Celebrating Sondheim at 70
The Museum of Television & Radio presents Something For Everyone: Sondheim Tonight!.
Some things familiar, some things peculiar. In commemoration of Stephen Sondheim's 70th birthday, The Museum of Television & Radio will present Something for Everyone: Sondheim Tonight!, a retrospective of the work of one of the greatest composer/lyricists in American musical theater history.
"What is unique about this series is that I know of no other time when anyone took a look at Sondheim solely through TV," says David Bushman, the museum's television curator. "Secondly, I don't think there's any other place where you can see so much of Sondheim in one presentation. This retrospective really gives you a look at his work from his television writing in the '50s to the present."
Most famous as the composer and lyricist of such acclaimed musicals as Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Sunday in the Park with George--and as lyricist of West Side Story and Gypsy--Sondheim has had a long relationship with television as a composer, a writer of sitcoms and dramas, a performer, and the subject of interviews and documentaries.
Beginning in New York on March 17 and in Los Angeles on March 24, Something for Everyone: Sondheim Tonight! will feature screenings of TV/video presentations of several of Sondheim's Broadway shows, along with examples of his early TV work (e.g., an episode of the sitcom Topper and Evening Primrose, which starred Anthony Perkins in Sondheim's only musical written for television). The series also includes interviews with Sondheim on 60 Minutes and The South Bank Show; an episode of the rarely seen 1961 program American Musical Theatre in which Sondheim discusses the genesis of such songs as "I Feel Pretty" and "One Hand, One Heart"; D.A. Pennebaker's documentary on the recording of the original Broadway cast album of Company; and star performances including Dame Judi Dench singing "Send in the Clowns" on the British television program Pebble Mill.
Other highlights of the retrospective: television versions of Passion, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods in their entirety; U.S. premieres of a taping of the Donmar Warehouse's Company and a 1976 Japanese TV presentation of the original Broadway production of Pacific Overtures; "Sondheim at Seventy," a radio listening series featuring a BBC Radio 2 broadcast of A Little Night Music; and "Backstage with Sondheim," a gallery exhibit in New York featuring candid rehearsal and backstage shots from Sondheim shows.
Perhaps most exciting of all the events scheduled, the museum will present "A Conversation with Stephen Sondheim" in conjunction with the retrospective. This seminar will take place in New York on Thursday, March 16 at 6 p.m. and will be simulcast to the Los Angeles museum.
Some of the programs to be screened during the retrospective are part of the museum's permanent collection. For example, Bushman notes, "Evening Primrose has been in our archives for a while. But the fact that we have a lot of rare items and American premieres should be a real attraction for people. Theatreland, which is a British program, recently did a 10-minute segment on the British production of Saturday Night. And we have the Donmar Warehouse production of Company, which has never been seen in this country."
A complete listing of screenings and events follows.
The Museum of Television & Radio Presents
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: SONDHEIM TONIGHT!
March 17-June 25 in New York
March 24-July 2 in Los Angeles
The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements, and to make them available to the public. From its inception in 1975, the Museum has organized exhibitions, screening and listening series, seminars, and education classes to showcase its collection of over 100,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. Programs in the Museum's permanent collection are selected for their artistic, cultural, and historic significance.
The New York museum, located at 25 West 52 Street in Manhattan, is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m., until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays, and Friday evenings until 9:00 p.m. (theaters only). The Los Angeles museum, at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. and until 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays. Both are closed on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Suggested contribution: members free; $6.00 for adults; $4.00 for senior citizens and students; $3.00 for children under 13. Admission is free in Los Angeles. The public areas in both museums are accessible to wheelchairs, and assisted listening devices are available. Programs are subject to change. Phone 212-621-6800 (New York) or 310-786-1000 (Los Angeles) for information, or access the museum's website at //www.mtr.org.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: SONDHEIM TONIGHT!
March 17-June 25 in New York
March 24-July 2 in Los Angeles
The daily screening packages will take place at 2:00 p.m. in New York and at 1:30 p.m. in Los Angeles.
