Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's a city of strangers; some come to work, some to play.

I was watching the recording session of Stephen Sondheim's Company last night and felt the urge to make a brief Pamela Myers appreciation post.

Stephen Sondheim and Pamela Myers (1970)

A 22-year old Pamela Myers auditioned for Stephen Sondheim's Company in the late 60s. Sondheim & co. loved her, they couldn't imagine not giving her the role, but they had doubts doing so because appearance-wise she wasn't fit for it. Luckily, they were able to "easily" change the character's original description to fit her because they couldn't let such a remarkable talent go. Sounds like the plot of a movie, right? There was also no solo originally written for the character and they all decided she absolutely had to have one. She had to be shown off! They managed to stretch said song across 3 separate scenes, connecting purposeful moments with each woman the main character was seeing. The song was "Another Hundred People", a challenging number that put Pam's talent on display. Needless to say, she and the song were a show-stopper for the unconventional 1970 musical. Myers received a Tony nomination in 1971 for her performance and is adored to this day. At a 1993 concert, she received a minute-long applause after a "reprise" performance of the song that made everyone remember her name.

(Myers also impressively performed this song 3 years ago - putting her, at the time, at 60 years old!)