Celebrating Musical Theatre Legend Stephen Sondheim’s 90th Birthday

QPAC Sondheim on SondheimQueensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra have announced a special concert, to celebrate the 90th birthday of the legendary Stephen Sondheim presented on his actual birthday, Sunday 22 March 2020, in QPAC’s Concert Hall.

Regarded as one of the most important figures in 20th Century musical theatre, Sondheim’s most well-known works include the music and lyrics for Company, Follies, Into the Woods, Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.

Sondheim on Sondheim is an intimate portrait of the famed songwriter in his own words… and music and is hailed as a “revelatory revue full of wonderful moments” and a “funny, affectionate and revealing tribute to musical theatre’s greatest living composer and lyricist”.

Ranging from the beloved to the obscure, the carefully selected program of Sondheim songs featured in Sondheim and Sondheim hangs off a framework of in-depth exclusive video interviews with Sondheim himself, giving audiences an inside look at the personal life and artistic process of iconic composer.

His story. His inspiration. His genius. The tapestry of creativity that characterises Stephen Sondheim has remained largely undiscussed, especially by the man himself, until the creation of Sondheim on Sondheim.

Presented by QPAC and the 60-piece Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra this will be the Australian premiere of Sondheim on Sondheim with the full symphony orchestra arrangements, created especially for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at this production’s premiere at the Hollywood Bowl in 2017.

A line-up of some of Australia’s finest musical theatre stars will pay tribute to Sondheim on his 90th birthday at QPAC and perform his beloved classics, with award-winning star of stage and screen Philip Quast (Les Misérables, Sunday in the Park with George, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) and West End and Australian musicals leading lady Anne Wood (Cats, Mamma Mia, Into the Woods) to headline this special concert.

Acclaimed Australian artists Jason Barry-Smith, Jarrod Draper, Alister Kingsley, Naomi Price, and Patrice Tipoki, and four Bachelor of Musical Theatre degree students from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU) will also bring their talents to the ‘party’, making this truly an unforgettable evening for Sondheim fans.

The concert will feature songs from West Side Story, Gypsy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Do I Hear a Waltz?, Evening Primrose, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Assassins, Passion and more.

At 90 years of age and as one of the Godfathers of musical theatre, this special concert celebrates and pays homage to the Sondheim legend, providing not only an evening of entertainment, but a milestone opportunity to pause and reflect on a musical legacy that will live on forever.

Director: Tyran Parke Featuring: Philip Quast, Anne Wood, Jason Barry-Smith, Jarrod Draper, Alister Kingsley, Naomi Price, Patrice Tipoki, Students from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra Musical Director/Conductor: Michael Keen Designer: Alison Ross Lighting Designer: Lauren Sallaway

Sondheim on Sondheim
Concert Hall – QPAC, Cultural Precinct, South Bank (Brisbane)
Performance: Sunday 22 March 2020 – 6.00pm
Information and Bookings: www.qpac.com.au

Image: Sondheim on Sondheim (supplied)