There are some shows by Stephen Sondheim that I don't like the music ("Sunday in the Park with George" being one), but overall, I really love that his songs sound like conversations that just happen to be sung. If you want a good introduction to some of his best music performed by an uncomparable cast (Ruthie Henshall, George Hearn, John Barrowman, Bronson Pinchot, and Carol Burnett) then you need to get the DVD of "Putting it Together." It's a musical review with a very flimsy storyline only meant to provide some sort of excuse for the next song. But, they wink at that fact.
The songs are taken out of their original context, obviously, and modernized a bit - I personlly like it!
I seriously cannot say enough good things about it! Here are a few of my most favorites that I could find on YouTube (be aware there is some language and suggestiveness, moderate PG-13 stuff, but just so you're aware):
This first one is Carol and Ruthie killing it on "There's Always a Woman" - comic genius:
And how do you not put the next vid of Bronson Pinchot after that entrance! This is "Buddy's Blue's" - a hilarious look at someone who always wants what they can't have and never wants what they can:
This is possibly the best rendition of "Hello Little Girl," originally from "Into the Woods," where the wolf sings to Little Red Riding Hood. George Hearne plays it like a dirty old man and his voice is pure perfection!
Gah! How do I only choose a few?! Okay only 3 more. I wanted to put in "A country House," which is the perfect example of his songs sounding like a conversation, but whoever had it on YouTube before took it down :(
So, once you get past the fact that Ruthie sings through her teeth sometimes, her control over her voice is inhuman! As evidenced in her rendition of "More" (originally from the motion picture "Dick Tracy," and makes Madonna look like the ametuer singer she really is)And pardon the quality of the picture, it's the only posting of this:
Speaking of inhuman control (and inhumanly good looking!) John Barrowman could sing the telephone book and I think I would still want to listen. Here he's singing "Marry Me a Little" (a completely immature look at marriage)
And lastly, one of the great group numbers. A fast paced one with insane harmony (as befitting Sondheim!):
And there are many many many more gems! I rented it from the library, so you should be able to get it from there. But, I definitely want to own this at some point in the future!