You're Gonna Love Tomorrow
a revue in one act. Continuity by Paul Lazarus. Songs by Stephen Sondheim.
Originally produced as part of the Whitney Museum of American Art Composers' Showcase, under the title A STEPHEN SONDHEIM EVENING, at Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 3 March 1983 with George Hearn, Judy Kaye, Angela Lansbury and Stephen Sondheim.
Like its predecessor Side by Side by Sondheim, You're Gonna Love Tomorrow is a revue compiled from Sondheim's work since the Fifties and punctuated by pertinent introductions. Unlike its predecessor, it restricts the selections to songs for which Sondheim has written both music and lyrics and presents them in broadly chronological order - with one or two exceptions, including the opening Invocation and Instructions to the Audience. "Eventually we'll get to the catharsis, then depart," the Company promise, "But first - we start."
Brooklyn on a Saturday evening in 1929 and a Quartet of fellows are sitting around on the front porch: It's That Kind of Neighbourhood. All four are hungry for dates, but it is 7 o'clock and they've left it a little late: looks like another Saturday Night at home with the Sunday papers; after all, what's the point of a single guy at a double feature? But one lucky guy crashes a deb party in Manhattan and meets a glamorous Southern Belle, who's another gatecrasher - from the Bronx. They dance and she says, This Is Nice, Isn't It?, and suddenly they're just boy and girl clinging together on the floor.
There follows a Japanese interlude. It is 1853, and a Samurai and a Fisherman embark on a long journey, exchanging Poems along the way. But the kaleidoscope shifts: we are back in New York a century later, with a brace of songs which capture the rough poetry of that metropolis. In the first, a City Dweller itemises the grime and dust, the noise and brawls, the taxi-horns and steam pipes, and confesses: What More Do I Need? Her friend, a Newcomer, is struck more by the loneliness and anonymity of the big town, as Another Hundred People - and another hundred and another - pour off the trains and planes and buses. In the modern world, With So Little to Be Sure Of, the best we can hope for is one marvellous moment.
The scene changes again - to Ancient Rome, where the slave Pseudolus is hoping to persuade his master to elope with Philia by painting A Pretty Little Picture of an amorous idyll. From the same score (A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum), the company sing The House of Marcus Lycus and the Echo Song, in which Philia questions the gods -who answer only in echoes, so it depends very much on how the question is phrased. Then (in a song cut from the original show) the warrior Miles Gloriosus marches in his troops: "One-two! One-two! We not only fought but we won, too!" Ah, There's Something About War.
Next, a rare collaboration: music by Sondheim, lyrics by Shakespeare, a setting of Fear No More from Cymbeline. The best and worst of marriage - Being Alive - is contrasted with the buoyant optimism of America between the wars: You're Gonna Love Tomorrow/Love Will See Us Through. We have to go deeper into the past for a more knowing approach to marriage, as a lusty Maid outlines her choices: she could marry The Miller's Son, the businessman or the Prince of Wales. But most likely the Miller's son. Two of the composer's most lyrical ballads follow - Johanna, sung by a young Sailor in Victorian London, and Not a Day Goes By, sung by a soon-to-be Divorcée ending a marriage on the steps of an American courthouse. A more complex negotiation proceeds: at Kanagawa in 1853, the Shogun's Councillors meet the emissaries of the United States at the Treaty House, observed only by Someone In a Tree. The evening closes with that rueful request to Send In the Clowns and a toast from the entire company to Old Friends.
YOU'RE GONNA LOVE TOMORROW Released as A STEPHEN SONDHEIM EVENING - RCA VICTOR C131-2-4745 - Original Concert Recording