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What is the significance of the song " Evening Primrose" by Stephen Sondheim, and how does it reflect the themes of loneliness and human connection?

The original 1966 TV musical "Evening Primrose" was filmed in color, but the original footage has been lost, and only black and white copies remain.

The musical was based on a John Collier short story published in the 1951 collection "Fancies and Goodnights".

"Evening Primrose" was written originally for television, making it one of the last examples of nearly full-length book musicals written especially for TV.

The musical focuses on Charles Anthony Perkins, a poet who decides to live rent-free in a massive metropolitan department store, hiding during the day and doing his writing at night.

The story has themes of loneliness and human connection, as the poet struggles to find his place in the world.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for "Evening Primrose", but the show was a complete failure and only aired once.

Despite its failure, "Evening Primrose" predicts the future of Sondheim's work, with elements that would later appear in "Company", "Follies", "A Little Night Music", and "Sweeney Todd".

The New York Public Library has a preserved copy of the original 1971 Broadway production's promotional materials, including posters and photographs, which are all in black and white.

There is no credible source linking a colorized version of "Evening Primrose" to Stephen Sondheim, his collaborators, or any production company.

The original source story for "Evening Primrose" was first published in 1940 and can be found in the John Collier collection "Fancies and Goodnights".

A radio version of the story, adapted by John Dunkel and starring Elliott Lewis, was broadcast on the CBS program "Escape" on November 5, 1947.

"Evening Primrose" captures a number of intersecting impulses, including Sondheim's own predilection toward mystery, fantasy, and the macabre.

The musical reflects the shifting ground of mid-century popular culture, both in style and medium, and a yearning for the urban pastoral, an escape from urbanization and mechanization.

"Evening Primrose" is an intriguing snapshot of the cultural landscape of the 1960s, capturing the intersection of artistic vision and commercial pressure.

The musical's exploration of loneliness and human connection remains sharp and relevant today, 44 years after its original airing.

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