Friday in the Maj with Stephen

— 6th December 2012 —

Recently, Her Majesty’s Theatre was packed out by theatre lovers and the who’s who of Melbourne all gathering to hear Stephen Sondheim, a living Music Theatre legend, sharing inspiring insights and funny anecdotes from his life and work.

At 83, Sondheim is still working, still witty, still a lover of words and complex melodies. Though he shows no signs of stopping, I was also very aware that this could well be a once in a lifetime opportunity. So, off I went, thankful that the event had been postponed to suit my schedule!

One thing I hadn’t expected was to be treated to so many live performances and guest appearances throughout the afternoon! We heard classic Sondheim material being sung and played by Kellie Dickerson, Silvie Paladino, Christy Whelan-Brown, Hugh Sheridan and others. We were also thrilled to have Geoffrey Rush join Sondheim and host, Christopher Lawrence, on stage for a segment to talk about A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’which is currently playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

I madly scribbled notes in the dark and was one of the first to stand and applaud whenever the occasion presented itself (there was a standing ovation when Sondheim was first introduced, and at the conclusion of the afternoon).

Among the gems shared (including “It’s not about finding a rhyme for ‘orange’, but rather a rhyme for ‘day’…there are so many options!”), one of my favourite quotes from Sondheim was regarding his writing style: “Lie down to write, because then you are likely to fall asleep…and dreams solve problems”.

I skipped away feeling inspired, and am now ready to throw myself into some solid work on 'Reception: The Musical' Did you hear that? Reception is finally getting the attention it deserves. We will perform it in its entirety soon!

I couldn’t have been happier with the final date for ‘One Afternoon With Stephen Sondheim’ in Melbourne. I would certainly have missed it had it taken place as originally scheduled (Can you imagine? Poor me, stuck in Tuscany…)

All the World's a stage

— 4th December 2012 —

An excerpt from Bethany's latest AussieTheatre column...

"For the past two and half months, I’ve been globe trotting – some of the major stops being LA, San Fran, New York, London, Paris, Rome and Barcelona (to name a few!) It was the trip of a lifetime, and something I’ve wanted to do ever since my first overseas adventure with my family at the age of fourteen.

It was a little different this time around. Much more freedom, a lot more decision making and a considerably larger amount of food and drink being consumed daily (we lived on rations of fruit and yoghurt for 6 weeks when my Dad was in charge…)

Ah yes, globe trotting. An opportunity to see new things and to immerse yourself in another culture. I wrote a journal entry for each day that I was away, and looking over it now, one thing is for sure, it certainly is a fascinating old world."

Read the full article here.