Innovation: Here, Jerry Herman finds himself hip-deep in triple counterpoint, capturing the humorously deluded yet logical world of the three crazy ladies.
Development: This song indeed grows larger in progression, until the triple counterpoint ensues. In terms of its limit, The Tea Party is defined to its extreme.
Transformation: The usage of counterpoint in this song is its most important element. The round here centers around three crazy old woman each lost in their own world, concerned with their own problems.
Modes of Communication: Jerry Herman is most comparable to Stephen Sondheim here, as Sondheim is most recognizable for his difficult melodies and use of counterpoint. The actresses in the production I saw executed the song beautifully, never missing a note or beat. The audience responded to the song particularly well, perhaps because they recognized the difficulty of the piece, or enjoyed its humorous quality.