PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Joanna Gleason Picks Her Favorite Songs by Stephen Sondheim

Playlist   PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Joanna Gleason Picks Her Favorite Songs by Stephen Sondheim
Joanna Gleason, who won the 1988 Tony Award for her performance as the Baker's Wife in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Into the Woods, will return to 54 Below beginning Oct. 7. In anticipation of her upcoming concerts, she shared her favorite Sondheim tunes as part of this week's Playbill Playlist.
Joanna Gleason
Joanna Gleason Photo by Michael Crook

The concerts, featuring Well-Strung, the singing string quartet, and Jeffrey Klitz at the piano, will be held Oct. 7 at 9:30 PM, Oct. 14 at 10 PM and Oct. 21 at 9:30 PM.

At the concerts, according to 54 Below, "Joanna's fantasy and real lives intersect underscored by tunes ranging from Billy Joel to Dave Frishberg to Johnny Mathis, with maybe even a little walk through the woods. Revered by Broadway audiences for her unforgettable (& award-winning) portrayal of The Baker’s Wife in the original company of Into the Woods, New York has also embraced Joanna in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Nick and Nora and Sons of The Prophet among others, racking up all of the major theatre awards along the way. This is to say nothing of her film and TV work, which includes Boogie Nights, Crimes & Misdemeanors, The Wedding Planner, the upcoming Last Vegas and a whole host of other projects. It's the cabaret event of the fall as this eloquent, witty and thoroughly delightful star graces our stage."

Gleason was also nominated for Tony Awards for her performances in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Click here for the previous Playbill Playlist of Sondheim tunes from Gleason's Into the Woods co-star, Chip Zien.

54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. For more information and tickets, visit

"Goodbye For Now" (from the movie "Reds"). The melody is gorgeous, and all during the time it takes to say goodbye, emotions weave through resignation, ambivalence, anger to a kind of pining.

"Liaisons" (from A Little Night Music). Well, that's the next part for me…sit all night and sing one of the cleverest character songs ever. Then die. (Or did she? Can anybody say, "SHANE???") … (Kidding, the summer night smiled the third time. ☺) Actually, I think A Little Night Music may be my favorite Sondheim show.

"Losing My Mind" (from Follies). Been there.

"Anyone Can Whistle" (from Anyone Can Whistle). So simple, sung by the one who pretended not to know the answers in class…and still didn't get asked to dance.

"Being Alive" (from Company). I was thinking of the documentary of the making of the Company cast album…and the moment where Dean Jones is singing the song yet again, and both the character and the actor break through — thrilling.

"In Buddy's Eyes" (from Follies). Again, not just a beautiful sentiment…but the vulnerability of middle age.

"Sunday" (from Sunday in the Park With George). Well, it never fails to move me to tears.

"It Takes Two" (from Into the Woods). The discovery and growing appreciation of each other happens in real time during the song.

"On The Steps of The Palace" (from Into the Woods). Again, discovery in real time — that song never stops moving, Cinderella's every thought set to music. Of course, I always hear Kim Crosby's beautiful voice...

"Johanna" (from Sweeney Todd) … because Joanna ☺

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