|Don't you love farce?|
Did you honestly think the Keeper of the Clown Bell was going to let the death of Stephen Sondheim pass without comment? Not a chance of that happening but, as is customary in polite society, if you’ve got something unpleasant to say about someone who just kicked the bucket then give it a week or two before hurling your insults. In the case of Sondheim I am understandably restrained in my pronouncements because his lyric “isn’t it rich?” has been a tagline of the KOTCB blog since 2004 so I owe him (as do we all) a debt for composing the Clown World anthem in that pivotal year of 1973. “Send in the Clowns” moaned forth from the Broadway stage in the year of the disposable lighter and Sleeper prescience or, put another way, the waning of the Evel era when the celebrated master reinvented the American musical by adapting a 1950’s Scandinavian art house flick into “A Little Night Music.”
I know, it’s just me, and I assume millions of other people because I can’t be the only one who feels this way, which is why I hesitate to call my objection a proper criticism when it’s really just a matter of taste. And I get it that there are others - cat lovers, thespians, Jesuits, etc. - who listen and listen and listen to Stephen Sondheim’s music on the daily. They love it. It’s amazing to hear them talk about it or read what they write about it. My gut feeling is that Sondheim fanatics are the same people who manufacture and operate Clown World and they have been doing so since 1973.
A peerless composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim stirred our souls, broadened our imaginations, and reminded us that no one is alone.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 27, 2021
He changed the theatre—and our culture—with his craft, his humor, and his heart. Everybody rise! pic.twitter.com/iWo3xcVh8g
Stephen Sondheim's work will be discovered and rediscovered for generations to come. As I mentioned during tonight’s Kennedy Center Honorees Reception at the White House, Sondheim was in a class of his own as a composer and lyricist.— President Biden (@POTUS) December 5, 2021