* March 17 to 26 in New York
* March 24 to April 2 in Los Angeles
"The Two of You"
In 1952 Sondheim submitted this song unsolicited for the television puppet show Kukla, Fran and Ollie, but the executive producer rejected it. Twenty-six years later, Kukla, Fran and Ollie creator Burr Tilstrom performed it with Nancy Dussault in the revue Side by Side by Sondheim in Chicago, with Kukla on his arm. The version heard here is by Crista Moore from the 1993 album Unsung Sondheim. (3 minutes)
This segment of the British series, never broadcast in America, features song highlights from the 1997 Bridewell Theatre staging of Sondheim's first full- length musical, Saturday Night. Written in 1954, when he was in his early 20s, the original production was canceled when the producer died during the planning stages, making this London production the official world premiere. The directors, Clive Paget and Carol Metcalfe, as well as critic Sheridan Morley, offer commentary. (1997; 10 minutes)
Hoping to earn enough money to rent a New York apartment where he could write music, Sondheim moved to Hollywood in the early '50s to write for this sitcom about two elegant ghosts who haunt a stuffy banker and--in Sondheim's own words--"constantly screw up his life." Sondheim scripted close to a dozen episodes, including this theater-themed one in which the ghosts "help" Topper perform in a play staged by his wife's charity club. (1954; 25 minutes)
Rendezvous: "In an Early Winter"
Sondheim penned several dramatic scripts for television in the '50s, but this was the only one that sold. Commissioned by an old college roommate who had become a CBS producer--and not seen since 1959--this O. Henry-like drama about a skittish woman (Kim Hunter) who marries into a family with a bizarre history of accidents was adapted by Sondheim from a New Yorker magazine story by Roger Angell. (1959; 30 minutes)
ABC Stage 67: Evening Primrose
Sondheim and script writer James Goldman, who later teamed on Follies, collaborated on this macabre musical fantasy about a poet (Anthony Perkins) who cuts himself off from the outside world by hiding out in a department store, where he discovers a group of people living a secret nighttime existence. Sondheim's only musical written for television, this program contains five of the composer's songs and is introduced by Perkins in a clip from a 1989 Museum of Television & Radio seminar in Los Angeles. (1966; 60 minutes)
* March 28 to April 2 in New York
* April 5 to 9 in Los Angeles
The Ed Sullivan Show
The original Broadway stars of West Side Story, Carol Lawrence and Larry Kert (mistakenly introduced by the host as "Larry Kent"), re-create the "balcony" scene and one of the show's most famous songs, "Tonight." (1958; 10 minutes)
Look Up and Live: Contemporary Theatre and Religion: Part Five:
West Side Story
On this Sunday morning religious program hosted by The Reverend Sidney Lanier, director-choreographer Jerome Robbins talks about the creation of West Side Story and its social themes. This last episode on theater and religion also offers a chance to see three of the original Broadway cast principals--Carol Lawrence, Larry Kert, and Mickey Calin (Michael Callan)--in performances of "Jet Song," "Something's Coming," "Tonight," and "Cool." (1958; 30 minutes)
The American Musical Theatre
In this recently discovered program, lyricist Stephen Sondheim speaks before a workshop of New York City high school students, discussing the genesis of such songs as "Small World," "I Feel Pretty," and "One Hand, One Heart," which are performed here by Martha Wright and Ralph Curtis. Conductor Irwin Kostal, who served as arranger and orchestrator for West Side Story, is also on hand to explain his craft. This program is hosted by Earl Wrightson. (1961; 45 minutes)
Great Performances: Bernstein Conducts West Side Story
Leonard Bernstein directs some of the top voices in the world of opera who are recording Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's songs from West Side Story. This documentation of the recording sessions shows Bernstein's enthusiasm, frustration, and precision as he conducts his classic score for the very first time. The cast features Kiri Te Kanawa as Maria; Tatiana Troyanos as Anita; and, as Tony, José Carreras, who is well aware of the irony that "the only Spaniard in the cast is the one who has to be an American." (1985; 90 minutes)
* April 4 to 9 in New York
* April 12 to 16 in Los Angeles
Gypsy Rose Lee and Her Friends
In this long-out-of-circulation footage from her San Francisco-based talk show, Gypsy Rose Lee welcomes guest Ethel Merman and shows home movies taken at the New Amsterdam Theatre during rehearsals for Gypsy. Among those glimpsed at work on the production are Sondheim, composer Jule Styne, and director Jerome Robbins. (1965; 10 minutes)
