Anita Rosenberg Muses on The Fantasticks

Anita Rosenberg and I were chatting when she came to see Somewhere There’s Music at Germano’s and she was kind enough to share these thoughts for this blog…

I went to see Michael, Mary, Kathy, Eileen and Barry last night at Germano’s and I say this as objectively as a groupie can, they were fabulous. Since they performed the wonderful show at The Corner Store it has grown in cohesiveness and energy. All of them were themselves, singing, pattering and harmonizing from the heart.

On another topic, I had a conversation with Michael last night before the show, about the following subject (bothering him while he was supposed to be saving his voice!) and he suggested I post this on his site.

Let me begin this by saying I am not one of you, a caberet singer, except for the Elaine Stritch that lives in me. I am a caberet/broadway obsessive and I’ve been thinking about something since seeing ” The Fantasticks” in December, here in DC. It was the first time I’d seen the show. I’d been avoiding it my whole life. Don’t ask. That’s another conversation.

Anyway, I loved it and was completely blown away by the darkness, particularly in the second act. It affected me the way most of Sondheims’ shows affect me. Couldn’t stop thinking about it, songs running over and over in my head,storyline haunting my dreams, etc. So many similarities to “Company” i.e. destroying our children, committment, ambivilence. I had all of the usual symptoms post a show that grabbed me. My first Sondheim show years ago changed everything I believed about Broadway. Nothing new in that. But now I am questioning whether Sondheim was the FIRST Prince of reality, darkness and light. After “The Fantasticks” it was clear that this was every bit as haunting, funny and heartbreaking. Was Sondheim not the first composer to change the context of the ‘modern’ American musical? I have searched and googled for a quote or even a mention that he was in any way influenced by “The Fantasticks” and came up with nothing. He was developing his own style at the same time, before he went on his own.

Does anyone have an opinion or a thought about this?

If you read this, thank you.

Anita Rosenberg, Catonsville, MD.

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