Sunday, January 17, 2010

Frank Rich, Side by Side with Stephen Sondheim at Williams Jan. 23

Stephen Sondheim (L) and Frank Rich have taken their show on the road.

In what is likely the best free event of the year, critic and New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Rich will settle into Chapin Hall at Williams College this Saturday, January 23 for a nice chat with Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim. Rich first met Sondheim when he was writing for the Harvard Crimson and reviewed the pre-Broadway tryout of Follies in 1971. It's a classic.They have been fast friends ever since.

In these sit-downs, Rich asks the questions, and Sondheim answers them with creativity, clarity and class. There are no secrets between the men, and because of that, we get to know both much better. While the session is free, reservations are a must, and needs to be done asap. Go to this link and click on the Read More to reserve tickets. Or go directly to the request form.

Since Rich and Sondheim have taken this "show" on the road before, I found this question Harvard Arts Beat recently asked Rich very apropos:

How do you keep ongoing conversations with Sondheim fresh? Do you have to repeat information?

Rich: Not much. I follow my nose. It’s not pre-scripted. I keep a running list of things I want to ask him. He’s incredibly candid and will answer anything. He’s really thoughtful. Obviously, he has a way with words, and he is quite brilliant and takes himself lightly.

And if you don't read the weekly Frank Rich op-ed political column in the New York Times, here's a link to his latest. He covers the political scene as if it were theatre. Elections, after all, are nothing but acting, artifice and illusion anyway, aren't they? And all too often real life decisions are made on the basis of how they will play in the media rather than in real life.

That's why I think the more time you spend with people like Rich and Sondheim, the more you know about life.

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