The Tony Award-winning, Pulitzer Prize-honored musical theatre composer will be feted at Signature Theatre's first annual Sondheim Award Gala at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC.
"Recognizing musical theatre's great debt to the influential composer," Signature is establishing The Sondheim Award to be presented in the future to individuals "for their career contributions to interpreting, supporting, and collaborating on Sondheim's musical works."
The black-tie dinner is being chaired by Signature board member Bonnie Feld and her husband Kenneth, with Honorary Hosts His Excellency and Mrs. Giovanni Castellaneta. Proceeds from the Sondheim Gala will benefit the non-profit Signature Theatre, based in Arlington, VA.
Signature artistic director Eric Schaeffer stated, "Steve is a special friend to Signature. Having produced his shows annually for the past 19 years, it is fitting to that we establish an annual award in his honor. We wanted to give Steve a special tribute with the artists who have had such a connection to his work. Tony Award winners Bernadette Peters and Michael Cerveris are two artists who have worked very closely with Steve and are very identified with his works. Pairing them with Washington favorites Eleasha Gamble and Will Gartshore, who have both shone in Sondheim shows at Signature, will bring together the perfect quartet to salute the canon of Sondheim's career. It promises to be a very special evening with very special artists and friends." Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Road Show (2008), earlier produced as Bounce (2003), Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971, revised in London 1987 and in New York 2001), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962); as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear a Waltz (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide (1973).
For information on tickets and sponsorships for Signature Theatre’s Sondheim Gala, ranging from $650 to $25,000, visit www.signature-theatre.org/2009gala.htm or contact Signature Theatre's Development Department at (571) 527-1828.