When I was in the fifth grade and first started being obsessed with Stephen Sondheim, I devoured the book Sondheim & Co. by Craig Zadan. Like, memorized it. Including the appendices, which included both a list of songs cut from each of Sondheim’s shows, and a list of cast recordings of each of the shows.
Over the years, I’ve managed to hear each and every one of those cut songs. And I had tracked down copies of every single cast recording mentioned. Except for one: Songs of Sondheim, the Dublin cast album of Side by Side by Sondheim.
I was starting to think this album didn’t actually exist. The reference to the album was removed from the second edition of Sondheim & Co., and one of my theater friends on Twitter who has EVERYTHING didn’t have it.
And then today, through the amazing connections we’ve all developed with people on the internet, and some indispensable help from youregonnalovetomorrow, I finally got to hear this album.
After about 25 years of build up, it was necessarily a let-down. But I love Side by Side by Sondheim so it’s a treat to hear an album of the material recorded by a different producer. This one is recorded live, and includes a bit of the narration. And, as you’ll hear on this track, the narrator steps in to sing one of the songs. And if I have any Irish readers, I hope they’ll forgive me for saying that I think “Could I Leave You” sung by someone who sounds like a leprechaun is simply irresistible. (Perhaps Jason Graae, Broadway singer and former voice of the Lucky Charms elf, could add this to a future cabaret act.)
Anyway, I can’t imagine that any of you reading this are as fascinated with this track as I am, but I couldn’t wait to share it. Enjoy.
Might I also add that I have a very special place in my heart for people who talk-sing Sondheim, and while no one does it quite like Julie Wilson, this deserves a spot of honor in any talk-sing mixtape.