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Our Time: Sullivan & Harnar Sing Sondheim 54 Below

Our Time:  Sullivan & Harnar Sing Sondheim

By Joel Benjamin

Cabaret greats KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar paired up (again!) in a program of re-thought, re-interpreted Stephen Sondheim songs.  They played around with gender and sexuality providing musical retreads for songs which have almost become cabaret clichés making them sing in different ways.   Our Time:  Sullivan & Harnar Sing Sondheim began with the title song and “Old Friends,” imbuing them with quite different meanings from the original intentions.

Ms. Sullivan’s “Remember” was wistful yet touching, while her “I Never Do Anything Twice” was so well acted it seemed like an expression of her personal experience.   Equally touching was the joining of “Pretty Woman” and “Johanna” and, later, a poignant “In Buddy’s Eyes.”

Mr. Harnar was down and dirty in the double entendre-filled “Can That Boy Foxtrot” and youthfully joyful in “What More Do I Need.”   His “Anyone Can Whistle” was clearly informed by his life experiences. His “Getting Married Today” and “Could I Leave You?” took on a new twist sung now that gay marriage is a fact of life in most states.  The mind boggles with the thought of those upcoming divorce proceedings if the latter, stinging ditty can be taken as an example.

The final triumphant duet of “I’m Still Here” was the perfect ending (although—dare I say it?—Sondheim might want to write a version with cultural references more accessible to today’s audiences).

“Goodbye for Now” from Reds was the bittersweet duet encore.

If anyone believes that American musical theater songs are superficial entertainments, they need to get lost in the magic of these two artists.  This was as rich and classic as any Schubert recital.  Our Time was a powerfully moving experience sung by two performers at the top of their game.

Jon Weber, a tall man with a tall talent, was the music director/pianist providing accompaniments that were sometimes artfully spare, sometimes voluptuously rich.

The show was directed by theater veteran Sondra Lee.

KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar
Our Time:  Sullivan & Harnar Sing Sondheim
254 West 54th St. (between 8th Ave. & Broadway)
New York, NY
Reservations and Information:  646-476-3551 or
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