Posts Tagged With: Company

Day 3253: Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim, musical genius and creator of tunes, words, and musicals that have sustained me for decades, died yesterday.

I just took this photo of these books that are always near me:

Those books — “Finishing the Hat” and “Look, I Made a Hat” — contain his lyrics for all his musical numbers and descriptions of his creative process. I love his creations so much that two years ago, my request to Michael for a birthday present was that he just find the blue book, which was packed away in boxes after our last move.

Stephen Sondheim’s music moves me like no others’. I’m sure there are hundreds of blog posts here that feature his music.

Stephen Sondheim’s music has always spoken to me, even when I didn’t know it was him. One of the first songs I chose to sing in front of an audience was “Do I Hear a Waltz” when I was a little kid. Years later, I found out that he had written the lyrics for that. When I was 13 and struggling to physically and emotionally survive heart issues, I was completely captured by a TV production of “Evening Primrose,” which sent me to John Collier‘s incredible short stories. Years later, I found out that Stephen Sondheim had written the lyrics and music for that. When I was dealing with heart problems in 2016, I chose to share this beautiful song from “Evening Primrose” in this blog.

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Before A Little Night Music opened on Broadway in 1973, it came through Boston and I saw it with my beloved late parents, who took me to many, many musicals. I was completely enchanted by all the music, including this:

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Today’s Daily Bitch Calendar mentions clowns!

Honestly, everything is going to evoke Sondheim for me right now.

When I was in my early 20’s, I was part of The Vocal Minority for a local production of Company. Sitting on stage with the musicians, I hit all those high notes and, to this day, the score feels like it’s a part of my mind, body, and soul. Eleven days ago, I saw the latest version of Company on Broadway with my son Aaron, (who appeared, when he was in high school, in a local production of Assassins in the role of John Wilkes Booth).

My cherished, late friend Michelle loved “Being Alive” from that musical, and her partner, Joe, recounted at her memorial how Michelle insisted he listen to that song the night they met. Joe played “Being Alive” for us as we gathered in 2018 to grieve her loss.

Stephen Sondheim, who is no longer being alive on this earthly plane, has helped so many of us in being alive.

One of my most memorable experiences in the theater was seeing the original production of Sweeney Todd on Broadway in 1977. I can still feel the startling whistle blast and see the stage in my mind, as the chorus sang the opening — “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd.”

A few years later, in the early 1980’s, I tried out for a local production of Sweeney Todd, hoping to be in the chorus to sing this amazing music. For days and days after I auditioned, I waited painfully to hear back from the production. I did not get the call and rehearsals began, as I grieved the chance to participate. The day after the first rehearsal, I got a call from the show’s producer. She said, “Ann, why weren’t you at rehearsal last night?” I said, not adjusting to this new information, “I wasn’t there because I didn’t get in.” She said, “What? Nobody called you? Oh no! You’re in!” I was ecstatic, and that was a peak experience of my life, learning and singing that profoundly gorgeous music for months.

Sondheim seemed to focus on and create works that have deeper meanings for me. In the 1980’s, I became obsessed with the Italian film Passione D’Amore. A few years later, Sondheim created the musical Passion based on that film, which includes this incredible song:

One of the reasons I cry and grieve today is that, at the time of his death, Stephen Sondheim was working on a new musical that is based on two films of Luis Buñuel, one of my favorite film directors. I wanted to see and hear that musical, but I also have faith that Sondheim has left us enough.

I could go on and on with more memories about how important Stephen Sondheim’s music has been to me. Instead, I’ll just share images from yesterday, captured before and after I heard the news of his passing.

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Here is “No One is Alone” — the profound Sondheim words and music I shared last night on Twitter:

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No one is alone. To Stephen Sondheim, to all who have interpreted and been moved by his artistry, and — of course! — to you, for sharing this with me, here and now, thank you so much!

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 3243: What does FOMO stand for?

Friends Of Mine, Our Fear Of Missing Out is a Frequently Occurring Malady. Ouch!

Fear Of Missing Out Flings Our Minds On Frantic Odysseys, Many Outrageous.

Fear Of Missing Out Fractures Our Mindfulness Of Fortunate Opportunities, Masking Options.

Fear Of Missing Out on Freshly Observed Manhattan Objects?

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Fear Of Missing One Fabulously Original Musical Opus?

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Finally, Our Major Objective:

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2332: The little things

Five hundred and forty-two little days ago (but who’s counting these little things?), little ol’ me wrote a little blog post,  Day 1790: Thankful for the little things.  Yesterday, I was a little perturbed by many little things when I was writing yesterday’s little post, so  I sent Michael this little email:

Hello my darling,
I would say we have an infestation of ants .  This is based on many of them crawling on me this morning while I was blogging, which is a new experience for me here at Squanticello.  Let us research kind ways to invite them to leave.
Much love,
Ann

When I got home from work, Michael was more than a little freaked out at the not-so-little size of the invaders, which turned out to be carpenter ants. He said, “Usually I don’t think of insects as animals, but these enormous winged things are definitely animals.” Michael spent many little moments yesterday identifying the big ants’ little points of entry and applying spray that is kind to little things like children and pets.

