Craig Lucas first met Stephen Sondheim when performing in the 1979 production of Sweeney Todd. Sondheim mentioned a suitcase of abandoned songs he had written in his life that had never been heard. Lucas requested permission to take these songs and turn them in to a new show to which Sondheim replied saying he thought it was an “awful idea” but he was “free to do as he wished with them”. Sondheim sent him 45 unused songs, of which 17 were chosen to form Marry Me A Little.
Out-takes from shows like Follies, A Little Night Music and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum were brought to life in this new production which premiered on Broadway in 1980. After a disappointing run the show closed and wasn’t brought to London until 1982 (at the Kings Head Theatre).
Laura Pitt-Pulford looks and sounds incredible. She suits the character of ‘Woman’ perfectly and gave beautiful renditions of Marry Me A Little (from Company) and There Won’t Be Trumpets (from Anyone Can Whistle). Both of these songs were brought to life through the show Marry Me A Little and later re-instated into the original shows.
Simon Bailey, as ‘Man’, gives a testosterone fuelled performance. Both he and Laura portray themselves as the stereotypical male and female and blend well together during duets.
At just over an hour in length, Marry Me A Little is a perfect little show with great songs, great casting and perfectly situated in the intimate St James Studio. It was great knowing I was listening to Sondheim’s rarest work, however I couldn’t help myself from wanting to hear a couple more songs I was familiar with!
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Marry Me A Little is playing at the St James Studio until 10 August 2014. Click here to book tickets.