What Makes Him Great": Sondheim Celebrated May 6 at Lincoln Center

News   What Makes Him Great": Sondheim Celebrated May 6 at Lincoln Center Award-winning composer Stephen Sondheim will be celebrated at Lincoln Center's "What Makes It Great" series on May 6.

Award-winning composer Stephen Sondheim will be celebrated at Lincoln Center's "What Makes It Great" series on May 6.

The final installment of the 2001-02 season of "What Makes It Great" will feature mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Shammash and tenor Michael Winther singing the tunes of legendary theatrical composer Stephen Sondheim. Robert Kapilow will host the event, which begins at 7:30 PM in the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center.

Among the songs that will be performed at the one-night-only event include "Losing My Mind," the second act torch song from Sondheim's Follies; "Send in the Clowns," arguably Sondheim's best-known song, which he wrote for the 1973 musical A Little Night Music; and Sunday in the Park with George's "Finishing the Hat," a song about the compromise artists make for their work. The series, which was designed to demystify classical music, examines songs in-depth, bringing "listeners into the heart of the work."

Host Robert Kapilow is a composer, conductor and commentator whose setting of Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" was recorded on the Koch label and won a National Parent's Choice Award. Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Shammash has performed at the Boston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival and the Mostly Mozart Festival and will appear at this summer's Ravinia Festival in Chicago. Equally at home on the Broadway stage and in the concert hall, Michael Winther is currently standing by for several roles in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. He has performed at the Merkin Recital Hall, Avery Fishery Hall and as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic. His other New York theatrical credits include roles in 1776, Hapgood, Artist Descending a Staircase, Damn Yankees, Forever Plaid, Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding as well as the Goodspeed production of Great Expectations.

Tickets for "What Makes It Great," which are priced at $25, are available at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall box office or through CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500. Go to www.lincolncenter.org for more information. In related Sondheim news: The 72-year-old composer will be celebrated this year in Washington, D.C., with productions of six of his classic musicals — Company, Merrily We Roll Along, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Passion and Sweeney Todd. The Kennedy Center mountings begin May 10 with a production of Sweeney Todd that co-stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski.

—By Andrew Gans