The Sondheim initiative, which will stretch over several years, will be offered at several different venues. Some will be original Huntington productions — like the current staging of A Little Night Music, which is considered the first of the 15 productions — while others will be imported from theatres around the world.
The celebrated composer is aware of the Huntington's plans, and his reaction, according to Huntington artistic director Peter Dubois, is "very positive."
Neither productions nor dates has been announced, but DuBois said the Huntington will focus primarily on musicals that feature both lyrics and music by the composer, although it is possible that stagings of West Side Story and Gypsy, which only feature lyrics by Sondheim, could make the list. Revues like Sondheim on Sondheim and Marry Me a Little as well as more obscure works like The Frogs and Saturday Night are also possibilities.
"We really want this to be a combination of original productions that we create in Boston, with our own point of view artistically, as well as productions that I feel or Mr. Sondheim feels are seminal productions that Boston audiences need to see," said DuBois.
The Huntington's announcement follows news that Boston's Lyric Stage, under the direction of Spiro Veloudos, is continuing its commitment to Sondheim works over the next five years with planned stagings of Sondheim on Sondheim, Company, Sunday in the Park with George and Merrily We Roll Along. Also under consideration are Passion and Pacific Overtures. Earlier this week, it was reported that the Huntington is losing its main supporter—Boston University, which plans to put one of the troupe's theatres up for sale. Read more about that situation here.