“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.
"I Must Be Dreaming" performed by Cy Walter and Stan Freeman in 1948. One of the earliest professional recordings of a Sondheim song. The song is from All That Glitters, one of the shows Sondheim wrote in response to his charge from Oscar Hammerstein II.
First of all, doesn’t the song sound great when sung by a woman?
If you’ve never heard this album, it’s definitely worth seeking out. It’s a concept album, telling the story of one woman’s experience with relationships from the end of one through the rise and fall of another using showtunes both famous and rare, from Rodgers & Hammerstein to Frank Wildhorn and of course, Stephen Sondheim. The arrangements are smart and the orchestrations beautiful. And Christiane is at her best.
“Imagine that you are looking at pictures in a scrapbook, and, by the definition of looking through a scrapbook: sometimes you just open the scrapbook in the middle and look at that page; sometimes you go from the back to the front and you look at it that way. So, that’s what these stories are - you are just kind of opening up to another page and looking at the pictures on them.”—Sondheim’s take on the non-linear nature of Company, as quoted by Neil Patrick Harris in an interview on BroadwayWorld.com