So I saw the latest Broadway revival of Company on Monday night.
At around 7:10pm, I came to the conclusion that the following song must be the greatest opener in musical theater history:
You want an introduction to the show’s themes, its cast of characters, its musical world, and the main character’s arc? It’s all right there.
The next night, last night, less than 24 hours later, at roughly 7:10pm yet again, I decided — courtesy of Classic Stage Company’s Assassins — that THIS in fact must be the greatest opener in musical theater history:
Has there ever been as jarring of an opening provocation?
Here’s the thing with Sondheim; his top five opening songs — far from a universally agreed-upon list — can go head-to-head against any other composer’s top five songs ever.
And he’d probably win.
The final three on my Sondheim Openers list:
I’m not crying you’re crying.
A smattering of his other notable openers: “Comedy Tonight”, “Jet Song”, “May We Entertain You?”, “Into the Woods”, “Beautiful Creatures”.
Stephen Sondheim, a one of one, now and forever.