Andrei Strizek

Music | Musings

Sondheimas 2k16: "Something's Coming/Everybody Says Don't" with Ariana Debose

Ariana DeBose is another veteran Sondheimas performing, returning after last year's knock-out performance of "The Ladies Who Lunch." Fortunately, this year our shows were on a Monday, when Hamilton is dark, so Ari didn't have to race to 54 Below after her show like she did last year. Ari's song this year was a medley of "Something's Coming" from West Side Story and "Everybody Says Don't" from Anyone Can Whistle, arranged by Kurt Crowley.

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Advice From: Geoff Dyer

Beware of clichés. Not just the ­clichés that Martin Amis is at war with. There are clichés of response as well as expression. There are clichés of observation and of thought – even of conception. Many novels, even quite a few adequately written ones, are ­clichés of form which conform to clichés of expectation.
— Geoff Dyer

Geoff Dyer's rules for writing fiction work just as well with music & non-fiction

Sondheimas 2k16: "Putting It Together" with James Jackson, Jr.

Your task: Take a pseudo-minimalist Sondheim song and change it into one with a funk groove. Make sure to keep it interesting. Find a way that showcases James's voice and personality. Finished product: our "Putting It Together," which brought down the house at both Sondheimas performances.

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Sondheimas 2k16: "Evening Primrose" with Ali Ewoldt and Olli Haaskivi

Evening Primrose is one of the stranger parts of Sondheim's output. An hour-long tv show written in 1966 with James Goldman. This evening, our Charles was Olli Haaskivi; our Ella, Ali Ewoldt. Both tackled the material with aplomb - as did the wonderful band. I enjoyed every song we played at Sondheimas, but this suite was one of my favorites to perform.

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Sondheimas 2k16: "It Takes Two" with Nikka Graff Lanzarone and George Abud

My rehearsal with Nikka and George for this year's Sondheimas was one of the zaniest rehearsals I've been a part of. The two of them have a ridiculous amount of chemistry together, and I regret that we can only see a smidge of that in their banter at the beginning of this video. But throughout the rest of the song - well, they're both delightfully charming and goofy and full of that joie de vivre that makes this a special performance.

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