Music and Lyrics of Stephen Sondheim Are Explored in Multimedia Concert The Bluest Ink Aug. 26
By Michael Gioia
The Bluest Ink, a multimedia revue featuring the music and lyrics of Tony Award-winning songwriter Stephen Sondheim, is presented in a staged concert Aug. 26 at (le) Poisson Rouge.
Presented by Max Friedman, Charlie Rosen and Van Patten Media, the 10 PM concert features musical direction and arrangements by Rosen, whose Broadway credits include Cyrano de Bergerac and One Man, Two Guvnors, among others.
Conceived and directed by Friedman, The Bluest Ink features animations and projection design by Ilana Schwartz with performances by Kasie Gasparini, Will Roland, Ariella Serur and Keith White.
"The Bluest Ink is a piece I've been imagining and outlining for a few years," director Friedman told Playbill.com. "I really felt that Sondheim's oeuvre was just filled with songs that could be re-imagined to tell really contemporary, youthful stories of the millennial generation. Once I started collaborating regularly with Charlie Rosen, he seemed like a natural fit for the project. Charlie has an amazing ability to bring something really fresh and modern out of classic Broadway songs. Fortunately for me, the goals of the project really spoke to him, and he jumped head first into the material to dazzling results. I've never heard Sondheim sound like this before.
"Another thing that felt really married to the piece from the very beginning was a New York sensibility. To create that, we reached out to a really talented young animator named Ilana Schwartz, and she's created some remarkable illustrations of the city and of specific images from the songs that really provide a setting for the narrative of the piece in a beautiful and unique way."
Rosen added, "To be perfectly honest, before this process I felt a bit like a Sondheim neophyte. Luckily, when Max came along with the vision for this piece, it gave me an opportunity to really dig into a catalogue of music that has such depth. This has truly been one of the most fulfilling musical projects I've ever worked on. The tunes inspired me so much in terms of the language with which to re-imagine and re-interpret them. I feel that I've grown in my vocabulary as a player, arranger, and composer just from coming into contact with it."
The Bluest Ink, according to press notes, "is a dynamic, modern exploration of both iconic and obscure Stephen Sondheim songs as they relate to the lives of young people, and a celebration of their intimate relationship with New York City."
The evening features Sondheim songs from or cut from the musicals Saturday Night, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies and Merrily We Roll Along, the films "Evening Primrose," "Reds" and "Dick Tracy," as well as lesser-known standalone songs and songs from un-produced musicals and films.
E. Sara Barnes is the production stage manager.
(le) Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street. For more information and tickets, visit lePoissonRouge.com.
Send questions and comments to the Webmaster
Copyright © 2014 Playbill, Inc. All Rights Reserved.