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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 25, 2014
For many of us, Leonard Bernstein will always loom large. The conductor/composer/mentor/mensch left an enormous mark not just on the classical music and theater worlds, but on the world, period. I owe a lot of my own views about music and, especially, music-making to Bernstein. Although I only met him once, and all too briefly, during a crazy evening that started at the Kennedy Center and ended up at the Watergate Hotel (no, silly, not that kind of evening), I came to feel that he was a part of my life somehow.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 25, 2014
For many of us, Leonard Bernstein will always loom large. The conductor/composer/mentor/mensch left an enormous mark not just on the classical music and theater worlds, but on the world, period. I owe a lot of my own views about music and, especially, music-making to Bernstein. Although I only met him once, and all too briefly, during a crazy evening that started at the Kennedy Center and ended up at the Watergate Hotel (no, silly, not that kind of evening), I came to feel that he was a part of my life somehow.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | March 2, 2001
There will be a lot more than a little night music at the Kennedy Center next season. The Washington performing arts center will celebrate the work of composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim with six new full-scale productions of classic Sondheim musicals performed in repertory over 15 weeks beginning in May 2002. "The Kennedy Center is going to be returning to self-producing theater," the center's newly installed president, Michael M. Kaiser, said yesterday. The six productions - "Sweeney Todd"; "Company"; "Sunday in the Park with George"; "Merrily We Roll Along"; "Passion" and "A Little Night Music" - will mark the center's first major theatrical producing effort in more than a dozen years.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2014
Has any creator in the realm of musical theater ever considered each syllable of text, each note and harmonic turn as deeply as Stephen Sondheim? His intense focus, his drive to find and express inner truths about the complexities of life, art and heart yielded one of Sondheim's most personal works, "Sunday in the Park with George," which has received a rewarding revival by Signature Theatre to launch the company's 25th anniversary season. I don't think it's stretching a point to see an autobiographical undercurrent to this 1984 show, which came along just a few years after the ill-fated "Merrily We Roll Along," perhaps Sondheim's most celebrated failure.
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By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2008
Standing O, Anne Arundel County's newest theater company, is fulfilling its mission to offer premieres of recent little-known works by staging the off-Broadway musical john & jen through next weekend at Chesapeake Academy's black-box theater. First produced in 1995 with music by Andrew Lippa and lyrics by Tom Greenwald, john & jen looks at complex relationships between brother and sister and mother and son, set against the background of a changing America between 1950 and 1990. Lippa's music is reminiscent of Stephen Sondheim's, filled with intricate melodies that artfully match Greenwald's insightful lyrics.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2013
Executive producer Frank Rich says Stephen Sondheim made just one demand before he gave his blessing to the film “Six by Sondheim,” which premieres Monday night at 9 on HBO. “Just don't do the same old, same old,” Rich quotes the composer-lyricist as saying when the project was proposed to him. True to the pledge, there is nothing “same old, same old” about this take on a man whose talents - from the lyrics of “West Side Story”...
FEATURES
March 19, 2008
`Night Music' Go see A Little Night Music, a play about affairs of the heart that includes music by Stephen Sondheim, at 8 p.m. at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St. Tickets are $25-$55 and include an opening-night party after the show. Call 410-332-0033. FYI Glenn McNatt is on assignment. His art column does not appear today.
FEATURES
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,Sun Theater Critic | March 21, 2008
Like all of the great romantic comedies, Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music is unsparing in its depiction of human folly. In an enchanting production running at Center Stage, the characters pay a price for their blind self-indulgence, their benighted yearnings, their frantic pursuits of will o' the wisps -- but the cost never is as high as they -- or we -- deserve. A beneficent fate rescues us from our worst enemy, who always turns out to be ourselves. If you go A Little Night Music runs at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., through April 13. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; 2 p.m., 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m. Sundays.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer | August 13, 1993
Broadway at its best often appears as vocal chamber music.If you have doubts about this, the prerumble "Tonight" quintet from "West Side Story," the "Fugue for Tinhorns" that opens "Guys and Dolls" or Stephen Sondheim's ingenious "Once Upon a Time" from "Into the Woods" should mollify them.Even in high-quality community theater productions, it is the ensemble numbers that go awry most frequently. A drop-off in vocal quality anywhere among the leads means that important harmonies don't gel and that the emotional impact of the moment is compromised.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck | July 17, 1994
Stephen Sondheim songs at TSUTowson State University's Maryland Arts Festival will present a one-night-only benefit performance of "Miracles: The Music of Stephen Sondheim" at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the Concert Hall of the Fine Arts Center, Osler and Cross Campus drives.The evening will feature a cast of 20 performing songs from such Sondheim musicals as "Gypsy," "A Little Night Music," "Follies" and "Into the Woods." Sondheim's latest work, "Passion," won four of this year's Tony Awards, including best musical and best score.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2013
Executive producer Frank Rich says Stephen Sondheim made just one demand before he gave his blessing to the film “Six by Sondheim,” which premieres Monday night at 9 on HBO. “Just don't do the same old, same old,” Rich quotes the composer-lyricist as saying when the project was proposed to him. True to the pledge, there is nothing “same old, same old” about this take on a man whose talents - from the lyrics of “West Side Story”...
