Andrei Strizek

Music | Musings

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

A series of posts looking at the music from Sondheimas 2016. The initial post can be viewed here, and the others can be found here.

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.

"It Takes Two" starts with a simple bell-tone; in Into the Woods it comes out of the middle of dialogue, so an introduction isn't really necessary. When thinking about how to start the piece, I remembered Nikka's tagline: "Just your average Baker's Wife trapped in a Witch's body" (Nikka, I'm sorry if I got the wording wrong!). So it only made sense to start the song with the music that is heard before the Witch's rap, teasing the audience a bit, giving a nod to Nikka's bio, and giving (not enough) time for Nikka and George to work the crowd before singing.

Most printed versions of this song go between 12/8 and 4/4 time (the 4/4 time being slightly swung). The revised score has it all in 4/4, which is what I prefer, but of course my arrangement is in 12/8. I'll fix it for next time.

I'm not sure if we need another production of Into the Woods quite yet, but when we are ready for it, I hope we get to see Nikka and George in the roles of the Baker's Wife and the Baker.

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