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"Every song that Stephen Sondheim writes is a three-act play"-that's the way Carol Burnett sees it, and that's the way she plays it 13 times a show, 7 shows a week (Kathie Lee Gifford steps in for an eighth show once a week), in the musical "review" at the Barrymore, Putting It Together. "Then we have ensemble stuff."
When you add up all this, you have 35 separate playlets pretending to be songs-twirling like dervishes around Carol & Co. (George Hearn, John Barrowman, Ruthie Henshall and Bronson Pinchot)-during the course of a not-so-simple, two-hour songbook cavalcade.
There are no spoke words allowed here. Lyrics are the lifeline of the show, linking one number to the next with some degree of logic. What "plot" progression there is comes from the way the existing Sondheim rhymes have been arranged

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A self-described "team player," Carol Burnett relishes being part of the ensemble bringing Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together to Broadway

along with the way that director Eric D. Schaeffer and his musical stager, Bob Avian, have maneuvered the actors.
Sondheim being Sondheim, there are dark, gray skies galore in Putting It Together. In point of fact, Burnett fancies she's doing Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? -The Musical.
"That's how I describe it to people," she admits. "Cameron [producer Mackintosh] and Stevie insisted it's more of a revue, but I kept saying, 'No, there really is a story going on here, something for audiences to follow where they get involved with these characters.' Even though we are singing, there is a thin little storyline, which I find intriguing. Whether it exists onstage or not, it's certainly in my mind-and it helps me in doing the songs."
As advertised, Putting It TOgether is a "re-veiwing" of Sondheim songs outside the context of the shows for which they were invented-roughly his work over the past two decades (songs born before that were replayed in more conventional revue form in 1977's Side by Side by Sondheim)-and, by definition, this necessitates a rethinking of the material. If Burnett sees George and Martha in the older couple she and Hearn play-and Nick and Honey in the younger couple played by Barrowman and Henshall-who's to say these Albee ghosts aren't dramatically haunting the premises (especially if the idea plays)?
"The older couple are very rich-in

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20 WWW.PLAYBILL.COM [[image - computer cursor]] PURE THEATRE ONLINE

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[[image - Bob Dole sitting in a chair in a suit]]
It may take a little Courage to ask your doctor about Erectile Dysfunction.

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