LuPone, McDonald, Hearn and Cerveris Celebrate Sondheim July 31 at Ravinia

News   LuPone, McDonald, Hearn and Cerveris Celebrate Sondheim July 31 at Ravinia Illinois' Ravinia Festival, which has presented staged concert productions of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, Passion, Sunday in the Park with George, Anyone Can Whistle, Sweeney Todd and Gypsy, among others, celebrates the famed composer-lyricist July 31 in honor of his recent 80th birthday.

Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone Photo by Ethan Hill

Directed by Lonny Price, the Gala Benefit Evening — entitled Sondheim: 80 — boasts the talents of Tony Award winners Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, George Hearn and Michael Cerveris, who have all been featured in Ravinia's Sondheim celebrations since they began in 2001.

The concert features songs from such Sondheim musicals as Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Passion, Sunday in the Park with George, Anyone Can Whistle, West Side Story and Gypsy. Paul Gemignani conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The evening, which will be performed without intermission, includes such Sondheim tunes as "Together Wherever We Go," "Finishing the Hat," "Move On," "You Must Meet My Wife," "Every Day a Little Death," "Glamorous Life," "Send in the Clowns," "It Would Have Been Wonderful," "Everything's Coming up Roses," "Happiness," "I Wish I Could Forget You," "Everybody Says Don't," "Anyone Can Whistle," "Pretty Women," "A Little Priest" and "Side By Side."

In a previous statement Ravinia president and CEO Welz Kauffman said, "The genius of Sondheim can’t be questioned. The star power of Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, George Hearn and Michael Cerveris make them all without peer. The stage mastery of Lonny Price and Paul Gemignani is unimpeachable. Add all this magic to the natural beauty of Ravinia Festival, and you’ve got a Gala event for the ages. In a season brimming with special anniversaries, what better way to celebrate Sondheim’s 80th birthday than by recreating the greatest hits Ravinia has had with his music and these stars over the past decade?"

The black-tie event will begin with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres on the Ravinia lawn at 5 PM; guests will then be escorted to the 7 PM intermissionless performance. Following the concert, dinner will be served in the Gala Marquee on the north lawn. For more information or to purchase tickets to the benefit dinner, which begin at $750, call (847) 266-5045 or visit gala@ravinia.org. For more information on Ravinia, visit www.ravinia.org.

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