In which Stephen Sondheim reveals that he is not British…

I have rarely found a Gilbert lyric funny (see I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General). It baffles me when I hear an audience laugh at a Gilbert and Sullivan song; such enjoyment requires a taste for archness that eludes me. The only thing I’ve ever found funny in their operettas is the sight of middle-aged actors playing cartoonish characters in cartoonish costumes with stylised attitudes and rouged cheeks.

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