Side by Side by Sondheim

Broadway Production (1977)

Trivia & History

Julia McKenzie was listed in the Broadway playbill as Julie N. McKenzie because there already was a Julia McKenzie in American Equity. As Julie N. McKenzie, she was nominated for a Tony.

As replacements joined the cast, the original song list was altered, with some additions and deletions.

For example, when the cast comprised Georgia Brown, Larry Kert, Nancy Dussault and Hermione Gingold, "The Ladies Who Lunch" and "The Miller's Son," not in the show originally, were added to the production, both sung by Brown.

"Marry Me a Little," which seems not to have been in the original London production but which replaced "Being Alive" in the Broadway production, was deleted and replaced by "Being Alive." This allowed Kert to again sing the climactic number from Company, which he had sung for most of the run in the original Broadway production.

The duet of "A Boy Like That / I Have a Love" was deleted and replaced by a duet version of "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs" from Follies. This was sung by Kert and Brown.

The additions for Brown may have been as a result of the staggered starting dates for the various replacements havig led to some alterations in the distribution of songs between the two female singers. David Kernan and Julia McKenzie (who was billed on Broadway on Julie N. McKenzie) left at or around the same time. Kernan was replaced immediately by Larry Kert (who nonetheless was gone from the cast for several weeks starting at the end of August, continuing into early October), while McKenzie was initially replaced by her standby, Bonnie Schon.

Millicent Martin played her last performance on or around Saturday, Sept. 17. On Monday, Sept. 19, Dussault joined the cast. Perhaps because of this, The Best Plays of 1977-1978 listed Dussault as having replaced Martin. But when Dussault joined the cast, Schon went back to being standby, now for Dussault, while Carol Swarbrick, who had been Martin's standby since the beginning of the run, joined the full-time cast (on Monday, Sept. 19). This would seem to suggest that Dussault was essentially replacing McKenzie, while Swarbrick was temporarily replacing Martin until a bigger name joined the cast. But it may be that Dussault, as the bigger female name in the cast at that time (and with Brown perhaps not having yet been hired), was given most of the showier female vocal assignments, taking some of Martin's song assignments and some of McKenzie's. Since the playbill for the production only listed the titles of the musical numbers but never who performed which ones, it's hard to be sure.

But we do know that after Brown joined the production, she performed some of the numbers that had origially been performed by McKenzie, while Dussault performed some numbers originally performed by Martin.

In addition, both women's parts of "Getting Married Today" were performed by Dussault. So Brown was not in the number at all, which had originally been a tour de force for Martin, singing the patter part. It became even more of a tour de force for Dussault, singing both the patter part and the soprano part.

Also, "I Never Do Anything Twice," another particularly strong number of Martin's, was given to Gingold when she became the narrator. It was her only musical number. (Ned Sherrin, the original narrator, had no musical numbers.)

Dussault had also been given "Send in the Clowns," obviously a plum assignment.

It may be that Brown was given two extra numbers of her choice in order to make up for the loss of those numbers that she might have expected to perform. It should also be noted that Brown had already performed in the Toronto company of the show, where it seems that she did perform the songs that Martin had performed originally.

The division of numbers when Dussault and Brown were in the cast together can be seen in the song list that you can find by clicking on the February 1978 song list (under the subheading Additional Song Lists) on the main page for this production.

When Burr Tillstrom joined the production as narrator, the previously unknown Sondheim song "The Two of You," which Sondheim had written in the early 1950s for Kukla, Fran, and Ollie (and, of course, for Tillstrom) was added to the show. It seems that the song was sung primarily by Nancy Dussault, with Tillstrom singing just a few lines (as Kukla and Ollie), though there may have been periods during the run or on the tour (in which Tillstrom also appeared) when Tillstrom sang the song himself.

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