ABSTRACT

Throughout Sondheim's body of work, it is obvious that marriage is not the blissful, "happily-ever-after" of traditional musicals, but a "ferocious pillow-fight battle of the sexes .... It simply is not the placid old heavenordained, till-death-do-us-part, for-better-for-worse institution it used to be" (Kalem 62). Contrast the upbeat dream world of love and marriage in "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow/Love Will See Us Through" from Follies with the reality of how those marriages turned out. While Young Sally claims she'll bolster Young Buddy's ego as a wife should (90), it comes out later in "Buddy's Blues" that the middle-aged Sally thinks her husband is a washout (98). Young Phyllis bids " ... fare-thee-well, ennui" (89), yet later in life is so bored with her marriage to Ben that the couple resorts to hurting each other just to keep the relationship alive. The women, who traditionally are the ones who cannot wait to step down the aisle, are as suspicious of the old institution as the men.