« A Chanukah Miracle | Main | Book Report: Little Dorritt »

Encore the Third: Answers

OK, it's embarrassing even to think about what a disaster the Special All-Sondheim Encore was, but just in case any of y'all want the answers, I feel I should proffer them up.

The first one was, I though, only a little tricky. Sure, it's from West Side Story, and it's from one of the most well-known songs from that well-known show, but it's not from the bit that Maria sings, it's from the bit that the chorus sings about Maria:

Have you met my good friend Maria,
The craziest girl on the block?
You'll know her the minute you see her,
She's the one who is in an advanced state of shock.

You can see the clip from the movie on YouTube, of course: I Feel Pretty; my word is at around 2:05. It is possible, of course, that the word is not echt Steven Sondheim; there are stories about the extent to which Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents were involved in the lyrics, but declined credit so as to help out the kid.

The next word I thought was pretty easy: from A Little Night Music; here's a clip from, I believe, a production at Carnegie Mellon, in which the first go-round of “Remember” comes in and our word is at around 2:15.

Remember? Remember?
The tenor on the boat that we chartered
Belching “The Bartered Bride”
Ah, how we laughed!
Ah, how we cried!
Ah, how you promised, and ah, how I lied.

By the way, it does appear that interested people can watch the entirety of at least two pretty reasonable productions of the show on YouTube. Not the best way to see the show, but heck, not so bad, either.

The third word was guessed: “No Place Like London”, from Sweeney Todd.

I too have sailed the world and seen its wonders/for the cruelty of men is as wondrous as Peru

It also appears that, for now, anyway, you can watch the whole (albeit in a ton of pieces) of the George Hearn/Angela Lansbury production that was filmed for broadcast on Showtime, I think. The relevant clip is this one; my word is around 3:47 or so.

For D, I picked another early one, from Gypsy, another one of the best-known songs, and a song that became a standard, I think.

Honey, everything's coming up roses and daffodils!
Everything's coming up sunshine and Santa Claus!
Everything's gonna be bright lights and lollipops!
Everything's coming up roses for me and for you!

Here's Ethel Merman (2:13), here's Angela Lansbury (2:52), here's Ruthie Henshaw (2:17), here's Rosalind Russell, except that it's a voice double (2:21), here's Bette Midler (4:31), here's Liza Minelli and the Muppets (4:42).

This one is more obscure, from Passions, at the end of ”I Read”:

I find it lovely. Probably because it's ruined,I suppose.
I didn't know there was a castle.
I like to take excursions there
When I'm in better health
Perhaps you can join me and my cousin
One day…

There is, again, a video on-line of the whole scene, with the word at 4:22 from the filmed production, and another version (4:24) with Patti LuPone in what appears to be a concert version.

I am surprised nobody got the next one, which is repeated again and again in the title song from Into the Woods.

I wish…
You wish to go to the Festival?
(The poor girl's mother had died)
You, Cinderella, the Festival?
You wish to go to the Festival?
What, you, Cinderella, the Festival?
The Festival?!
What, you wish to go to the Festival?
The Festival?
The King's Festival?
(And her father had taken for his new wife)
The Festival
(a woman with two daughters of her own).

Here's an odd video with the original London cast; there are lots of other versions available, but the filmed Broadway production seems to have been taken down for now.

The G word was guessed: “Comedy Tonight”, from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Something familiar,
Something peculiar,
Something for everybody:
Comedy tonight!
Something that's gaudy,
Something that's bawdy--
Something for everybawdy!
Comedy tonight!

Here's a terrible-quality video of Nathan Lane, and here are the Muppets, although they don't do that verse at the end. But, you know, the Muppets.

The next one is a trifle obscure, but as YHB had (incorrectly) thought there were quite a few easy one, I felt justified in putting in one from Marry Me a Little; this is “Uptown, Downtown”:

Uptown, she's stepping out with a swell.
Downtown, she's holding hands on the El.
Hyphenated Harriet, the nouveau from New Rochelle.

Uptown, she's got the Vanderbilt clans.
Downtown, she's with the sidewalk Cezannes.
Hyphenated Harriet, the nouveau from New Rochelle.

