Spend an unforgettable evening commemorating the life and works of Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, as PlayhouseSquare and Great Lakes Theater present the musical SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, May 16 – July 8 at the Hanna Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. The production is a part of both the KeyBank Broadway Series at PlayhouseSquare and the 50th Anniversary Season of Great Lakes Theater.
Originally conceived and directed by Ohio native James Lapine, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM is a journey inside the mind of an artist whose life and artistry has touched millions around the globe. His legacy includes such Broadway hits as West Side Story, Gypsy, Company, Follies, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Into The Woods, just to name a few. SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM includes live performances of songs from these shows, as well as some lesser known works, intertwined with exclusive interview footage of Sondheim himself to tell the tale of his life and the stories behind his artistic process. Truly a musical revue like no other, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM is a digital and musical collage that pays homage to Broadway's greatest living composer.
The original Broadway production of SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM was presented by Roundabout Theatre Company in 2010, and featured musical staging by Dan Knechtges, music direction/arrangements by David Loud, sets by Beowulf Boritt, and orchestrations by Michael Starobin. The original Broadway cast included Barbara Cook, Tom Wopat, Vanessa Williams, Leslie Kritzer, Erin Mackey, Norm Lewis, Euan Morton and Matthew Scott.
The Cleveland production of SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, an American regional premiere, is directed by Victoria Bussert, the area's leading authority on Sondheim. The cast includes Marie-France Arcilla, Justin Keyes, Pamela Meyers, Destan Owens, James Penca, Ciara Renée, Brian Sutherland and Emily Walton.
In addition to this being the first time SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM is performed outside New York City, this engagement offers the unique chance for PlayhouseSquare (the nation's largest performing arts center outside of New York City) and Great Lakes Theater (one of the nation's pre-eminent regional theater companies) to collaborate on a production.
"It has been a joy to work with such a distinguished group to bring this special regional premiere to our audiences," said PlayhouseSquare Senior Vice President of Theatre Operations Gina Vernaci. "The inventiveness of Great Lakes Theater has been dazzling Clevelanders for a half a century. It has been a joy to work alongside of this talented group as we ballyhoo their 50th anniversary."
"We are thrilled to collaborate with the extraordinary team at PlayhouseSquare, led by Art Falco and Gina Vernaci, to produce Sondheim on Sondheim as part of the KeyBank Broadway Series," said Great Lakes Theater Producing Artistic Director Charles Fee. "In addition to affording our region's audiences the opportunity to experience the genius of one of our nation's greatest composer-lyricists, this joint production also affords us a chance to celebrate our 30-year partnership with PlayhouseSquare as a resident company. We're grateful for PlayhouseSquare's support over the years as partners, mentors and friends. Our three decades of work together is proof positive that great things are made possible in our community through creativity and collaboration. We look forward to welcoming The PlayhouseSquare Broadway Series family to our Hanna Theatre home."