This is a thorougly enjoyable video of Stephen Sondheim's Kennedy Center Honors 25 years ago, back in 1993. You'll note Jason Alexander below -- as a young actor starting out, he had been in the original cast of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along and joins Bernadette Peters and Scott Bakula to sing "Old Friends" from the show. Also noteworthy is Angela Lansbury here singing Sondheim's classic song for Desiree, "Send in the Clowns," from A Little Night Music. Though she has appeared in several Sondheim musicals -- Sweeney Todd and Anyone Can Whistle, as well as Gypsy, from which Sondheim wrote the lyrics to Jule Styne's music -- 14 years after this performance, she played Desiree's mother, Madame Armfeldt at the age of 85 in the 2009 Broadway revival.
This was the year that Johnny Carson and Sir Georg Solti received Kennedy Center Honors, and you'll see glimpses of them. But what leaps out from the entire 20-minute tribute is how intensely-attentive and joyfully appreciative Sondheim is, perhaps more than any other recipient I've seen.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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