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Stephen Sondheim

Aisle View: Into the Woods, Back on Stage

Steven Suskin | Posted 01.22.2015 | Arts
Steven Suskin

Yes, this is obviously going to be another one of those actors-play-the-instruments affairs, which have become dime-a-dozen since John Doyle did it in 2004 with Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. In this Into the Woods, though, the device works well.

Billy Magnussen Goes 'Into The Woods' and Comes Out a Star

Chuck Mirarchi | Posted 01.21.2015 | Entertainment
Chuck Mirarchi

Like the movie, you don't always get what you want and you don't always want what you get, but we're all the better for the occurrences that brought Billy to the project.

Music Lessons, Life Lessons

Liane Kupferberg Carter | Posted 01.15.2015 | Healthy Living
Liane Kupferberg Carter

John Kuhn -- Teacher and Friend 1915-2015 "If you could be anything in the world and talent and money weren't an issue, would you still be doing w...

A Pope Without a Doctrine and the Media That Helps Make It Up

Benjamin Brenkert | Posted 01.13.2015 | Religion
Benjamin Brenkert

Pope Francis needs to do more than simply author apostolic exhortations and encyclicals, or replace Western Cardinals and Bishops with non-Western Cardinals and Bishops. Now the laity who are energized by Pope Francis' reform need him to use his pen.

Relationships More Fractured Than the Fairy Tales: Hour of the Wolf Movie Review of Into the Woods

Dan Persons | Posted 01.09.2015 | Entertainment
Dan Persons

There's a lot to be said for loyalty when it comes to adapting a film from another source, be it a novel, a play, or a musical. But it can be impediment as well, especially when loyalty to the original material gets in the way of letting a filmmaker do what the medium is best suited for.

Masterpiece Musical Theatre

George Heymont | Posted 01.05.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Two well-established musical masterpieces returned to Bay area stages last fall in exceptional productions which proved, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the strength and vitality of each work's score and libretto. The fact that they were so beautifully performed only added to the audience's sense of artistic fulfillment.

'Into the Woods' and the Dumbing Down of the Movie Musical

David Toussaint | Posted 12.31.2014 | Arts
David Toussaint

As much as I love Meryl, I'm never going to buy her records, and I haven't been this uncomfortable watching her in a film since, what do you know, Mama Mia! If we're living in any sort of movie musical cinema revival, it's time to start asking ourselves what we sacrificed to get there.

Into the Woods Gets Lost in the Woods

Jackie K. Cooper | Posted 12.31.2014 | Entertainment
Jackie K. Cooper

There is a lot to like in Into the Woods but there is also a lot more that should have been better. If the playfulness and emotions inherent in Sondheim's songs had been delivered, the movie would not have been just good -- it would have been great.

Into the Woods (Review)

Paul Katz | Posted 12.29.2014 | Entertainment
Paul Katz

Into the Woods has long been one of my favorite musicals. The first hour of the movie version is a near-perfect adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's work.

Movie Review: Into the Woods -- We All Die. The End.

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.26.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods arrives on the big screen 27 years after it opened on Broadway -- and with the same second-act problems that have plagued it through the years.

Out of the Psyche and 'Into the Woods'

Lindajoy Rose, Ph.D. | Posted 12.16.2014 | Healthy Living
Lindajoy Rose, Ph.D.

There are so many teachable moments in Into the Woods. I urge you to see the movie and look for the meanings underlying the entertainment.

Meryl Streep Casts a Spell: Into the Woods

Regina Weinreich | Posted 12.09.2014 | Entertainment
Regina Weinreich

Missing from Monday's lunch at The Leopard, Meryl Streep, wicked as an ugly witch in Rob Marshall's movie adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical Int...

A Not So Brisk-and-Bright Allegro

Steven Suskin | Posted 01.19.2015 | Arts
Steven Suskin

Why can't they just do Broadway musicals the way the authors wrote them in the first place? is a not infrequent cry along the Rialto. If a show was a hit, if a show is a classic, why do modern producers, directors and book doctors insist on trying to make them better?

