♣ A C Douglas, the seriousness of whose musical judgments will brook no argument, has discovered the particular pleasures of the original cast recording of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I've never picked it up on CD, but I developed a similar enthusiasm for that recording in its original vinyl edition. On this coast, the Los Angeles Opera will be essaying the work in July 2005. Details are here. The mighty Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will take on the title role; no word yet who has the thankless task of following Angela Lansbury in the part of Mrs. Lovett.
Updated 1/28/04: AC Douglas is still listening and still finding more to hear, but just try to track down an actual copy of the score . . . .
♣ Via Gideon Strauss, who is listed as a contributing editor, comes a link to the premiere issue of the New Pantagruel, self-described as "a quarterly electronic journal run by a cadre of intemperate but friendly Catholics and Protestants who have seen other electronic journals run by Christians, and thought that while they might not be able to do better, they could certainly do no worse." This first edition incorporates essays (including an appreciation of the late Neil Postman, whose Amusing Ourselves to Death is as timely as ever), reviews, poetry, fiction, and a look that is clean, attractive and customizable for the reader.
Update 1/29/04: More recommended reading in this issue: New Pantagruel Editor (and practicing attorney!) Caleb Stegall's comments on "virtuous vice" and the mechanization of sin. Two Williams in particular -- Bennett ("America's Jiminy Cricket") and Jefferson Clinton -- are summoned to the woodshed.
♣ Gideon Strauss has been a mainstay of the "Varieties of Religious Experience" category in the links list to your right. That category had been strictly a Calvinist stronghold until this week, when I added a link to Jim Kalb's Turnabout weblog, which espouses a traditionalist Catholic view or the world. Additional links should be forthcoming in this category as I stumble on to them.
♣ Also new to the links list over yonder is Notes from the (Legal) Underground. in which St. Louis attorney Evan Schaeffer poses the question: "Can lawyers be entertaining?" If you are at all a regular reader here, I hope for my own sake that you have answered that question in the affirmative some time ago. In any case, you can do worse than looking into Mr. Schaeffer's weblog, which today features his confession to sneaking out early from a production of The Importance of Being Earnest. He has also been engaging in a give and take with attorney/haiku-crafter David Giacalone inspired by David's suggestion that attorneys should perhaps emulate Southwest Airlines in dealing with those they serve. (Reply here, riposte here.)
Update 1/29/04: What began light-heartedly in "duelling metaphor" mode spiraled into a rather heated exchange between messrs. Schaeffer and Giacalone on the subject of contingent fees, but seems now to have settled into at least grudging respect. That's one of the things people either love or hate about attorneys: at one another's throats one moment -- typically on behalf of their clients' positions -- best of pals the next. In any case, all concerned are busily linking one another and showing off professional demeanor galore. You're welcome, gentlemen.