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Tag Archives | Stephen Sondheim

The ensemble and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Photo courtesy The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Review: ‘West Side Story’ staged by The Philadelphia Orchestra

West Side Story has never sounded as good as in last weekend’s performances by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra. It even surpassed Leonard Bernstein’s own recording, which sounds sluggish in comparison. Never once did Yannick and the Philadelphians sound like a symphony orchestra performing a pops concert. Rather, the 42-year-old led a jazzy performance […]

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Review: ‘Assassins’ at Pallas Theatre Collective

This season for whatever reason—and far be it from me to speculate—three theater companies in the nation’s capital are presenting Stephen Sondheim’s tunefully insolent tribute to presidential assassins. Well, tribute might not quite be right. The story told in Sondheim’s music and lyrics and John Weidman’s book is actually more a theatrical visit to the […]

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In the Moment: ‘A Little Night Music’ at Signature Theatre

Opening in 1973, A Little Night Music was part of the muscular turbulence of those well-remembered primal days of rage. Rage that bred inhaled cynicism like a needed eye-opening drug into the arts for many of us. Even the more refined, Mahler-loving denizens of Broadway were no stranger to the acerbity. Only a Nixon-loving fool back […]

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Review: ‘A Little Night Music’ at Signature Theatre

If you are eager to get away from the turbulent news cycle, August humidity, annoying traffic, a mostly undone to-do list, disorder in your immediate circle, or fractures at a global or microscopic level, take a trip to Signature Theatre and put your worries on hold. A Little Night Music, with music and lyrics by […]

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Zach Aguilar and Cameron DelGrosso. Photo by Rosie Simmons.

Review: ‘Azul’ at La Fábrica Theater

Did you ever wonder why Picasso chose to paint in blue? The earliest stage of his famous career is known as his Blue Period, and this new play by Tanaquil Márquez shows how and why he made that choice. La Fábrica Theater is Philadelphia’s first bilingual theater company, created to present strong and bold Spanish-English […]

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Bernadette Peters.  Photo courtesy of Judy Katz Public Relations.

Review: ‘Bernadette Peters’ at Wolf Trap

There’s something special about outdoor summer concerts: the light breeze, the chirping crickets, the enjoyment of good music in summer. But when you have all that and the performer is Broadway legend Bernadette Peters, you know you’re in for a special treat. And tonight’s concert was indeed a special treat: her voice in fine shape, […]

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Review: ‘Gypsy’ at Arden Theatre Company

Since its debut in 1959, Gypsy, which closes out Arden Theatre Company’s 2016-17 season, has retained its popularity as one of the greatest Broadway musicals of all time, filled with such classic hits as “Everything’s Coming up Roses” and “Let Me Entertain You.” Based on the 1957 memoir of 1930s stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, the […]

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West Side Story at The Media Theatre.

Review: ‘West Side Story’ at The Media Theatre

Earlier this season, The Media Theatre presented Shakespeare’s classic Romeo & Juliet. Now they’re concluding their 2016-2017 season with a production of West Side Story, the musical that put a 20th Century spin on the Bard’s story and became a masterwork in its own right. Set in New York’s Upper West Side in the mid-1950s, West […]

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Review: ‘Ben Dibble: Are We There Yet? Just a Little Father(hood Cabaret)’ at the Arden Cabaret Series

Ben Dibble might be as fine a cabaret performer as anyone in that field. He demonstrated that with the presentation of Are We There Yet? Just a Little Father(hood Cabaret), produced by the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia. Many excellent singers have failed in their attempts at that delicate art. Cabaret demands naturalism, which requires […]

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‘COME HEAR THE MUSIC PLAY:’ Memories of My Twenty Years as Agent For John Kander by Richard Seff: Part Two: ‘The Curtain Rises’: ‘Flora, the Red Menace,’ ‘Cabaret,’ ‘Zorba,’ and ‘The Happy Time’

John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Richard Seff at a dinner honoring Harold Prince. Photo courtesy of Richard Seff. THE CURTAIN RISES. One of the properties for which I tried to get this new team hired was the Theatre Guild’s upcoming The Unsinkable Molly Brown which had Richard Morris as book writer. The Guild wanted a […]

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Review: ‘Company’ at McLean Community Players

Stephen Sondheim’s gloriously urbane, stylistic and sophisticated musical Company was groundbreaking when it first arrived on Broadway in the Seventies and it still remains relevant today. McLean Community Players are now presenting a most serviceable production of this exciting musical under the direction of Sharon Veselic who has stressed the positive aspects of this group […]

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Review: ‘Sweeney Todd’ at Olney Theatre Center

Revenge is sweet as pie in Olney Theatre Center’s Sweeney Todd. Director Jason Loewith serves up a grisly production of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 Tony Award-winning musical that captures the essence of Sondheim’s genius creation with a stellar cast and creative team. Indeed, this production is a “team” affair. From the flawless ensemble that moves and sings in […]

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Review: Soprano Ailyn Pérez at The Barns at Wolf Trap

There’s no business like show business, but does that include opera? If in a few years people finally agree that opera is genuinely another form of musical theater, it may be because of the current career rocketship of American soprano Ailyn Pérez. Never mind her recent run as the star of the Metropolitan Opera’s uber-popular […]

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