Following the Mar. 12 gala opening night performance of Sweeney Todd at the Ahmanson Theatre, Stephen Sondheim will receive the ASCAP Founders Award from actress Carol Burnett and ASCAP president and chairman of the board, Marilyn Bergman.
The ASCAP Founders Award is rarely given. It recognizes composers and lyricists who are leaders in their respective fields. Past recipients include Paul McCartney, Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, Stevie Wonder, Hal David and Burt Bacharach.
The gala portion of the evening includes a party and VIP seating and will benefit the ASCAP Foundation, which nurtures and develops the talents of musical theatre composers and lyricists. A portion of the benefits will also go to REPRISE! Broadway's Best in Concert, the non-profit organization which is producing Sweeney Todd at the Ahmanson for a total of five performances.
Starring in the show are Neil Patrick Harris (as Tobias Ragg) and Ken Howard (Judge Turpin), along with the previously announced Kelsey Grammar, Davis Gaines, Christine Baranski, Melissa Manchester, Dale Kristien, Jack Noseworthy and Ken Page. The director is Calvin Remsberg, who performed the role of The Beadle on Sweeney Todd's first national tour with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn.
Opening night VIP Gala tickets and post-performance party are $250 (limited to 400) and are available by calling (310) 664-1453. Regular tickets, priced from $35-$75 are also available, including opening night, at all Ticketmaster outlets and by calling Ticketmaster Fine Arts Line at (213) 365-3500 or (714) 740-7878. Sondheim selected REPRISE!, led by producing artistic director Marcia Seligson, for this production himself, and it will be the only West Coast presentation of the musical in 1999.