There aren't a lot of videos, unsurprisingly, but I quite like this one, just some guy and his piano.

What are we up to, now? Oh, yes. Oddly enough, when I made my list, I wrote down its use in “Maybe They're Magic” (0:35), from Into the Woods.

There are rights and wrongs
And in-betweens-
No one waits
When fortune intervenes.
And maybe they're really magic,
Who knows?

But when I'm not actually looking at my list, I've been thinking I had chosen “Liaisons” (when emotion intervenes/the nets descend). Hm.

I didn't want to use too many from A Little Night Music, though, so I'm glad I picked the other one. Since the next word is from “A Weekend in the Country”.

Just a weekend in the country--
Smelling jasmine--
Watching little things grow.

It's a dick joke, you know. Here's a clip from the movie, the word is around 2:16.

The next one is from “Please Hello” (1:13), which is in itself worth the price of admission to Pacific Overtures.

But we bring many recent invention:
Kerosene and cement and a grain elevator
A machine you can rent called a train—maybe later
—Also cannon to shoot big loud salute, like so: say hello!

For those who are unfamiliar, well, I could explain, but I'm not sure it would work.

The next one is from Assassins, the “Ballad of Czolgosz”

Czolgosz, Angry man,
Said, "I will do what a poor man can.
Yes, and there's nowhere more fitting than
In the Temple Of Music by the Tower Of Light
Between the Fountain Of Abundance and the Court of Lilies
At the great Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, in Buffalo.

There aren’t any good quality videos (that I found), but you can find a few clips like this one. I guess the reputation of the show is rising a bit, if lots of colleges and such are putting it on. I dunno. While there are things I like about the thing, as a show, it’s pretty terrible. So I’m not surprised this one went unpegged.

The next one, on the other hand, seemed to me obvious. It’s from “Everybody Ought to Have a Maid”, from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, one of the great show-stoppers of all time.

Everybody ought to have a maid
Everybody ought to have a menial
Consistantly congenial
And quieter than a mouse.

You must see the version at the Proms concert for Mr. Sondheim’s 80th with Simon Russell Beale and Daniel Evans. Really, you must see it. So good. In fact, here, I'll embed it:

Jed said he wouldn’t be surprised if Nouveau and Optical were in Sunday in the Park with George, and he won’t be surprised that one of them is, in “Putting it Together”

It's not enough knowing good from rotten—
You're telling me.
When something new pops up everyday—
You're telling me.
It's only new, though, for now—Nouveau!—
But yesterday's forgotten.
And tomorrow is already passe.
There's no surprise.
But that is the state of the art, my friend.
That is the state of the art.

Warning, though: I haven’t found a video of this bit of the show. There are lots of versions of the song, often with new lyrics, some of them Sondheim lyrics, but those don’t start with the “state of the art” chat that comes after the Chromolume blows up but before George comes in.

Now we go back to Company for the next word, from “The Ladies Who Lunch”:

And here's to the girls who play smart—
Aren't they a gas?
Rushing to their classes
In optical art
Wishing it would pass.
Another long exhausting day,
Another thousand dollars,
A matinee, a Pinter play,
Perhaps a piece of Mahler's.
I'll drink to that.
And one for Mahler!

For a video, you have to go with Elaine Stritch (1:57),

Hey, somebody else guessed a song! It’s “America” from West Side Story.

Puerto Rico… you ugly island…
Island of tropic diseases.
Always the hurricanes blowing,
Always the population growing,
And the money owing,
And the babies crying,
And the bullets flying.
I like the island Manhattan—
Smoke on your pipe and put that in!

Because it’s the introductory bit, they often skip it if it’s an excerpt, but they start from the very beginning on the Letterman show in 2009, in a version well worth watching; our word is around 0:55.

Here’s one from Follies, which we haven’t touched yet, I think. It’s from “Could I Leave You”, an incredibly vicious song.

Could I leave you
And your shelves of the World's Best Books
And the evenings of martyred looks,
Cryptic sighs,
Sullen glares from those injured eyes?
Leave the quips with a sting, jokes with a sneer,
Passionless lovemaking once a year?

