The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts presents its second installment of the popular Broadway Songbook Series for the 2012-2013 Theater Season, "The Words and Music of Stephen Sondheim," Jan. 18-27 in the Ordway's McKnight Theatre. This three-event series highlights the lives, histories and stories of musical theater legends.
The series, which debuted during the Ordway's 2011-2012 Season, breathes fresh life into beloved songs from Broadway, making every show a warm, humorous and moving portrait of musical theater legends. Conceived and directed by the Ordway's vice president of theatrical programming, James A. Rocco, each Broadway Songbook program features a dynamic mix of composer life stories, discussion of what made their work so extraordinary and performances by an ensemble of renowned artists from the Twin Cities musical theater, jazz and cabaret scenes.
"We wanted to start an informal, living-room-kind-of series where myself and a group of other Twin Cities artists could talk about great songwriters and perform their songs," Rocco says. "This edition of Broadway Songbook overflows with hits."
The Words and Music of Stephen Sondheim Picking up where his mentor-the renowned Oscar Hammerstein II-left off, Stephen Sondheim is by far the most influential theatrical composer and lyricist of the later part of the 20th Century. His show "Company" was the first to revolutionize and perfect the "concept musical."
Sondheim brings deeply felt human insight and a rich use of language to everything he touches. He wrote the lyrics to "West Side Story" and "Gypsy," wrote words and music for "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum," "Sweeney Todd," "Into The Woods," "A Little Night Music," "Sunday in the Park With George" and many others. His chilling song "Send in the Clowns" has been recorded by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Judy Collins.
The first installment of the series, "The Words and Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein & Hart," was completely sold out. The Broadway Songbook Series will conclude April 19-28 with "The Words and Music of Cole Porter," and is expected to continue during the Ordway's 2013-2014 Theater Season.
Raymond Berg (Musical Director) ORDWAY: "Broadway Songbook Series: Words and Music of Irving Berlin," "Words and Music of Johnny Mercer," "Words and Music of Contemporary Broadway," "Cinderella," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," "Grey Gardens," "White Christmas," "Yankee Doodle," "Blues in the Night," "The Sound of Music," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Spamalot," "Love Janis," "My Way," "Hot N' Cole," "8 Track," "Grand Night For Singing," "Plaid Tidings." Theater: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres: "Footloose," "Always Patsy," "Altar Boyz," "Forever Plaid," "Forbidden Broadway," "42nd Street"; Mixed Blood Theatre: "Messy Utopia," "Maria Maria..."; History Theatre: "Sisters of Swing," "Christmas of Swing," "Rigged For Laughter (Raw Stages)"; Illusion Theater: "Vanishing Point," "Six of One," "Angel Headed Hipster (Fresh Ink)"; Hey City Theater: "Forever Plaid," "Beehive," "Nat King Cole"; Troupe America: "1940's Radio Hour," "Nunsense," "Lovely Liebowitzes"; Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop. Musical Arrangements: MTI: "Plaid Tidings," "Sounds of Plaid"; R & H Library: "Grand Night For Singing"; "Sisters of Swing"; Florida Stage; MusicalFare NY; Deutsches Theater Gottingen, Germany; Seaside, FL; Meadowbrook, MI; Penn State, Foothills Stoneham, MA. Compositions: SteppingStone Theatre: "History Detectives"; AHA: "Quiltmaker and the King"; ACF Community Partners, CitySongs. Commercial/Industrial: General Mills, Health Partners, NFL, NWA, Shell Oil, Target, McDonald's, Great Clips. Awards: 2007 Ivey Award for Musical Direction and Performance ("Love Janis" - Ordway), Star Tribune "Best Musical Director 2007." Residencies/Teaching: Ordway Triple Threat Summer Intensive, Minnesota Opera, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota State Arts Board, Children's Theatre Company, Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, McNally Smith College of Music.