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New York City Center Spring Gala For Sondhiem's 80th B-Day!! 
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Post New York City Center Spring Gala For Sondhiem's 80th B-Day!!
This sounds like a stunning evening.....and I have tickets!!! My girlfriend and I are going for our 1 and 1/2 year anniversery. Granted, we're in the nosebleeds, but I don't care!!!!

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New York City Center will celebrate Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Stephen Sondheim on the occasion of his 80th birthday on Monday, April 26 with a gala celebration featuring stars who have shone in Sondheim musicals including Michael Cerveris, Barbara Cook, Raúl Esparza, Victor Garber, Joanna Gleason, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Donna Murphy and Bernadette Peters. Directed by Tony Award-winner John Doyle, the evening will highlight shows for which Mr. Sondheim has written both music and lyrics, and will feature a full orchestra conducted by Encores! Music Director Rob Berman. The Benefit will help fund New York City Center’s artistic and education programs. In addition, a portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to Young Playwrights Inc, a charity of great importance to Mr. Sondheim.

The birthday celebration cast (as of January 20, 2010) includes: Michael Cerveris, Barbara Cook, Claybourne Elder, Raúl Esparza, Sutton Foster, Victor Garber, Alexander Gemignani, Joanna Gleason, Mark Jacoby, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Debra Monk, Donna Murphy, Bernadette Peters, Jim Walton, B.D. Wong and Chip Zien.

The gala will begin at City Center, 55th Street (between 6th & 7th Aves.), at 6:00 pm with cocktails, followed by the show at 7:00 pm. The evening will end with a post-performance dinner at The Plaza Hotel, 5th Ave. and Central Park South. [See below for complete ticket information.] Gala co-chairs are Bobbie and Lew Frankfort, Perry and Marty Granoff, Stacey and Eric Mindich, and Mary Jo and Ted Shen.

“I am so delighted to be invited to play some part in the celebrations for Stephen Sondheim,” said John Doyle. “City Center is taking a look back, in concert, at moments from all the shows for which Steve wrote both the words and the music. Highlights will be sung by some of Broadway's most shining stars - all of whom either originated or revived major roles in these shows. We can never celebrate Steve enough. He has done more than any other artist to influence the development of musical theatre. This is simply City Center's way of saying, ‘Thank You.'"

As a group, the gala’s performers have appeared in over 50 Sondheim shows:
Michael Cerveris won a Tony Award for his performance as John Wilkes Booth in Assassins. Other Sondheim roles include the Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd, Road Show at the Public Theater, Passion at the Kennedy Center, A Little Night Music at Chicago Shakespeare and Sunday in the Park with George at Ravinia.

Barbara Cook will star on Broadway this spring in Sondheim on Sondheim at Studio 54. Ms. Cook appeared as Sally in the renowned N.Y. Philharmonic concert version of Follies. Her concert Mostly Sondheim played sold-out runs at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Theater and in London.

Claybourne Elder made his New York stage debut in Road Show at the Public Theater.

Raúl Esparza was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as Bobby in the revival of Company. Other Sondheim roles include Sunday in the Park with George and Merrily We Roll Along at the Kennedy Center and Company at Cincinnati Playhouse.

Sutton Foster will star in Anyone Can Whistle, the final Encores! production of the New York City Center 2009-10 season.

Victor Garber starred on Broadway in the original cast of Sweeney Todd, as John Wilkes Booth in the off-Broadway production of Assassins and as Ben in the acclaimed Encores! production of Follies.

Alexander Gemignani starred as Addison Mizner in Road Show at the Public Theater, in Assassins on Broadway, and in the Broadway revivals of Sunday in the Park with George and Sweeney Todd.

Joanna Gleason won the Tony Award for her performance as The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods.

Mark Jacoby starred as Judge Turpin in the 2005 Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd. He played Fredrick in the White Plains Performing Arts Center’s production of A Little Night Music.

Angela Lansbury is currently starring on Broadway in A Little Night Music. She made her Broadway musical debut starring in Anyone Can Whistle, and won Tony Awards for her performances in Gypsy and Sweeney Todd.

Patti LuPone won the Tony Award for her performance as Rose in Gypsy, a performance and show that originated at Encores! Summer Stars series in 2007. Ms. LuPone was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Mrs. Lovett in the revival of Sweeney Todd.

Debra Monk starred as Joanne in the Broadway revival of Company. Her other Sondheim credits include the off-Broadway production of Assassins and Children and Art.

Donna Murphy won the Tony Award for Passion and starred as Phyllis in the Encores! production of Follies.

Bernadette Peters was nominated for Tony Awards for her portrayals of Rose in Gypsy, Dot in Sunday in the Park with George, and The Witch in Into the Woods. Ms. Peters' CD, “Sondheim, Etc” features highlights from her 1996 solo debut at Carnegie Hall.

Jim Walton starred as Franklin Shepard in the original Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along and as Anthony in the 1989 revival of Sweeney Todd.

