the last album, which was quite wonderful.)

Updated On: 11/26/13 at 03:46 PM

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