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  • Writer's pictureMichael Doppe

On the "Road"

Glynis Johns...talking about A Little Night Music.

She is now 90 year's old. But I beleive that she has a deep profound and passionate voice, and effect on my life. My first crush? Perhaps. I was very young when I first saw Mary Poppins. But I was still old enough to know that I fancied that buttoned up suffragette, Mrs. Banks, more than Julie Andrews' (possible time lord) Prectically Perfect Nanny. Then I saw The Court Jester... Oh My Freakin' God!

Maybe it's her voice, but I am fascinated and in adoration of Glynis Johns.

I'll come back to that thought after I sing the praises of online piracy.

I don't have HBO. I used to at one time. but don't now. "6 by Sondheim" is an original HBO documentary that analyzes the life and art of one of the greatest composers and lyricists, Stephen Sondheim, through 6 of his greatest songs. Being an actor who does so many musicals, You can imagine my frustration when I found myself working on a Sondheim Show, when this documentary came out, and be unable to watch it! Fotrunatlely someone with an HBO account has posted the documentary in it's entirety on youtube. "I do not condone your actions and I thank you whole heartedly." So with my youtube cued, and coffee cup I was finally ready to watch "6BS" And who should pop up about halfway in but the raspy voice of my pupectent maturity.

"Glynis Johns, talking about A Little Night Music" More than that, Glynis talking about singing Sondheim! But more than "more than that", Sondheim talking about her singing.

When he wrote ""Send in the Clowns, He wrote it for Glynis' voice he described as a singer with a lower case "S". An great actor, but good singer who was singing the song of one of the most challenging writers alive. I don't know what it means that "Send in the Clowns" was Sondheims only real hit song, but I like it's implications. Especially as I move into playing Hollis in "Road Show" .

"Road Show", was a project that took Sondheim through 4 seperate staged versions over the course of a decade. It's the Story of 2 real brother's Wilson And Addison Mizner. One a conman the other an artist. Both charming lovable scoundrels. The script is written like a Crosby/Hope road movie, following their business endeavors and exploits around the world. The Production I am working on with San Francisco's Theatre Rhinoceros is the first west coast Production EVER. and as far as I know the first production since the rights were released. Our scripts/scores were pristine, as they had never been rented out before. It's a rare opportunity I have to sing these songs and tell this story, that rarley get told.

While preparing for Hollis I dove into the music and words. 3 weeks of late nights memorizing and doing runthroughs. have finally come to a head today as we finally move into the Eureka. We open in 4 days. first audience in 2. And I have been reminded of the opportunity I have been given. It's easy to take brilliance for granted, especially if you've become too familiar with it. But I find myself excited again to show the world our work, my work and Sondheims work.

"It's in your hand's now, boys. Make of it What you will, but make me proud."

-Stephen Sondheim

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