"Great Performances" to Broadcast Sondheim: The Birthday Concert With NY Philharmonic

News   "Great Performances" to Broadcast Sondheim: The Birthday Concert With NY Philharmonic
PBS' "Great Performances" will capture the New York Philharmonic's star-studded Sondheim: The Birthday Concert, which will be presented March 15-16 at Avery Fisher Hall.
David Hyde Pierce
David Hyde Pierce Photo by Joan Marcus

Representatives for "Great Performances" told Playbill.com that Sondheim: The Birthday Concert will likely air in the fall, though exact dates have not been determined. The Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-lyricist celebrates his 80th birthday March 22. Both concerts are sold out. Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce (Curtains, Spamalot) serves as host. Longtime Sondheim collaborator Paul Gemignani will conduct, with Lonny Price as director. Choreography is by Josh Rhodes.

The cast features Laura Benanti, Matt Cavenaugh, Michael Cerveris, Victoria Clark, Jenn Colella, Jason Danieley, Joanna Gleason, Nathan Gunn, George Hearn, Patti LuPone, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, John McMartin, Donna Murphy, Gillian Murphy, Laura Osnes, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Bobby Steggert, Ethan Stiefel, Elaine Stritch, Jim Walton and Chip Zien.

The celebration of Sondheim's 80th birthday, according to press notes, "will include his most enduring orchestral music and songs — performed, in some cases, by the stars of the original Broadway cast productions — in addition to rarely-heard material."

Expect songs and orchestral pieces from Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Passion, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Anyone Can Whistle, along with a suite of music Sondheim wrote for the film "Reds."

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