Bette Midler portrays one of musical theater's most unforgettable characters: Rose, the overpowering stage mother fiercely determined to push her daughters, at any cost, into the show business spotlight. Cynthia Gibb costars as Louise, the daughter who grows up to become the most famous stripper of her day, Gypsy Rose Lee. The songs, featuring lyrics by Sondheim and music by Jule Styne, include "Let Me Entertain You" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses." (1993; 150 minutes)
* April 11 to 16 in New York
* April 19 to 23 in Los Angeles
The 1971 Tony Awards
Zero Mostel, star of the original, 1962 Broadway production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, performs "Comedy Tonight." (1971; 2 minutes)
The American Musical Theatre
Composer Richard Rodgers shares his thoughts on Do I Hear a Waltz?--his sole collaboration with Sondheim-and Broadway stars Elizabeth Allen and Sergio Franchi perform five songs from the musical. Sondheim had promised his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein II, shortly before Hammerstein's death that he would try to write with Rodgers; although the musical ran for 221 performances, the collaboration was a difficult one for both Sondheim and Rodgers because of creative and personal differences. (1965; 30 minutes)
Sondheim joins librettist Arthur Laurents and set/costume designer Beni Montresor for a discussion about Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965; 30 minutes)
The South Bank Show: "Stephen Sondheim: A Master Class"
This British program provides a fascinating glimpse into Sondheim the teacher, as he coaches students at the Guildhall School of Music through the performances of four of his songs (one of which, "Send in the Clowns," he jokingly refers to as a "medley of my hits"). (1984; 55 minutes)
* April 18 to 23 in New York
* April 26 to 30 in Los Angeles
Original Cast Album: Company
Documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker brings his camera into the recording studio, capturing both the exhilaration and exasperation of making the original cast album of Company. Sondheim and record producer Thomas Z. Shepard preside over the eighteen-and-a-half-hour session, which becomes increasingly tense as it drags on into the night. Highlights include Dean Jones's stirring recording of "Being Alive" and Elaine Stritch's valiant attempts to deliver the definitive rendition of "The Ladies Who Lunch." (1970; 55 minutes)
This presentation of the 1996 Donmar Warehouse London revival of Sondheim's ground-breaking, non-linear musical (which brought him his first Tony Award) stars Adrian Lester as Bobby, a single New Yorker who examines the pros and cons of being married through a series of encounters with his friends. The song "Marry Me a Little," deleted from the original production, is reinstated for this version. Included is a brief interview with Sondheim by the director, Sam Mendes. (1996; 140 minutes)
* April 25 to 30 in New York
* May 3 to 7 in Los Angeles
NBC's Saturday Night (Saturday Night Live)
Lily Tomlin joins Not Ready for Prime Time Players Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman in this charming rendition of "Broadway Baby" from Follies. (1977; 4 minutes)
The David Frost Show
Long considered a "lost" program until the Museum discovered a copy in the possession of one of the participants, this Frost show is devoted to the original Broadway production of Follies. Guests include Follies stars Alexis Smith, Yvonne De Carlo, Dorothy Collins, Gene Nelson, and John McMartin, plus Sondheim, librettist James Goldman, and producer/director Harold Prince. Sondheim performs "Can That Boy Foxtrot!" which was cut from Follies before the show arrived on Broadway but eventually wound up in the 1980 revue Marry Me a Little. (1971; 70 minutes)
Great Performances: Follies in Concert
Dissatisfied with the original cast recording of Follies in 1971, Sondheim helped stage this star-studded concert version of the Tony-winning musical about a group of ex-Follies performers who attend a last reunion before their old theater is demolished. The cast, including Lee Remick, Barbara Cook, Mandy Patinkin, and George Hearn, had just three days to prepare; Carol Burnett compared the experience to "being shot out of a cannon," and Elaine Stritch told a BBC camera crew on hand to document the proceedings that "it's hysterical what's going on here, you understand that? We are doing a musical in three days!" (1985; 90 minutes)
* May 2 to 7 in New York
* May 10 to 14 in Los Angeles
The Best of Broadway
Glynis Johns and Len Cariou, who originated the roles of Désirée and Fredrik in the original 1973 Broadway production of A Little Night Music, perform Sondheim's most famous number, "Send in the Clowns." (1982; 10 minutes)
In this British program, Dame Judi Dench, Siân Phillips, Laurence Guittard, and other cast members from the Royal National Theatre's revival of A Little Night Music are interviewed and perform songs from the romantic comedy, which opened on Broadway in 1973. Also interviewed is Sondheim himself, who--paraphrasing Harold Prince, the producer/director of the original production--once referred to the musical as "whipped cream with knives." Among the musical numbers: "Liaisons" (Phillips) and "Send in the Clowns" (Dench). (1996; 45 minutes)
