“Bear in mind that musicals are presentational plays. The whole idea of a musical is out front. Numbers go out front, no matter how intense, they go out front… That’s what makes musicals entirely different from plays. As an actor, you can just play the scene. If you’re a performer and it’s a number, you have to make it land, if that’s what’s required. And to make it land doesn’t mean just to sing loudly. It means everything—from the acting to the voice to the presentation. Also the lights. Remember, when a musical number begins, the lights go down. That doesn’t often happen in a scene. So everything conspires to make the moment false. And your job is to make it true. And at the same time please the audience.” —Stephen Sondheim, interviewed by James Lipton during a craft seminar at the New School in New York City, which appeared on the Bravo network as an episode of Inside the Actors Studio, later excerpted in The Paris Review.
“Gypsy (1962) — An extremely unpleasant version of the Broadway musical based on Gypsy Rose Lee’s Memoirs.” —
Pauline Kael’s review of Gypsy (as reprinted in 5001 Nights at the Movies)
“This picture has been made as if the director (Harold Prince) had never seen a movie.” —Pauline Kael’s review of A Little Night Music (as reprinted in 5001 Nights at the Movies)