Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Similes very much part of Stephen Sondheim magic

Like  his mentor,  Oscar Hammerstein III,  Stephen Sondheim is  a  poet  of  musical  theater.  Unlike  Hammerstein he  is a composer as well as  lyricist.   While  his  music  certainly  is  indeed  unique and memorable,   his   genius resides in  the cleverness of   his  musical  word play.    It  should   therefore  come as no surprise  that   his  penchant  for   witty  similes was on display  in  his  very first and for a  long time unproduced musical  Saturday Night -- for example, the following from that show's title song:  "The moon’s like a million watt."

 Sondheim  also  likes to extend   his similes,  for example,  the following    from  "If  You Can Find Me"   in another of   his  lesser known shows,  Evening Primrose:  

When you wake up with one genius less
If you can find me, I’m here
And I’m free
Free as a bird in a tree
Free as the slippers I wear
Free with a year’s warrantee
Free as air
All of these products and me
All that I ask is a chair that tilts

The Keen Company's  revival  of  Marry Me a Little,  a  chamber musical  created to  call attention to   some  of  these Sondheim  rarities    also  included this   little  gem from  "Ah, But Underneath"  from the London production of  Follies:
"She was smart, tart, dry as a martini."