Being Alive, conceived and directed by Billy Porter, utilizes composer-lyricist Sondheim's words and music, as well as additional text from Shakespeare, to "tell the universal story of man's seven ages in African-American musical idioms including soul, jazz, blues, R&B, hip-hop, and gospel." It features such songs as "Anyone Can Whistle," "Send in the Clowns," "Pretty Women," "Children Will Listen" and "Being Alive." Porter, who cites Sondheim's work as an early and continuing inspiration for his own career, will directed a cast of Broadway talent, including Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper (The Life, Caroline, or Change), Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q), Joshua Henry (In the Heights), N'Kenge (Aida, 3 Mo' Divas), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Rent), Ken Robinson (Ain't Misbehavin', Jelly's Last Jam) and Rema Webb (The Lion King).
The creative team is comprised of AC Ciulla (Footloose), musical staging; James Sampliner (Legally Blonde, Wedding Singer), musical supervisor; Michael McElroy (Big River, The Wild Party), vocal music director; Mark Berman (Boy from Oz, The Life), musical director; Allen Moyer (Grey Gardens, The Little Dog Laughed), set design; Anita Yavich (Anna in the Tropics), costume design; Kevin Adams (Tony winner for Spring Awakening), lighting design; Brett Jarvis (Kiki and Herb: Alive on Broadway), sound design.
Being Alive will play the Westport Country Playhouse Aug. 24-Sept. 9. For information, call (203) 227-4177 or toll-free at (888) 927-7529 or visit www.westportplayhouse.org
Now celebrating its 77th season, the Westport Country Playhouse, located in Westport, CT, has produced more than 700 plays, 35 of which have transferred to Broadway.