I have previously written on the tremendous benefit for musical theatre writers to hear Stephen Sondheim speak. I have been very fortunate to have been invited to attend three separate occasions in the USA, where Steve has spoken. The best of these interviews have been done by Michael A. Kerker from ASCAP.
Also, for writing teams, I have updated the Resources page with more opportunities for development in the USA.
The following is copy from Stage Whispers
SOFITEL PRESENTS ONE EVENING WITH STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Producer John Frost announced today (August 30, 2012) that Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim will appear in a special event, One Evening with Stephen Sondheim at 7.30pm on October 22 at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne.
Sondheim will be in Melbourne to attend the highly anticipated Premiere of Frost’s new production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum starring Geoffrey Rush and directed by Simon Phillips. A rare opportunity to be in the audience for an evening of music and conversation with the composer and lyricist hailed by The New York Times as the greatest artist in American musical theatre, One Evening with Stephen Sondheim will be presented on the set of ‘Forum’ and promises to be a not-to-be-missed event for musical theatre devotees.
For One Evening with Stephen Sondheim the celebrated composer and lyricist will be in conversation with Australia’s preeminent interviewer Ray Martin, who will host the event. Musical direction will be by Kellie Dickerson and a stellar line-up of Australian talent (to be announced at a later date) will perform selections from Sondheim’s body-of-work.
Producer John Frost, OAM, said, “It was with great delight and excitement that I was able to confirm that Stephen Sondheim would be attending our Premiere back when we announced this new production of ‘Forum’. Stephen has visited Australia three times but to date has never made it to Melbourne. I know he’s looking forward to being able to attend the Premiere and see Geoffrey Rush as in the ‘star turn’ role of Pseudolus and experience the rich cultural fabric of Melbourne.’
“To now be able to announce this one night only evening with Sondheim is sure to make that one week in October a highlight on the national arts calendar for 2012 and I look forward to being able to unveil the lineup of Australian talent that will join Sondheim in conversation with Ray Martin just days before we open.’
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is the beloved Tony Award® winning musical with a name as long as its list of stars.
Academy, Emmy and Tony Award® winning Geoffrey Rush returns to his true home – on stage as Pseudolus with an all-star comedy cast in the brazenly retro Broadway musical which pays homage to vintage vaudeville in a celebration of theatrical comedy, bawdy stage highjinks and sensational slapstick.
The colossal comedy lineup includes Shane Bourne, Hugh Sheridan, Magda Szubanski, Gerry Connolly, Christie Whelan, Mitchell Butel, Adam Murphy and Bob Hornery. It is a musical farce played at breakneck pace. The plot revolves around Pseudolus, a cunning Roman slave who will do anything to win his freedom.
The Melbourne exclusive 12-week only season of ‘Forum’ commences on October 20 in advance of the show’s Premiere on October 27.
Director Simon Phillips is currently in New York to discuss the show with Stephen Sondheim. ‘This is such an exciting project for me,’ he says. ‘A bullet proof cast in a musical comedy that is now a classic.’
‘The idea that John [Frost] and I had was to go to Geoffrey with a proposition: we’d put together a group of Australia’s great comic mischief-makers. Throw them together and see how much see how much mayhem ensues.’
One Evening with Stephen Sondheimwill be the first in what will become a regular initiative to be known as The Guest Series under the umbrella of the ANZ Trustees Foundation; Rob Guest Endowment. Proceeds from The Guest Series will be contributed towards the annual endowment.
In 2008, after the sudden death of Rob Guest, one of Australia’s most celebrated musical theatre performers, ANZ and ANZ Trustees established a memorial fund. The ANZ Trustees Foundation: Rob Guest Endowment is awarded each year to an emerging musical theatre performer selected by a panel of industry experts providing the performer with further knowledge and training in the industry to develop their potential.
The 2012 Rob Guest Endowment Concert presented by ANZ Trustees will be held on November 19 at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne.
ONE EVENING WITH STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Monday, October 22 at 7.30pm
Tickets on sale now
$80* – $120*
Student tickets from $45*
*Transaction fees may apply