Sondheim Musicals at SCR

Beth Fhaner
 | Dec 28, 2018

Sweeney Todd Logo

The upcoming production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on the Segerstrom Stage (Jan. 19-Feb. 16, 2019) marks the seventh time the work by acclaimed composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim has been performed at SCR. In a nod to the Tony Award-winning masterpiece Sweeney Todd, we take a look back at previous Sondheim productions staged here.

A Funny Thing Happened... Photo

Elaine Bankston and Les Ingledue in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

1969-70 Season

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 
by Stephen Sondheim, Larry Gelbart, Bert Shevelove

A Tony Award-winning musical inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus (251-183 BC), notably Pseudolus, Miles Gloriosus and Mostellaria, the story revolves around a slave named Pseudolus and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master court the girl next door. Featuring classic elements of farce such as puns, funny disguises and satirical comments on social class, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum has enjoyed several Broadway and West End revivals and was made into a successful film, starring the original lead of the stage musical, Zero Mostel.

Side by Side by Sondheim Photo

Martha McFarland, Gary Dontzig and Teri Ralston in Side by Side by Sondheim.

1979-80 Season

Side by Side by Sondheim 
by Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Mary Rodgers, Richard Rodgers, and Jule Styne

A musical revue featuring the songs of Sondheim, the title is taken from the song “Side by Side by Side” from Company. Various sections are tied together based on a particular Sondheim musical or having a common theme, and all of it is tied together by the Narrator. Additionally, the Narrator explains what show the songs are from and provides background on why a song was written, as well as noting comparing and contrasting Sondheim themes for the audience.

Marry Me a Little

Sarah Tattersal in Marry Me a Little.

1987-88 Season

Marry Me a Little 
by Stephen Sondheim, Craig Lucas and Norman Rene

A charming and bittersweet musical revue, this show takes songs from Sondheim’s better-known musicals, as well as songs from his then-unproduced musical, Saturday Night, to a dialogue-free plot about the relationship between two lonely singles in New York City. The strangers share a Saturday night of secret fantasies and yearning without ever leaving the confines of their own apartments. Although they’re aware of each other’s existence, they never find the courage to talk to each other, though they imagine what such an encounter would be like. A must for Sondheim fans, the one-act musical has been described as smart, funny and sophisticated.  

Sunday in the Park

Sally Spencer and Harry Groener in Sunday in the Park with George.

1988-89 Season

Sunday in the Park with George
by Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine

Inspired by the French pointillist painter George Seurat’s painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte,” this musical revolves around George (a fictionalized version of Seurat), who is deeply absorbed in painting his masterpiece, and his great-grandson (also named George), a cynical, contemporary artist. The Broadway production opened in 1984 and the musical won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, in addition to several other awards, including two Tony Awards. 

A Little Night Music

Stephanie Zimbalist and Mark Jacoby in A Little Night Music.

2007-08 Season

A Little Night Music 
music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler

Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night and centering on the romantic lives of several couples, this musical includes the popular song, “Send in the Clowns.” The musical’s title is a literal English translation of the German name for Mozart's Serenade No. 13 in G majorEine kleine Nachtmusik. Since its original 1973 Broadway production, the musical has had productions in the West End, in addition to being performed by opera companies, a 2009 Broadway revival and in regional theatres. The musical was adapted for a film in 1977, starring Elizabeth TaylorLen CariouLesley-Anne Down and Diana Rigg.

Putting it Together

Dan Callaway and Niki Scalera in Putting It Together.

2009-10 Season

Putting It Together 
words and music by Stephen Sondheim, devised by Stephen Sondheim and Julia McKenzie

A musical revue that takes its title from a song in Sunday in the Park with George, the show came about due to many requests for an update to Side by Side by Sondheim. Putting it Together received several productions, beginning with its debut in England in 1992, Broadway in 1999 and ​London's West End in 2014. The original U.S. production’s cast included Stephen Collins, Christopher Durang, Michael Rupert, Rachel York and Julie Andrews, who was returning to the New York City stage after an absence of more than three decades.

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