Join us for a rousing celebration of the life and work of one of Broadwayï¿½s greatest legends ï¿½ the one and only Stephen Sondheim. For the master composer and lyricistï¿½s 80th birthday, many of musical theaterï¿½s brightest stars gathered to perform more than two dozen sensational numbers from Sondheimï¿½s illustrious career. Many of these enduring songs are rarely heard and several are performed by the original Broadway cast members. David Hyde Pierce hosts this magical event with Stephen Sondheimï¿½s longtime collaborator Paul Gemignani conducting the New York Philharmonic.
Filmed live, March 15ï¿½16, 2010 at Avery Fisher Hall, New York City
Performances Include: "America" (Dancers, West Side Story) "Somethingï¿½s Coming" (Alexander Gemingnani, West Side Story) "Weï¿½re Gonna Be Alright" (Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Do I Hear a Waltz?) "Donï¿½t Laugh" (Victoria Clark, Hot Spot) "Johanna"(Nathan Gunn, Sweeney Todd) "Youï¿½re Gonna Love Tomorrow" and "Love Will See Us Through" (Matt Cavenaugh, Jenn Colella, Laura Osnes, Bobby Steggert, Follies) "Too Many Mornings" (Nathan Gunn, Audra McDonald, Follies) "The Road You Didnï¿½t Take" (John McMartin, Follies) "It Takes Two" (Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Into the Woods) "Growing Up" (Jim Walton, Merrily We Roll Along) "Finishing the Hat" (Mandy Patinkin, Sunday in the Park with George) "Move On" (Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Sunday in the Park with George) "Pretty Women" (Michael Cerveris, George Hearn, Sweeney Todd) "A Little Priest" (Michael Cerveris, George Hearn, Patti LuPone, Sweeney Todd) ï¿½Theme from ï¿½Redsï¿½ï¿½ with Pas De Deux (NY Philharmonic, Two ABT Dancers Maria and Blaine) "So Many People" (Laura Benanti, Saturday Night) "Beautiful Girls" (David Hyde Pierce) "Ladies Who Lunch" (Patti LuPone, Company) "Losing My Mind" (Marin Mazzieï¿½ Follies) "The Glamorous Life" (Audra McDonald, A Little Night Music) "Could I Leave You?" (Donna Murphy, Follies) "Not a Day Goes By" (Bernadette Peters, Merrily We Roll Along) "Iï¿½m Still Here" (Elaine Stritch, Follies) "Sunday" (Broadway Chorus, Sunday in the Park with George) "Happy Birthday" (All Cast) Sondheim! The Birthday Concert is a historic tribute to the Broadway work of Stephen Sondheim that took place in New York's Avery Fisher Hall in March 2010. That's 25 years after a similar all-star concert, Follies in Concert, was held in the same venue, also with Paul Gemignani conducting the New York Philharmonic, and the song list and parade of stars seems intended to evoke those memories. But rather than re-creating one show, this concert hosted by David Hyde Pierce celebrates three decades of work in honor of the composer's 80th birthday. It starts a bit slowly, with some songs for which Sondheim wrote only the lyrics, but even that offers something "new": an unfamiliar song from Hot Spot (music by Mary Rodgers) called "Don't Laugh," performed by Victoria Clark. From there the concert shifts into high gear with Sondheim's shows from the '70s and '80s. Three songs from Follies are covered by a young generation of talent (Jenn Colella, Matt Cavenaugh, Bobby Steggert, Laura Osnes), by Audra McDonald and opera star Nathan Gunn, and by original cast member John McMartin. That's followed by some thrilling reunions: Joanna Gleason and Chip Zien's "It Takes Two" from Into the Woods, Jim Walton with a song he didn't sing in Merrily We Roll Along ("Growing Up"), Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters with "Finishing the Hat" and "Move On" from Sunday in the Park with George, and Patti LuPone with two different Sweeney Todds--George Hearn and Michael Cerveris. Six "ladies in red" sing solos--LuPone's "The Ladies Who Lunch," Marin Mazzie's "Losing My Mind," McDonald's "The Glamorous Life," Donna Murphy's "Could I Leave You," Peters's "Not a Day Goes By," and Elaine Stritch's "I'm Still Here"--before hundreds of currently working actors flood the theater and sing "Sunday" to emotionally overwhelm the guest of honor. Since none of the shows represented were written later than the '80s (Passion is not represented, though its two female leads are, nor is Assassins), it's safe to say that this combination of songs sung by so many original stars will never be repeated. --David Horiuchi