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September 22, 1997 - #1
What is this column going to be about, you ask? Well, a little thisa and a little thata (as Lola would say), the latest goings on in the world of musicals, my feelings on any and everything, recipes, and of course information on our favorite topic: Mr. Sondheim. You can send me questions, which I'll in turn answer. Send comments, questions, "get-rich-quick schemes", and anything else on your mind to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll do my best to reply to as many as I can, here in the column.
Here's an example of a question you might ask The Real A:
Hey, Real A, is there symbolism in the fact that Sweeney Todd, the barber is barbarous?
The Real A would answer:
What kind of a stupid question is that?
Seriously, you all ask anything and I all will answer to the best of my ability -- which fluctuates from day to day.
Among the questions I'm asked, the most frequent is, of course, who is "The Real A." Well, how to answer this question? The Real A is either male or female, but not both. The Real A is not a vegetarian. The Real A knows a bit about the musical theater because The Real A may or may not be involved in it, but probably is. The Real A may or may not have actual friends. All guesses are welcome.
Now, there have been many discussions about Mr. Andrew Lloyd Webber vs. Mr. Stephen Sondheim. Well, did you know that both of them wrote songs about each other? Here are excerpts from them:
Here's a little story that should make you cry,
With one look you will lose your grace,
Assassins is about how society interprets the American Dream, marginalizes outsiders and rewrites and sanitizes its collective history. "Something Just Broke" is a major distraction and plays like an afterthought, shoe horned simply to appease. The song breaks the dramatic fluidity and obstructs the overall pacing and climactic arc which derails the very intent and momentum that makes this work so compelling...
- Mark Bakalor
Which is not to say that it is perfect...
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