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THEATER TALK: 'Arrested Development' Sings Sondheim

Katie Buenneke |
June 3, 2013 | 3:55 p.m. PDT

Theater Editor

Last night, I was watching Carol Burnett perform "Ladies Who Lunch" from Company, and I had a delightful thought: what if Lucille Bluth sang it? Maybe it's all the "Arrested Development" I've been watching (over Memorial Day weekend, I watched three seasons in three days, and it was great but intense), but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Sondheim's characters and the Bluth family are pretty similar. And so what better way to connect the two than with a hypothetical Sondheim revue, as performed by the characters of "Arrested Development"?

Lucille singing "Ladies Who Lunch"

This song has Lucille written all over it. From the countless repetitions of "I'll drink to that" to the song's description of ladies of Lucille's ilk, Jessica Walter could easily knock this one out of the park.

Tobias singing "Send In the Clowns"

"Send in the Clowns" is one of Sondheim's most famous songs. It's also one of the easiest to lampoon. Tobias is so willfully ignorant of the context of the things he says and does, and I'd love to watch him sing this song with a heightened sense of drama (a la his interpretation of a fire sale).

Gob singing "Agony"

Like his brother-in-law, Gob also has a taste for the melodramatic. His one-man rendition of "Agony," a song from "Into the Woods," wherein two princes try to one-up each other for who is more spurned, would be sidesplittingly funny as performed by Arnett. Alternatively, it could also be hilarious as a duet between Gob and Tony Wonder, singing about each other.

Maeby singing "Marry Me a Little"

This song from "Company" ties in perfectly to Maeby's catchphrase as a studio exec.

Lindsay singing "Lovely"

Philia from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" is more than a little vapid and self-obsessed, and the same can certainly be said of Lindsay.

Michael singing "Everybody Says Don't"

Michael is notorious for getting caught between what he should do and what he actually wants to do, and this song from "Anyone Can Whistle" captures that spirit well.

George Michael singing "Giants in the Sky"

Ok, so this one's a bit of a stretch—George Michael is not Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk. But they both have the same kind of naiveté, making this "Into the Woods" song a sort-of-logical choice.

George Sr. singing "Good Thing Going"

In the new episodes, we saw George losing Lucille to his twin brother, Oscar. This song from "Merrily We Roll Along" is a wistful reminiscence on the past, much like George would be inclined to do now that his testosterone levels are so low that they're "off the charts."

What Sondheim songs would you like to see the Bluth family sing?

Reach Theater Editor Katie here; follow her on Twitter here.



 

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Comments

Godlesssondheimite (not verified) on June 8, 2013 6:25 AM

Michael...Franklin Shepard Inc

Maeby...I Know Things Now; Opening Doors

Buster...Gypsy in its entirety

Lucille 2...I'm Still Here

Lindsay...Could I Leave You?

kitty, Marta, Wife of GOB...You Could Drive A Person Crazy

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buenneke on June 8, 2013 4:22 PM

Ooh, nice suggestions! For some self-imposed reason that I can't justify, I decided to stick to shows that he did both the music & lyrics for, so no West Side Story or Gypsy. And then I also tried to stay away from songs that heavily reference other characters from the show, as those characters aren't in Arrested Development, obviously! But yes, Franklin Shepard Inc totally captures Michael's aggravation with his family very well, and same with Buster/Gypsy, and I love the idea of Lucille 2 singing "I'm Still Here" and Kitty singing "You Could Drive a Person Crazy"!

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