Sondheim: A Musical Tribute
Hart Perry's rarely seen look at rehearsals for a 1973 benefit tribute to Sondheim featuring Angela Lansbury, Chita Rivera, Jack Cassidy, Larry Blyden, and Sondheim himself, singing "Anyone Can Whistle." Also included is a commercial for the Broadway production of A Little Night Music, with Glynis Johns singing "Send in the Clowns," (1973; 15 minutes)
Theater in America: June Moon
Sondheim acted regularly at Williams College, but has acted only once on television, in this adaptation of Ring Lardner and George S. Kaufman's comedy about New York songwriters in the '20s. Sondheim did the program as a favor to director Burt Shevelove; he portrays Maxie Schwartz, a wise-cracking Tin Pan Alley pianist with a heart of gold. (1974; 90 minutes)
* May 9 to 14 in New York
* May 17 to 21 in Los Angeles
Camera Three: "Anatomy of a Song"
Frank Rich, film critic of the New York Post at the time but later chief drama critic of the New York Times, guides Sondheim and librettist John Weidman through a fascinating exploration of their collaboration on Pacific Overtures, focusing on the song "Someone in a Tree." Calling the piece his favorite, Sondheim says he was so emotional upon completing it that he started to cry when performing it for Weidman for the first time. (1976; 30 minutes)
The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour
Sondheim, shuttling between rehearsals for revivals of Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd, talks at length about the creative process. Commenting on "Someone in a Tree" from Pacific Overtures, Sondheim says: "That was a song I tranced out on...I can relate almost everything as I write to something else I've written, but that one seemed to have grown out in the field someplace. I don't know where it came from...I just feel like I have a unique baby." (1984; 10 minutes)
Never shown on American television, this presentation of Sondheim and librettist John Weidman's Kabuki-style musical about Commodore Perry's 1853 visit to Japan was taped for Japanese television during its original run on Broadway in 1976. Directed by Harold Prince, the show--performed in English by an all-Asian cast with male actors performing all of the principal female roles--ran for 193 performances; Sondheim described it at the time as the "most bizarre and unusual musical ever to be seen in a commercial setting," (1976; 120 minutes)
* May 16 to 21 in New York
* May 24 to 28 in Los Angeles
The Mike Douglas Show
Hermione Gingold introduces her costars from Side by Side by Sondheim, Georgia Brown, Larry Kert, and Nancy Dussault, who perform a selection of numbers including "Love Is in the Air" (cut from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and "I'm Still Here" (from Follies.) (1977; 15 minutes)
Previn and the Pittsburgh: Stephen Sondheim
Sondheim explains to conductor Andre Previn his technique and the intent behind such songs as "Uptown, Downtown" (cut from Follies), "There Won't Be Trumpets," and "The Miller's Son," sung by the stars of Side by Side by Sondheim: Millicent Martin, Julia McKenzie, and David Kernan. (1977; 60 minutes)
South Bank Show
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street:
Scenes from the Making of a Musical
South Bank looks behind the scenes of the 1980 London staging of Sweeney Todd. Numbers from the actual production are shown, along with rehearsal footage of stars Denis Quilley (Sweeney) and Sheila Hancock (Mrs. Lovett) and director Harold Prince. Author Christopher Bond talks about his play, on which the musical is based, while Sondheim explains how he created such songs as "The Worst Pies in London" and "God, That's Good." (1980; 85 minutes)
* May 23 to 28 in New York
* May 31 to June 4 in Los Angeles
Sweeney Todd Commercial
Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou are seen in a television spot advertising Sweeney Todd during its original New York engagement at the Uris Theatre. (1979; 30 seconds)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
In this musical thriller, an unjustly imprisoned barber (George Hearn) returns to London to plot his bloody revenge on the judge who destroyed his life. With its nearly continuous underscoring, musical motifs designed to represent principal characters, and voluminous song score, Sweeney Todd--arguably Sondheim's most daring and ambitious work--comes close to being an opera. Taped in Los Angeles during the tour that followed the show's original Tony Award-winning Broadway run, this production won Emmy Awards for Hearn and director Terry Hughes. Also starring are Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Lovett), Ken Jennings (Tobias), and Edmund Lyndeck (Judge Turpin), all of whom created their roles in the original New York cast. (1982; 145 minutes)
