Leonard Bernstein and André Previn very different animals. But their completeness as musicians, their ability to embrace and cherish music of spectacularly diverse genres, their connection with popular culture, their many and varied gifts as conductors, composers, pianists, and impossibly eloquent commentators make them kindred spirits in so many respects.
Twenty years ago, there was a lot of it about: light comedies afloat in the West End, chronicling the disintegration of a suburban marriage while simultaneously lampooning the middle-class enthusiasm for some hobby or other.
Why is comedy, in the words of the cliché, such a serious business? One reason is that what we laugh at says a lot about who we are as a nation; another is that the simple “joy of laughter” drowns out the anxieties of life’s little, and not so little, agonies.
Screaming Lord Sutch biog-play is raucously entertaining, but rather superficial and thin on content.