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Putting it Together With Stephen Sondheim -- John Frey
Odd Fellows Hall
San Luis Obispo, CA
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Putting it Together With Stephen Sondheim -- John Frey
Thursdays, May 10, 17, 24, 31,  1:00pm - 4:00pm

Oddfellows Hall,  SLO

Five Sessions

$20 for LLCC members, $40 for non-members.

This course will cover three Stephen Sondheim musicals and a Sondheim musical revue. You will see and learn about the musicals Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd (1979) and Putting it Together (1999), a musical revue showcasing the songs of Stephen Sondheim.

Stephen Sondheim (born March 22, 1930) is an American composer and lyricist for stage and film - a true genius of the musical theater. He is the winner of an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards including the Special Award for Lifetime Achievement, multiple Grammy Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize.

Follies concerns a nostalgic reunion of the past performers of the musical revue, "Weismann's Follies." It focuses on two married couples attending the reunion who are deeply unhappy with their marriages. Featured songs include Beautiful Girls, Waiting for the Girls Upstairs, I'm Still Here and Losing My Mind.

A Little Night Music was inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night.   Its plot revolves around the complex amorous entanglements of DesirĂ©e Armfeldt, a mature, sensual actress who is in the process of discarding one admirer while attempting to entice a former lover into marriage. Send in the Clowns is the featured song.

Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a musical thriller based on the 1973 play Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Christopher Bond.  This musical tells the story of Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after 15 years' transportation to Australia on false charges. When he learns that his wife poisoned herself after being raped by the judge who wrongly transported him, he vows revenge. Todd dispatches his victims by slitting their throats, pulling a lever while they are in his barber chair, which makes them fall backward down a revolving trapdoor into the basement of his shop. Their bodies are converted to the best meat pies in London by Mrs. Lovett.

Putting it Together is a musical revue showcasing the songs of Stephen Sondheim. The plot that ensues is a dinner party given by The Husband and The Wife, a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. The revue showcases Carol Burnett in her return to Broadway.

Each session will consist of a 30-minute commentary and discussion followed by a 2.5-hr video for each of the musicals. The 42-page course syllabus includes (1) an analysis of the plot of each of the works, (2) a synopsis and list of characters, (3) a description of the source material that inspired the work and (4) brief biographies of the composer and performers. A list of recommended CDs, DVDs and books will be provided. The course will lead you to an understanding of the scope and significance of the musicals of Stephen Sondheim.

John Frey is a retired Chemistry professor and a member of the boards of LLCC, Festival Mozaic and of Opera Lovers Meet.  He has performed in the chorus of Opera San Luis Obispo and the SLO Master Chorale.  He has had a lifelong love and passion for opera, choral music and musical theater.  He has made numerous commentaries and video presentations for SLOs Opera Lovers, OperaSLO and LLCC.

If you would like to have the password for the member price for this course, go to www.lifelearnerscc.org for information on how you can become a member.


Odd Fellows Hall (View)
520 Dana Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
United States


Education > Classes

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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