Sondheim and Shakespeare Inspire Being Alive, a New Revue Premiering in CT

News   Sondheim and Shakespeare Inspire Being Alive, a New Revue Premiering in CT
Being Alive, conceived and directed by Broadway and recording artist Billy Porter, and drawing on the songs of Stephen Sondheim and the poetry of Shakespeare, begins its world premiere run at the Westport Country Playhouse Aug. 24.

Porter, who cites Sondheim's work as an early and continuing inspiration for his own career, has created the production, utilizing composer-lyricist Sondheim's words and music, as well as additional text from Shakespeare, to "tell the universal story of man's seven ages in African-American musical idioms including soul, jazz, blues, R&B, hip-hop, and gospel."

Songs featured in the production include "Take Me to the World," "Children Will Listen," "What Can You Lose?" "Not a Day Goes By," "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid," "Send in the Clowns," "Getting Married Today," "Something Just Broke," "Pretty Women," "There Won't Be Trumpets," "Giants in the Sky," "I Wish I Could Forget You," "Not While I'm Around," "Anyone Can Whistle," "Stay With Me," "I Remember," "No More," "Move On," "Live, Laugh, Love", "There's Something About a War," "More," "Losing My Mind," "No One Is Alone," "Fear No More," "Sunday," and "Being Alive."

The Broadway talent assembled for the world premiere at Westport includes Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper (The Life, Caroline, or Change), Natalie Venetia Belcon (Avenue Q), Joshua Henry (In the Heights), N'Kenge (Aida, 3 Mo' Divas), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Rent), Ken Robinson (Ain't Misbehavin', Jelly's Last Jam) and Rema Webb (The Lion King).

The creative team is comprised of AC Ciulla (Footloose), musical staging; James Sampliner (Legally Blonde, Wedding Singer), musical supervisor; Michael McElroy (Big River, The Wild Party), vocal music director; Mark Berman (Boy from Oz, The Life), musical director; Allen Moyer (Grey Gardens, The Little Dog Laughed), set design; Anita Yavich (Anna in the Tropics), costume design; Kevin Adams (Tony winner for Spring Awakening), lighting design; Brett Jarvis (Kiki and Herb: Alive on Broadway), sound design.

Being Alive plays the Westport Country Playhouse through Sept. 9, the official opening is set for Aug. 25. For information, call (203) 227-4177 or toll-free at (888) 927-7529 or visit *

Now celebrating its 77th season, the Westport Country Playhouse, located in Westport, CT, has produced more than 700 plays, 35 of which have transferred to Broadway.

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