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | August 15, 2013
An enchanted evening can be found by entering Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre to go "Into the Woods" — where nothing is quite what it seems, and fairy-tale characters interact in unexpected ways. This groundbreaking 1987 musical was written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, and Annapolis Summer Garden offered a magical outdoor production in 2001. The sardonic, sophisticated tale is even better this time around for the troupe. Music is paramount in this show, and the score for "Into the Woods" is well interpreted by music director Trent Goldsmith, who leads the ensemble in a near-flawless delivery of Sondheim's challenging work.
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By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2013
Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre will begin its 47th season of theater under the stars May 23 with Paul Kelly's "Swing. " The show, which debuted on Broadway in 1999, will open the troupe's season of three musicals at the outdoor theater at 143 Compromise St., across from City Dock. Loaded with great music from the eras of the Lindy Hop to hip-hop, "Swing" will run Thursdays to Sundays through June 15. Summer Garden Theatre president Carolyn Kirby says "Swing" is "not our typical musical, but a celebration of a uniquely American musical phenomenon.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 16, 2012
Fairy tales seem like so much fun until you start paying attention. All that violence and vengeance, the spookiness, illusion, deceit. "And ah, the woods," as Stephen Sondheim writes in his latest book. "The all-purpose symbol of the unconscious, the womb, the past, the dark place where we have our trials and emerge wiser or destroyed. " In one of his most imaginative contributions to the Broadway musical, Sondheim invites audiences to step "Into the Woods," where a mash-up of fairy tales, tribulations and discoveries await characters and audiences alike.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | March 31, 2011
For its annual musical this season, Colonial Players chose the award-winning "Company," which runs through April 16 at its theater at 108 East St. in Annapolis. An inspired choice and Stephen Sondheim's first major success, "Company" first appeared in 1970 to change the Broadway musical from a standard integrated book format to an episodic structure. The production was based on a collection of one-act plays by George Furth. It seems appropriate that this new twist in the Broadway musical was devised by Sondheim, who is the legitimate successor to giants Cole Porter and Leonard Bernstein in his ability to create haunting melodies wedded to brilliant lyrics.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 26, 2011
The theme of Center Stage 's 2011-2012 season might be summed up as rhythm — from the distinctive beat of "Jazz," a world premiere adapted from the Toni Morrison novel of that name, to the percussive profanity of David Mamet's "American Buffalo"; from the improvised patter of Second City to the intricate rhymes and melodic pulse of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods. " "We're willing not to play it safe," said Center Stage resident dramaturg Gavin Witt, who helped plan the season with what he described as "a think tank" of senior management.
FEATURES
By New York Times News Service | June 12, 1992
NEW YORK -- Stephen Sondheim isn't known primarily as a purveyor of Broadway froth and fun. But a giddy playfulness was the dominant mood of the gala benefit, "Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall," a fund-raiser for the hall.The event Wednesday night was taped for the PBS series "Great Performances" and recorded by RCA.The show featured more than three dozen performers of varying luminosity, including Liza Minnelli, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close and Madeline Kahn. Paul Gemignani, a longtime associate of Mr. Sondheim, conducted the American Theater Orchestra.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 16, 2003
With its stated aim of establishing a professional ensemble and studio in Annapolis, Bay Theatre Company has big plans. But with last season's production of David Mamet's searing two-person play Oleanna and this fall's Stephen Sondheim revue, Marry Me A Little, the company has started out small. That's small in scale, not small in talent. The intimate, fast-paced evening of Sondheim songs in production at the company's new theater on the outer West Street corridor sports a pair of gifted performers who do wonderful things with the odes to missed connections and disconnections that make up the score.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2008
Standing O, Anne Arundel County's newest theater company, is fulfilling its mission to offer premieres of recent little-known works by staging the off-Broadway musical john & jen through next weekend at Chesapeake Academy's black-box theater. First produced in 1995 with music by Andrew Lippa and lyrics by Tom Greenwald, john & jen looks at complex relationships between brother and sister and mother and son, set against the background of a changing America between 1950 and 1990. Lippa's music is reminiscent of Stephen Sondheim's, filled with intricate melodies that artfully match Greenwald's insightful lyrics.
FEATURES
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,Sun Theater Critic | March 21, 2008
Like all of the great romantic comedies, Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music is unsparing in its depiction of human folly. In an enchanting production running at Center Stage, the characters pay a price for their blind self-indulgence, their benighted yearnings, their frantic pursuits of will o' the wisps -- but the cost never is as high as they -- or we -- deserve. A beneficent fate rescues us from our worst enemy, who always turns out to be ourselves. If you go A Little Night Music runs at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., through April 13. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; 2 p.m., 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m. Sundays.
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