New Sondheim Musical Just Twenty People Singing Different Songs at the Same Time
by Kath Dunham. @kathdunham.
NEW YORK, NY - Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim announced today the development of his latest musical, sharing, exclusively with The Broadway Beat, that his new show is just two and a half hours of twenty people singing different songs at the same time, the Broadway legend confirmed.
“I wanted to challenge myself and build off of numbers I’ve written for musicals like Company and Into The Woods, where five or six characters sing at the exact same time,” noted Sondheim. “We don’t give audiences enough credit. They want complexity. They want fresh structure. They want two dozen Broadway actors belting at the same time, constantly, for two and a half hours with no intermission - and that’s exactly what this show gives them.”
New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley praised the technical aspects of Sondheim’s latest.
“Each of the individual songs being sung has its own melody and complicated internal rhyme scheme,” wrote Brantley. “It’s really a masterpiece. Sondheim has never been afraid to tackle heavy and thought-provoking issues, and what better way to give those issues the weight and attention they deserve than by having twenty voices sing about them at once.”
So far, audience reviews have been equally positive.
“At first, there was just one character on stage singing their internal monologue,” reported audience member Peggy Cabello after taking in a workshop of the musical. “And then a second character entered singing about the plot. And then finally a third and fourth character entered singing a duet about how in love they are. It was just amazing. Sondheim is a genius, and no, I don’t know what was going on.”
At press time, Cabello admitted that she wasn’t actually able to understand any of the songs’ lyrics, but that they were all stuck in her head, playing at the same time and causing massive headaches.