By Michael Gioia
18 Jan 2013
Conceived and directed by Ordway vice president of theatrical programming James A. Rocco, each Broadway Songbook program features a mix of composer life stories, a discussion of what made his or her work so extraordinary and performances by an ensemble of renowned artists from the Twin Cities musical theatre, jazz and cabaret scenes.
According to Ordway, "Picking up where his mentor, the renowned Oscar Hammerstein II left off, Stephen Sondheim is by far the most influential theatrical composer and lyricist of the later part of the 20th Century. His work helped define the 'concept' musical. He brings deeply felt human insight and a rich use of language to everything he touches. He wrote the lyrics to West Side Story and Gypsy, wrote words and music for A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park With George and others. His chilling song 'Send in the Clowns' has been recorded by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Judy Collins."
Performers include Jennifer Baldwin Peden, Dieter Bierbrauer, Joel Liestman, Kersten Rodau, Erin Schwab and Regina Marie Williams. Musical direction is by Raymond Berg.
The Words and Music of Stephen Sondheim is offered Jan. 18 at 7:30 PM, Jan. 19 at 2 PM and 7:30 PM, Jan. 20 at 2PM, Jan. 24-25 at 7:30 PM, Jan. 26 at 2 PM and 7:30 PM, and Jan. 27 at 2 PM.
The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is located at 345 Washington Street in Saint Paul, MN. For more information and tickets, call (651) 224-4222 or visit Ordway.org.