Here’s Alexis Smith (1:10) with a very dry version; here’s Lee Remick (1:10) with a slightly less dry version, and here’s Carol Burnett with a version that isn’t dry at all, it’s practically submersed—but which doesn’t contain the magic word, alas.

Speaking of Carol Burnett skipping the magic word, here’s her with George Hearn, Bronson Pinchot, Ruthie Henshall and the possibly-a-tad-good-looking John Barrowman, pretty much just singing the first two verses of Old Friends over and over. Grrr.

New friends pour
Through the revolving door
Maybe there's one that's more.
If you find one, that'll do.
But us, old friends,
What's to discuss, old friends?
Here's to us!
Who's like us?

There’s a high school production (3:37) that is surprisingly watchable, despite the essential problem with high-schoolers playing these particular roles. Ah, well. At least they sing the whole song and include the word from my list.

The next one is a song I don’t think of as Sondheim, and that I don’t think of as coming from Gypsy, although of course it did.

Got my tweed crest
Got my best vest
All I need now is the girl
Got my striped tie
Got my hopes high
Got the time and the place and I got rhythm
Now all I need is the girl to go with'm

I can’t immediately locate the wonderful Mel Torme version (with the Marty Paich dek-tette) online, but here are Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello on Hullaballoo (0:23), and here is Harry Connick, Jr. (1:11) taking it slow, and here’s Matthew Morrison (1:13) taking it gleeful.

Your Humble Blogger was tempted to offer the rhyme for the next word, although I don't know that it would have helped. Still, it ain't easy to rhyme the word, and once you come up with the rhyme, it ain't easy to make the grammar work.

Have some tea, my lord, some chrysanthemum tea,
While we plan, if we can, what our answer ought to be.
If the tea the Shogun drank will serve to keep the Shogun tranquil,
I suggest, if I may, my lord, we consult the Confucians
They have mystical solutions. There are none wise as they, my lord

I don't know whether to be grateful to be living in the YouTube moment, when stuff like this poor-quality recording (2:34) is available. I think they have the whole show chopped up into these little pieces (just this one number is spread over at least three), and with the blurry video and the muddy audio, it's a guaranteed headache to try to watch the whole deal. And yet, I hadn't expected ever to see any record of the original production, and there it is, in the comfort of my own netbook.

We're almost done. Whew!

The next song is another one of those great older-woman songs that Mr. Sondheim writes. Alas, the only lyric that people know from “I'm Still Here” is the admittedly brilliant synopsis of the arc of actresshood: First you're another Sloe-eyed vamp, then someone's mother, then you're camp. Then you career from career to career. But it's a great list song, almost a patter song, but poignant.

I've stuffed the dailies
In my shoes.
Strummed ukuleles,
Sung the blues,
Seen all my dreams disappear,
But I'm here.

Let's see… I'm not sure anybody deserves to sing this one more than Eartha Kitt (0:24). Or, if you want to talk about careering from career to career, how about Eartha Kitt (0:23)?

Now, because the rest of these were too damn easy, a couple of tricky ones. First, the title song of “Do I Hear a Waltz?”. Which is tricky enough, but there are two versions, and the one that was in the show doesn't have the bit that goes:

Do I hear a waltz? I don't understand
It sounds like a waltz, but where is the band?
A rose is a rose, and this isn't Vienna
It's me, I suppose, hold my hand, there it goes again, a
remarkable waltz that seems to be real
but is it a waltz, or just how I feel?

I believe that the original and rejected version that contains the lines above is the one that Mr. Sondheim polished up for the Putting it Together review, from which you can see Carol Burnett and George Hearn take it.

And my W is not from a musical play at all, but from a movie. It's the Madam's song from The Seven Percent Solution, and it's really astonishingly rude and lovely. ”I Never Do Anything Twice” is the title and the theme.

And then there was the abbot
Who worshipped at my feet
Who dressed me in a wimple and in veils
He made a proposition which
I found rather sweet
And handed me a hammer and some nails

She does get in the habit, by the way, but she doesn't get in the habit. Whenever one of her beaux asks for a repeat performance, she tells them that she knows it's hard, but while she will do anything once, she never does anything twice. Here's someone named Lara Bruckmann (3:35) doing a fine job with it as a cabaret number, which was always its true destiny.