B.D. Wong starred in the 2004 Roundabout Theatre production of Pacific Overtures and performed in the Broadway benefit of Children and Art.

Chip Zien played The Baker in the original Broadway production of Into the Woods.

John Doyle has garnered great acclaim for his fresh interpretation of Sondheim’s works. His 2004 staging of Sweeney Todd was a big hit in London and was re-mounted on Broadway, winning Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical and Outstanding Direction. He was nominated for a Tony Award for Outstanding Direction for his revival of Company. Most recently, Doyle directed Sondheim's Road Show at the Public Theater.

Rob Berman is entering his third season as Music Director of Encores!. Mr. Berman won a Helen Hayes Award for Best Musical Direction for his work on the Kennedy Center’s production of Sunday in the Park with George. He was also Music Director of the Sondheim revue Opening Doors at Zankel Hall.

Stephen Sondheim will celebrate his 80th birthday on March 22, 2010. Mr. Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Road Show (2003), Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear A Waltz? (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). He won Tony Awards for Best Score for a Musical for Passion, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Follies, and Company. Sunday in the Park with George received the 1985 Pulitzer Prize.

New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President and CEO) has long been known and beloved by New York audiences not only as one of the City’s preeminent performing art institutions but also as an accessible and welcoming venue for dance and theater. New York City Center produces the Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series, and is home to some of the country’s leading dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club, one of New York’s leading theater companies. In 2004 New York City Center launched the acclaimed Fall for Dance Festival, continuing to fulfill its mission to make the arts accessible to the broadest possible audience. In 2006, New York City Center formed partnerships with London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre to facilitate the exchange of innovative dance works, and with Carnegie Hall to work together on exciting new programming initiatives between the two neighboring institutions. In 2007 New York City Center introduced the Encores! Summer Stars series with the critically-acclaimed production of Gypsy¸ starring Patti LuPone, which subsequently enjoyed a successful run on Broadway, and which was followed by Damn Yankees starring Sean Hayes and Jane Krakowski and this past summer’s The Wiz starring Ashanti.

Sponsorship and tickets to the benefit are available by calling 212-763-1205 212-763-1205. Support levels are:
Vice Chairman Table for ten: $50,000
Golden Benefactor Table for ten: $25,000
Silver Benefactor Table for ten: $15,000
Benefactor Ticket: $2,500
Patron Ticket: $1,500
Sponsor Ticket: $500

Tickets to the benefit show only are $25, $60, $85 and $250 and are available at the New York City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), through CityTix® at 212-581-1212 212-581-1212, or online. Program and artists subject to change.


Anyone else going???? Oh my god I can't wait. I might die of excitment!

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Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:43 pm
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I leave NY one week earlier!! Guh!!

At least the Philharmonic concert (with similar 'stars') will be recorded for PBS, apparently.


Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:04 pm
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Omg, I really want to go! But unfortunately, I won't be able to buy tickets for at least a month, in which the show will most likely be sold out by :(

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Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:36 pm
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Given that list, I'm curious what songs everyone thinks will be performed. Some of the probably more obvious choices, IMO, are...

Raul Esparza - Being Alive
Bernadette Peters - Children Will Listen
Patti Lupone - Everything's Coming Up Roses or Some People (or both!)
Joanna Gleason - Moments in the Woods
Debra Monk - Ladies Who Lunch
Chip Zien - Hopfully, It Takes Two with Gleason, possibly No More
Angela Lansbury - Worst Pies in London
Victor Garber - Johanna

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:56 pm
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That would be so uninspired..I hope not. (Except for a couple like Lansbury's, which would be truly nostalgic if she can handle it.)

Bernadette Peters will hopefully sing Losing my Mind or In Buddy's Eyes, which she has recently added to her repertoire, which (because it hasn't been recorded) would be fresh.


Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:19 pm
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Uninspired though it may be, I have a really hard time believing that these stars will not be singing some of the most recognizable songs in Sondheim's catalogue. Surely there will be others as well. Those were only the ones I felt were probably painfully obvious.

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:17 pm
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I think he meant uninspired because they wouldnt sing the stuff you can readily hear them sing on c.d. any day.

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I dont want to hear Joanna Gleason on CD damn it, I want to hear her live! lol!

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:21 pm
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I'd rather hear her sing 'Could I Leave You" or "Every Day a Little Death" than the stuff she already sang in ITW.

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:23 pm
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Her singing "Could I Leave You?" would be perfection! 8O

It's not fair. :cry: I live in New York, darnit! It's not as if the concert is thousands of miles away from my state...it's practically around the corner and I'm still missing out!

Rant over...

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Last edited by SomeoneLikeYou on Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:46 pm
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Why are you missing out? Balcony seats are $25.

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Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:04 pm
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Brock07 wrote:
Why are you missing out? Balcony seats are $25.


I have no one to go with. :| My family doesn't even know who Sondheim is, and my friends are busy obsessing over Next to Normal and Hair...le sigh...

Then again, the concert's not until April 26th. Maybe if I do some fast talking, I could get a date, providing tickets aren't sold out by then.

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Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:18 am
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