* May 30 to June 4 in New York
* June 7 to 11 in Los Angeles
Omnibus: "Sunday in the Park with......Stephen"
This BBC documentary, never shown on American television, focuses on Sondheim in England, where he guides the Royal National Theatre through rehearsals for Sunday in the Park with George and teaches musical theater as a visiting professor at Oxford University. (1990; 50 minutes)
American Playhouse: Sunday in the Park with George
Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters star in Sondheim's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about maverick late-nineteenth-century French painter Georges Sera. New York Times critic Frank Rich wrote that with Sunday, Sondheim had at last addressed a subject he cared passionately about--"art itself, and his own predicament as a driven artist whose austere vision, like Seurat's, is often incorrectly judged as heartless." (1986; 2 hours and 30 minutes)
* June 6 to 11 in New York
* June 14 to 18 in Los Angeles
Sondheim surprises Diane Sawyer with the admission that he uses a rhyming dictionary and thesaurus when writing lyrics, and--in a particularly poignant moment--confides that he regrets never having had children. "But art is the other way of having children: teaching," Sondheim says. "I believe that very firmly." This segment was filmed after the Broadway opening of Into the Woods, which Sondheim describes as a play about parents and children. (1988; 15 minutes)
American Playhouse: Into the Woods
This television production of the Sondheim-James Lapine musical, which opened on Broadway in 1987, reunites most of the original New York cast. Sondheim's second-longest-running musical (after A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Into the Woods puts new characters together with characters from the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales in a coming-of-age story about what Stephen Holden of the New York Times called "the ultimate legacy of humanity-the values we pass down to our children." Starring Bernadette Peters and Joanna Gleason, the latter of whom won a Tony for her role. "Children Will Listen" and "No One Is Alone" are among the musical numbers. (1991; 155 minutes)
* June 13 to 18 in New York
* June 21 to 25 in Los Angeles
The Laurence Olivier Awards
Henry Goodman and Anthony Barclay, stars of the 1992 London production of Assassins, perform "The Ballad of Guiteau" on this British awards program. (1993; 4 minutes)
Sondheim joins host Charlie Rose for a revealing discussion about everything from Passion (described by the composer as a musical about how "the force of somebody's feelings for you can crack you open") to the meaning of unconditional love to Sondheim's relationships with both his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein II, and his mother. Later in the program, Passion librettist/director James Lapine and Sondheim talk about the process of collaboration. (1994; 60 minutes)
American Playhouse: Passion
Dubbed "the boldest, most modern musical work to appear on Broadway in years" by Vincent Canby of the New York Times, this 1994 musical about a handsome young soldier overcome by a homely woman's obsessive love won four Tonys, including one for best musical and one for best actress (Donna Murphy, who plays the sickly Fosca). Critics have described Passion--Sondheim's third collaboration with librettist/director James Lapine--as the most operatic of his works, and its portrayal of unconditional love in a straightforward, un-ironic fashion was somewhat atypical for a composer who has described ambivalence as his favorite subject. (1996; 115 minutes)
* June 20 to 25 in New York
* June 28 to July 2 in Los Angeles
Great Performances: Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall
Sondheim is feted at a star-studded tribute taped at Carnegie Hall in June 1992 by, among others, Madeline Kahn ("Getting Married Today" from Company), Betty Buckley and the Boys Choir of Harlem ("Children Will Listen" from Into the Woods), Glenn Close ("Send in the Clowns" from A Little Night Music), Bernadette Peters ("Not a Day Goes By" from Merrily We Roll Along), Patti LuPone ("Being Alive" from Company), Patrick Cassidy and Victor Garber ("The Ballad of Booth" from Assassins), and Liza Minnelli ("Old Friend" from Merrily We Roll Along. (1993; 90 minutes)
Inside the Actors Studio: The Craft of Theater and Film
In a seminar at The New School for Social Research, Sondheim joins host James Lipton for a wide-ranging discussion of his life and work, and guest artists Liz Callaway and Jim Walton perform songs from Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and A Little Night Music. (1995; 60 minutes)
The evening screenings will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays and at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays in New York, and at 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays in Los Angeles.