I thought the next one would be easy, actually. George is singing in the voice of a dog, or rather the voices of two dogs.

Stuck all week on a lady's lap.
Nothing to do but yawn and nap.
Can you blame me if I yap?
Nope.

Again, I can't seem to find the Mandy Patinkin clip on-line (I assume it has been policed away), and none of the other clips includes the relevant parts of “The Day Off”, but about four minutes into this clip we have parts of the doggie discussion, with yapping, but without the actual word yap.

And finally, I just realized I cheated for Z: it's from “The Ladies who Lunch” again.

Another chance to disapprove,
Another brilliant zinger,
Another reason not to move,
Another vodka stinger.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!
I'll drink to that.

Rather that give somebody else's version, here's behind the scenes at recording the original cast album (5:36)

And that's my atoz. Lots of BUs for Matt H, some for Jacob and Jed and, alas, not to many for YHB.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.

Comments

Thanks for the detailed answers. With links, yet!

This really makes clear just how little Sondheim I know—and in fact, how little I've seen or even heard.

I saw the movie of West Side Story, but didn't think much of it, and was never fond of the music, so I don't know those songs well. I love A Little Night Music and listen to it regularly (and a Stanford student production was one of the best pieces of live theatre I've ever seen), but even though I would've told you I would recognize most of the words to "Remember," I did not even remotely recognize the line 'Belching “The Bartered Bride"'; had to go listen to that bit of the song to even figure out how it fit.

Sweeney Todd I also know reasonably well, from listening to the album a bunch, and from a TV version I saw on video some years back. Which I thought starred Len Cariou, but maybe it was the George Hearn version you linked to? Don't think so, but not sure. Anyway, there are a bunch of songs I'm not fond of and tend to skip. I do like "No Place Like London," though, and recognized the line when y'all quoted it, but wouldn't have come up with it on my own.

I've never seen or heard Gypsy, Passions, Marry Me a Little, Assassins, Company, Follies, or Putting It Together, and had previously never even heard of the two revues in that set. I really ought to go out and attempt to watch or at least listen to most of those, excepting Assassins which nobody ever seems to have a good word for.

I've seen TV, movie, and/or video versions of Into the Woods, Funny Thing Happened, and Sunday in the Park; liked Woods, not so fond of the others (except for "Color and Light"), but I see in a comment on the previous Encore entry you said the movie of Funny Thing is bad, so perhaps I ought to give a live production another chance. Anyway, I've seen each of those only once, and don't really know any of the songs from them (except "Color and Light").

And you've played me the album of Pacific Overtures a couple of times, but it hasn't quite clicked for me. But I should give it another try at some point.


A few more notes:

I too like the version of "Uptown, Downtown" you linked to, the guy and piano; nice.

I would have thought I would recognize any line from "Weekend in the Country," and could sing most of it along with the recording, but I totally didn't know the word there was "jasmine." Another song I guess I don't know as well as I think I do.

I've been vaguely avoiding the movie of A Little Night Music for years, on the grounds that everyone says it's bad, but based on that scene you linked to, I'd agree with the YouTube poster who described it as "inferior, yet still charming." A good cast, and I particularly like Diana Rigg in that scene as Charlotte.

Although I've never quite understood why Charlotte gets alarmed at the end of the bit when she's telling her husband about it; if she didn't intend him to go, then why did she tell him? Did she think he would give up on Desiree?

I have no memory of having heard "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" before. I think what amuses me most about that video is how fey all four guys are behaving; I rather expected them to say "Everybody ought to have a maid outfit" or something.

John Barrowman! Swoon!

Drank will/tranquil! Hee!

Anyway, thanks for all the effort you put into all stages of this, and I'm sorry we didn't get more of them.


Comments are closed for this entry. Usually if I close comments for an entry it's because that entry gets a disproportionate amount of spam. If you want to contact me about this entry, feel free to send me email.