I didn’t take any pictures of those little things, but I invite you to spot the little things in today’s little photos.

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I don’t see any little or large ants as I’m creating this little post, so I’d say that Michael’s efforts paid off, in a big way.

Here‘s “The Little Things You Do Together” from a little musical called Company:

Here are the great lyrics to “The Little Things You Do Together”  by that musical giant, Stephen Sondheim:

It’s the little things you do together
Do together
Do together
That make perfect relationships.
The hobbies you pursue together
Savings you accrue together
Looks you misconstrue together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s the little things you share together
Swear together
Wear together
That make perfect relationships.
The concerts you enjoy together
Neighbors you annoy together
Children you destroy together
That keep marriage intact.

It’s not so hard to be married
When two maneuver as one
It’s not so hard to be married
And Jesus Christ, is it fun.

It’s sharing little winks together
Drinks together
Kinks together
That make marriage a joy.
The bargains that you shop together
Cigarettes you stop together
Clothing that you swap together
That make perfect relationships.

It’s not talk of God and the decade ahead that
Allows you to get through the worst.
It’s “I do,” and, “You don’t,” and, “Nobody said that,”
And, “Who brought the subject up first?”

It’s the little things…
The little things, the little things, the little things

The little ways you try together
Cry together
Lie together
That make perfect relationships.
Becoming a cliche together
Growing old and gray together
Withering away together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s not so hard to be married,
It’s much the simplest of crimes.
It’s not so hard to be married,
I’ve done it three or four times.

It’s people that you hate together
Bait together
Date together
That make marriage a joy.
It’s things like using force together
Shouting till you’re hoarse together
Getting a divorce together
That make perfect relationships.
Uh uh
Kiss kiss
Mmmm mmmmm.

I’m greatly looking forward to all your little comments, below.

Gratitude for the little things helps me deal with all the little and big things every day, so big thanks to those who help me create this little blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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Soon after publishing this post, I made up some new little lyrics for that song, more relevant for tall Michael and little me:

It’s battling ants together
Making sure you dance together
Keeping the romance together
That make perfect relationships.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 389: Company

It’s time for a Random Thoughts post!

For your amusement and edification,1 I shall now free-associate about the word “company.”

“Company” is a musical by Stephen Sondheim.

I love musicals. My favorite musical-ist (to coin a word) is Stephen Sondheim.

I especially love the musical “Company.”

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“Company” is special to me, for many reasons:

  1. I find the music, lyrics, the book — and everything else about “Company” — very smart.
  2. Despite critics saying that Sondheim musicals are too cerebral, cold, or (insert any other critical word here), I find his work emotional, illuminating, and all-around excellent — for the mind, heart, and soul.
  3. When I was in my 20’s, I tried out for a local production of “Company,” and got to sing my heart — and brains — out during several months of rehearsals and performances.
  4. In many ways, Sondheim has made my life worth living.

Company is something I seek, but also need to balance with alone time.

Connecting with others is very important to me, and something I love to do.

Sometimes, when company is there, I am yearning to be alone.

When I was a little kid in the hospital, I would wait, with every fiber of my being, for visiting hours to begin, so my mother and other people in my life could come and visit me.

Sometimes I feel alone in the company of others.

When I feel less safe and secure (due to external and/or internal conditions), it is especially difficult to tolerate being alone.

Lately (as described here and here), I’ve been using the GPS-type app, Waze, for company, when I drive to and from work.  Other helpful company — here in the Blog-o-sphere —  have helped me realize that Waze might not be the best company for that situation.

A couple of days ago, to replace Waze during drive-time, I returned to the company of an old musical friend, Pat Metheny:

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I had a little trouble deciding which video to include here, but I can never resist this tune (and it reflects my recent experience — listening to the album Pat made with Anna Maria Jopek):

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If you don’t have time to watch or listen to that live version (although I hope you do get to check it out, at some point, especially Pat soloing, starting around 4:30) …. here’s a different, short piece from the Pat Metheny and Anna Maria Jopek album, Upojenie:

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In many ways, Pat Metheny has helped make my life worth living.

Thanks to Stephen Sondheim, to Pat Metheny, to all those connections that have helped so much,  and to you — of course! — for visiting today.


  1. At least that is my intent.

  2. I found that at The Stephen Sondheim Reference Guide.

  3. I chose this video, made by the University of Rhode Island about their production of Company, because it suited my purposes and intent for this blog post. Also, Note This: When I use footnote superscripts, I can’t put them on the same line with a video that’s imbedded within a post.  So this footnote needs to be hanging out there, alone, on the line, without any company … even if it looks weird.

  4. I found that image here.

  5.  Thanks to waltermigratore, and to that lonely superscript number “5”, hanging out in space above.

  6. Thanks to alleviate1. You know what? That last hanging-out-in-mid-air superscript probably doesn’t feel quite alone, having two others just like it, in the same post.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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