PHOTO CALL: Melissa Errico, Anthony Rapp, Raúl Esparza and More at "A Little Jurassic Treasure Hunt" Benefit

News   PHOTO CALL: Melissa Errico, Anthony Rapp, Raúl Esparza and More at "A Little Jurassic Treasure Hunt" Benefit
Theatre fans sleuthed through "A Little Jurassic Treasure Hunt," a one-night-only event devised by Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, at the American Museum of Natural History Oct. 3.

Sondheim, a self-professed puzzle lover, who is known to create treasure hunts and game nights with friends, created the evening that takes participants on a mysterious trek through the Museum of Natural History. It is described as a "magical and brain teasing team competition." The evening is a benefit for Friends In Deed.

Here is a look at the event:

Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran Barbara Cook (Candide, Sondheim on Sondheim, The Music Man, Follies in Concert) and four-time Tony nominee Raúl Esparza (Company, The Homecoming, Taboo, Speed-the-Plow) entertained guests with songs penned by Sondheim during dinner.

According to organizers, "Following a cocktail reception in the Museum’s Hall of Mammals, the hunt took place in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs and the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs before a dinner reception in the Rose Center for Earth and Space." Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick and Golden Globe Award winner Sarah Jessica Parker co-hosted the evening that celebrated the 20th anniversary of Friends in Deed, which provides resources and care to individuals with life-threatening illnesses.

Best known for his work as a composer-lyricist of Sweeney Todd, Follies, Sunday in the Park With George and Into the Woods (among many others), Sondheim also co-authored the screenplay to the 1973 thriller "The Last of Sheila" with Anthony Perkins, which centered around a mystery game played by guests on a luxurious yacht. Sondheim also co-authored the 1996 Broadway comedy thriller Getting Away With Murder, with his Company collaborator George Furth.

Friends in Deed also provides a bit of history into Sondheim's infamous game nights: "In the late 1960's Sondheim started having Game Nights with his friends. They gradually grew in size and complexity. In one of his famed Halloween Hunts, created with Anthony Perkins, the participants arrived at an old brownstone, rang the bell and were invited in by an unknown white-haired lady who is was sworn to answer no questions. Tensely, they waited for their next message as she served coffee and cake in silence. Film star Lee Remick was hungry and ate her portion. 'Stop!' shouts the group-leader--too late. Rearranged, the icing on the cake would have revealed the map reference of their next rendezvous. Join us for what is sure to be an unforgettable evening."

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