There'll be Sondheim, Sondheim and more Sondheim at New York's Museum of Television and Radio come spring. From March 17 to June 25, the institution will screen television versions of many of Sondheim's musicals, some never before seen in the U.S., as part of the series "Something for Everyone: Sondheim Tonight!" The show will play at the museum's L.A. branch March 24-July 2.
Sondheim, who turns 70 this year, was recently profiled in the New York Times Magazine. In addition, he will by feted at a San Francisco gala, March 18.
Highlights of the retrospective include:
• Television productions of Passion, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods.
• The U.S. Premiere of the 1976 Japanese television production of Pacific Overtures.
• The U.S. Premiere of the 1996 London production of Company
• A segment of the British series, "Theatreland," featuring songs from the 1997 Bridewell Theatre staging of Sondheim's early work Saturday Night.
• A 1954 episode of the television sitcom "Topper." Sondheim wrote nearly a dozen scripts for the show. In this edition, the ghosts help Topper with a play at his wife's charity club.
• Evening Primrose, Sondheim's only musical written especially for television. The 1966 work -- a collaboration with James Goldman -- stars Anthony Perkins as a poet who hides from the world by spending nights in a department store, only to find a group of people with the same idea are already there.
• The world premiere of "West Side Stories: The Making of West Side Story," a 1996 documentary in which original cast members and crew from the stage and movie production of the musical talk about their experiences.
• A 1958 episode of "The Ed Sullivan Show," in which Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence recreate the balcony scene from West Side Story.
• "Gypsy Rose Lee and Her Friends," the stripper's San Francisco-based talk show. In this 1965 episode, Lee talks with Ethel Merman about Gypsy and shows home movies of rehearsals for the show in the New Amsterdam Theatre.
• D.A. Pennebaker's 1970 documentary, "Company: Original Cast Album."
• A 1971 episode of "The David Frost Show" in which Frost devotes the entire program to Follies, talking with Sondheim, Goldman, Harold Prince and several of the show's stars. Sondheim performs "Can That Boy Foxtrot."
• "Great Performance: Follies in Concert" (1985)
• The 1974 television production of Kaufman and Lardner's June Moon, starring Sondheim as Tin Pan Alley pianist Maxie Schwartz.
Admission to the museum if $6. The museum is located at 25 W. 52nd Street in Manhattan; 465 N. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, CA. For more information, call (212) 621-6800 in New York; (310) 786-1000 in L.A., or check out the web site at www.mtr.org. -- By Robert Simonson