“A BED AND A CHAIR: A New York Love Affair” was a Stephen Sondheim compilation presented by New York City Center and Jazz At At Lincoln Center, and as longtime Sondheimite, I’m sad to say I missed what promised to be a glorious night at the theater.
Another Sondheim revue, you say? Yeah, I know.
But this one promised to be different, as the over two-dozen Sondheim songs were sifted through jazzy arrangements via Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, who acted not only as musical director of the show, but performed with the Jazz At Lincoln Center orchestra.
And headlining? Only the peerless Sondheim muse Bernadette Peters, and the incomparable Norm Lewis, along with the fantastic Jeremy Jordan and Cyrille Aimée.
AND the show was directed by the brilliant John Doyle, who won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for the genius revival of Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” – with Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone – almost a decade ago, and has also helmed revivals of “Company” and “Merrily We Roll Along.”
Damn! I missed all that?!
But in our modern age of technology where (almost) nothing goes uncaptured, I was hopeful that some denizen in the dark whipped out their cellphone to somehow encapsulate some of the magic.
Thank you, denizen.
One YouTuber by the name of ggjohnson posted two separate clips of “The Ladies Who Lunch,” as performed by all four headliners. This piece, originally by the eternal Elaine Stritch from the classic “Company” (but you knew that already), sprinkles other Sondheim gems throughout the performance – “Agony” (from “Into The Woods”), “Can That Boy Foxtrot” (from “Follies”) and “Uptown, Downtown” (from “Marry Me A Little”/”Follies”) – to create a medley that you wouldn’t think would work, but, together, form a new amalgamation that cabaret performers will replicate for years to come.
The first minute or so of the video fade in and out of darkness, as gg was conspicuously trying to go unnoticed, but even with these minor caveats – and hopefully with the blessing of gg, who owns this footage – I edited both clips together as a whole for a streamlined view of this extraordinary medley.
One part of two, this is a delight to behold. Thank you gg!