(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, August 17.)
Of the three shows with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, this has always been the most popular, and the most problematic. The stock charge is that a punchy first half is followed by a preachy second. Timothy Sheader's dazzling revival solves the difficulty in two ways: by exploiting the scariness of the park after dark, and by seeing the action through the fevered imagination of a boy narrator.
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