". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Cutest Cinderella You Ever Saw

My daughter singing Stephen Sondheim's "On the Steps of the Palace" from Into the Woods for her voice recital yesterday. I love her flirty, playful take on what Cinderella was thinking as she fled the palace after the ball.

"On the Steps of the Palace" from Cheryl on Vimeo.

From Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods
Performed by Caitlin Magness
May 15, 2011

He's a very smart Prince,
He's a Prince who prepares.
Knowing this time I'd run from him,
He spread pitch on the stairs.
I was caught unawares.
And I thought: Well, he cares-
This is more than just malice.
Better stop and take stock
While you're standing here stuck
On the steps of the palace.

You think, what do you want?
You think, make a decision.
Why not stay and be caught?
You think, well, it's a thought,
What would be his response?
But then what if he knew
Who you were when you know
That you're not what he thinks
That he wants?

And then what if you are?
What a Prince would envision?
Although how can you know
Who you are till you know
What you want, which you don't?
So then which do you pick:
Where you're safe, out of sight,
And yourself, but where everything's wrong?
Or where everything's right
And you know that you'll never belong?

And whichever you pick,
Do it quick,
'Cause you're starting to stick
To the steps of the palace.

It's your first big decision,
The choice isn't easy to make.
To arrive at a ball
Is exciting and all-
Once you're there, though, it's scary.
And it's fun to deceive
When you know you can leave,
But you have to be wary.
There's a lot that's at stake,
But you've stalled long enough,
'Cause you're still standing stuck
In the stuff on the steps...

Better run along home
And avoid the collision.
Even though they don't care,
You'll be better off there
Where there's nothing to choose,
So there's nothing to lose.
So you pry up your shoes.
Then from out of the blue,
And without any guide,
You know what your decision is,
Which is not to decide.
You'll leave him a clue:
For example, a shoe.
And then see what he'll do.

Now it's he and not you
Who is stuck with a shoe,
In a stew, in the goo,
And you've learned something, too,
Something you never knew,
On the steps of the palace.


Melanie T. said...

I love Sondheim!

Congratulations, Caitlin! That was a lovely performance!

Cheryl said...

Thank you, Melanie! As another fine singer observed on Facebook, it is a hard song. Lots of words and difficult intervals coming very fast. I thought Caitlin's intonation was spot on.