10 Things I Learned About Isabel Allende

Elizabeth Ann Thompson | Posted 01.13.2015 | San Francisco
Elizabeth Ann Thompson

I learned that Chilean American author Isabel Allende will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation's highest civilian honor. Here are 10 things I learned about Isabel Allende.

Theater: Some Disappointments and a Promising Young Composer -- Stephen Sondheim

Michael Giltz | Posted 01.13.2015 | Arts
Michael Giltz

Lost Lake comes from the Pulitzer Prize winner David Auburn, so expectations are naturally high for any new work by him. Grand Concourse is from Heidi Schreck, the Obie-winning talent who also writes for TV's Nurse Jackie. Neither quickens the pulse, though each play is blessed with a fine cast.

Meryl Streep, Ethel Kennedy To Get Presidential Medal Of Freedom

AP | JOSH LEDERMAN | Posted 11.11.2014 | Politics

BEIJING (AP) — Meryl Streep, Stevie Wonder and Tom Brokaw are among the latest Americans tapped to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Presid...

A Radiant Saturday Night and a Ghostly Chamber Musical

Steven Suskin | Posted 01.10.2015 | Arts
Steven Suskin

This is the master's earliest professionally-produced musical; that is, it is his earliest musical to receive a professional production, albeit 40-odd years later.

Here's Your First Glimpse Of Meryl Streep Singing In 'Into The Woods'

The Huffington Post | Matthew Jacobs | Posted 10.26.2014 | Entertainment

Here is a clip of Meryl Streep playing a witch and singing a Stephen Sondheim ballad. We don't need to say much else, but if you must know, it's the f...

A Satiating Sweeney at Porchlight

Robert Bullen | Posted 12.20.2014 | Chicago
Robert Bullen

Sweeney and I go way back. It was the first musical where I found myself blown away by not just the music, but also the plot.

Beware Your Fantasy: It Might Just Come True!

George Heymont | Posted 12.09.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Fairy tales, short stories, and playlets have a way of infecting the imagination to produce new variations on age-old themes. In June, Wily West Productions joined forces with the Playwrights Center of San Francisco to present Sheherezade 14, an evening of short plays written by local playwrights and directed by Wesley Cayabyab and Amy Crumpacker.

Transgression: Turn-Kick-Turn/One-Two-Kick-Turn

Barry Singer | Posted 11.26.2014 | Arts
Barry Singer

As bad as things can seem these days for musicals on Broadway -- as vacuous, as child-centric or adult-nostalgic as most Broadway musicals distressingly are at the moment -- the good news is that there are Broadway ticket buyers also paying to see Hedwig. Which is extraordinary.

Field Notes From a Music Biz Life (Part 2)

Michael Sigman | Posted 10.20.2014 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

My father, the songwriter Carl Sigman, had died a few days before at my parents' Long Island home and I'd just been on the receiving end of a verbal thrashing, in Thai, from an enraged restaurateur whose tiny ad we'd had the gall to run near the equally tiny ad of his Thai food rival.

It's About the Music, Stupid!

George Heymont | Posted 10.11.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

With so many people listening to music through earbuds, I frequently wonder if any of them have a library of music resting within their memory that they can access without the help of an electronic device.

George Chakiris Remembers Company Co-Star Elaine Stritch

Debra Levine | Posted 10.04.2014 | Arts
Debra Levine

The still handsome, still-fit Chakiris, who now designs jewelry, enjoys reminiscing. But two weeks after Stritch's death in Michigan at 89, he wants to set the record straight.

The Great Dream: An American Opera

Daron Hagen | Posted 09.17.2014 | Arts
Daron Hagen

We're in for a wild ride the next few years. Some really great operas are going to be produced. The Great Dream is coming true.