The South Bank Show: "Stephen Sondheim: A Master Class"
March 17, 23, 24, 31 in New York
March 30, April 6 in Los Angeles
ABC Stage 67: Evening Primrose and Rendezvous: In an Early Winter
April 6, 7, 13, 14 in New York
April 13, 20 in Los Angeles
April 20, 21, 27, 28 in New York
April 27, May 4 in Los Angeles
The David Frost Show
May 4, 5, 11, 12 in New York
May 11, 18 in Los Angeles
Theater in America: June Moon
May 18, 19, 25, 26 in New York
May 25, June 1 in Los Angeles
June 1, 2, 8, 9 in New York
June 8, 15 in Los Angeles
ALL BRITISH NIGHT
Theatreland, Pebble Mill, Omnibus: "Sunday in the Park with......Stephen"
June 15, 16, 22, 23 in New York
June 22, 29 in Los Angeles
RADIO LISTENING SERIES: "SONDHEIM AT SEVENTY"
* March 24 - April 23, New York and Los Angeles
Anything Goes: Sondheim on Writing Lyrics
In the first of a three-part series, Sondheim discusses the art of writing lyrics. He talks about how he got started at the age of 11 under the mentorship of Oscar Hammerstein II, and--among other things--describes how writing lyrics differs from other forms of writing, as well as the ways in which lyrics are used to help create characters. Songs heard in this episode include "Broadway Baby," "Comedy Tonight," and "Maria." (1983; 30 minutes)
Anything Goes: Sondheim on Writing Music
In part two of the series, Sondheim examines the process of composing music. He acknowledges Milton Babbitt as his musical mentor and discusses how he writes his musicals with a view to holding each score together. The program demonstrates how he borrows musical styles from the past, and Sondheim offers his ideas on what makes a song "hummable." Songs featured in this episode include "Send in the Clowns," "Another Hundred People," "Too Many Mornings," and "The Miller's Son." (1983; 30 minutes)
Anything Goes: Sondheim on Sweeney Todd
In the final portion of this series, Sondheim discusses the creation of this 1979 musical. He says he always wanted to create a horror musical, and his retelling of Sweeney Todd was the result. Sondheim walks the listener through portions of the production, saying that Bernard Herrmann and William Walton provided inspiration for the music in the show, and that the show is about obsession. Numbers heard during this program include "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd," "The Worst Pies in London," "Johanna," and "A Little Priest." (1983; 30 minutes)
* April 25 - May 28 in New York
* April 26 - May 28 in Los Angeles
A Little Night Music
This production of Sondheim's romantic comedy from BBC Radio 2 tells the story of Désirée Armfeldt (played by Betty Buckley) and her illicit liaisons. Also featured in this production are Keith Michell, Margaret Courtney, and Sarah French, among others. Music is provided by the BBC Concert Orchestra under the direction of Michael Reed. (1995; 150 minutes)
* May 30 - June 25 in New York
* May 31 - June 25 in Los Angeles
Anything Goes: The Making of Sunday in the Park with George
Host Paul Lazarus talks with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine about the creation of Sunday in the Park with George, the 1984 musical that used Georges Seurat's painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" as its jumping off point. The two discuss research they did into Seurat's life and that painting both before and after creating the musical that starred Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. Sondheim says that Seurat's approach to painting influenced his approach to the music: layering rather than blending. Songs heard on this program include "Color and Light," "Everybody Loves Louis," "Sunday," and "Finishing the Hat." (1986; 30 minutes)
Anything Goes: The Making of West Side Story
This program features comments from Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, and Arthur Laurents about the creation of this classic 1957 musical. Robbins discusses the genesis of the idea for the musical; Bernstein explains that he had originally agreed to write both the music and lyrics, but, because of other commitments, called in the 25-year-old Sondheim to write the lyrics. The four men discuss the collaborative effort that went into the final product. Musical numbers heard on this episode include "Jet Song," "Something's Coming," "Maria," "Tonight," "Gee, Officer Krupke," and "A Boy Like That." (1985; 30 minutes)
BACKSTAGE WITH SONDHEIM
A Photography Exhibit in the Stephen and Nan Swid Gallery in New York Photographer Rivka Shifman Katvan offers a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse of Broadway with her candid rehearsal and backstage shots from three Stephen Sondheim shows: Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, and Putting It Together.
"A Conversation with Stephen Sondheim"
This seminar will take place in New York and will be simulcast to the Los Angeles museum on Thursday, March 16, 2000, at 6:00 p.m. EST/3:00 p.m. PT. Tickets for the live seminar in NY are $10 ($8 for Museum members) and may be purchased in the museum lobby or by phoning 212-621-6600 to Fridays. Admission is free for the simulcast in Los Angeles, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.