Written By GingersnapComments Off on Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends Concert Recording to be Released This Week
Live Recording on CD Set
by Alex Wood and Tanyel Gumushan | WhatsOnStage | December 6, 2023
A live cast recording of Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends will be released in the US and UK this Friday, December 8, 2023 on a 2-disc CD set and digital and streaming formats from First Night Records.
The WhatsOnStage Award winning event, which took place in May 2022, featured a bumper cast of Michael Ball, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Petula Clark, Anna-Jane Casey, Rosalie Craig, Janie Dee, Judi Dench, Daniel Evans, Maria Friedman, Haydn Gwynne, Bonnie Langford, Damian Lewis, Julia Mckenzie, Julian Ovenden, Bernadette Peters, Sian Phillips, Jon Robyns, Clive Rowe, Jenna Russell, Imelda Staunton, Charlie Stemp, Gary Wilmot and Michael D Xavier. View photos from the event in our Gallery here.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on VIDEO: Sondheim’s Old Friends Concert
Howling Good Time
by Gregory Peck Lives | YouTube | January 8, 2023
Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends concert, a Cameron Mackintosh’s tribute to late musical theatre trailblazer Stephen Sondheim, was presented May 3, 2022 at 8 PM at London’s Sondheim Theatre and simultaneously screened live at the Prince Edward Theatre. Watch the entire concert below.
Damian’s segments (approximately):
36:47 – “Hello Little Girl” from Into the Woods with Bernadette Peter
1:26:58 – “Everybody Ought to Have a Maid” from A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum with Rob Brydon, Julian Ovenden and Siân Phillips
2:12:07 – “Old Friends” from Merrily We Roll Along with Company
2:14:27 – “Our Time” from Merrily We Roll Along with Full Company
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Sondheim’s Old Friends to be Broadcast on the BBC This Christmas
All-Star Sondheim Concert Set for UK Screens and Streams
by Alex Wood | WhatsOnStage | November 29, 2022
Some Sondheim for Christmas!
The mega Sondheim tribute concert staged in the West End will be presented on the BBC and iPlayer, it has been announced. Dates and times for the BBC Two broadcast and subsequent iPlayer release are to be revealed by the Channel. UPDATE: Airing Saturday, December 31, 2022 at 5:35 pm on BBC 2. Available for streaming on BBC iPlayer shortly after broadcast.
The special event, which took place in February of this year, featured a bumper cast of Michael Ball, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Petula Clark, Anna-Jane Casey, Rosalie Craig, Janie Dee, Judi Dench, Daniel Evans, Maria Friedman, Haydn Gwynne, Bonnie Langford, Damian Lewis, Julia Mckenzie, Julian Ovenden, Bernadette Peters, Sian Phillips, Jon Robyns, Clive Rowe, Jenna Russell, Imelda Staunton, Charlie Stemp, Gary Wilmot and Michael D. Xavier.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on THE TIMES REVIEW: Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’
Five Stars: A Star-Spangled, Unforgettable Tribute to Stephen Sondheim
by Clive Davis | The Times | May 4, 2022
Photo: Danny Kaan
Excuse me if I gush, but this was one of those nights where it was difficult to focus on highlights simply because there were so many. Cameron Mackintosh’s memorial concert for Stephen Sondheim, who died in November, began on a high note when the veteran Julia McKenzie, who did so much to champion the composer’s work on this side of the Pond, walked onto the stage to sing Side by Side by Side. Proof, if needed, that British artists don’t need to feel like intruders on this territory. They’ve made the music their own.
McKenzie’s appearance was the kind of moment which, in normal circumstances, would crown a memorable evening. In this case it was just the prelude. Of course, it was all the more fitting that this gala concert for the Stephen Sondheim Foundation was happening at the theatre (formerly known as the Queen’s) that bears the artist’s name. In his opening speech, Mackintosh wryly quipped that the twisted ankle that had prevented the great man from attending the opening in 2020 had just been an excuse to avoid having to sit through Les Misérables.
After Mackintosh had his say, the songs began to flow, with no host to cause any longueurs. Matthew Bourne and Maria Friedman — who shared directing credits — managed to cram in an immense range of material. Meanwhile, the cheering and the applause grew louder and louder. It reached its peak, perhaps, in a comic version of Broadway Baby, which began with McKenzie pretending to audition with a surly pianist before being joined by a blowsy pack of rivals including Bernadette Peters, Bonnie Langford and an insouciant Helena Bonham Carter.
Imelda Staunton sang Everything’s Coming Up Roses. Who else but Judi Dench could be entrusted with Send in the Clowns? If Dench’s delivery barely rose above a whisper, Haydn Gwynne powered through a version of The Ladies Who Lunch that was as potent and savage and tipsy as anything the late Elaine Stritch gave us. A twinkle-eyed Damian Lewis joined in the party too, kicking and shimmying his way through the risqué Everybody Ought to Have a Maid alongside Rob Brydon, Julian Ovenden and a mischievous Sian Phillips. As ever, the elegant Janie Dee glowed in the dark, sizzling through the bossa nova parody The Boy Friend.
Read the rest of the original article at The Times
Written By GingersnapComments Off on LONDON THEATRE REVIEW: Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’
A Tribute for the Ages
by Matt Wolf | London Theatre | May 4, 2022
“He’s left us with an impossible choice.” So the impresario Cameron Mackintosh told an entirely rapt crowd near the start of Old Friends, the one-off celebration of Stephen Sondheim that took place across three unforgettable hours May 3 at the Sondheim Theatre on the West End. “Impossible” because the legendary composer-lyricist left behind a capacious back catalogue when he died last November, age 91, not to mention a longlist of people who will forever be associated with his work.
Mackintosh, heralding an array of talent ranging from the “young to the ever young”, kicked off an evening rife with cheers and ovations on what, we were told, was one day shy of the 46th anniversary of the London premiere of Side By Side By Sondheim. That musical revue, produced by a then 29-year-old Mackintosh, helped bring Sondheim to the attention of the British, who have revered him ever since.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on GUARDIAN REVIEW: Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’
A Glorious All-Star Memorial Service: Five Stars, Ten If Rules Allowed
by Mark Lawson | The Guardian | May 4, 2022
Photo: Danny Kaan
Stephen Sondheim was so vast a talent that London on Tuesday night required two theatres to remember him, after his death in November aged 91. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh and staged by Maria Friedman – longtime collaborators who personify the title Old Friends, from a number in 1981’s Merrily We Roll Along – the show at the Sondheim (named in tribute in 2019) was simulcast on the Prince Edward stage, a version of technology developed for the NT Live theatre-cinema hybrid, though not usually used between venues 0.17 miles apart.
Caused by ticket demand (proceeds to the Stephen Sondheim foundation), this arrangement bestowed immediacy in the eponymous auditorium but the overspill audience gained greater detail from closeups and cutaways.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on DEADLINE REVIEW: Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’
Vamping It Up
by Baz Bamigboye | Deadline | May 3, 2022
Photo: Danny Kaan
Cameron Mackintosh, the London theatre owner and impresario, nixed the idea of having a host introduce artists performing at Tuesday’s one-night-only Old Friends tribute show honoring the legacy of musical theatre genius Stephen Sondheim, who died in November at age 91.
“All you need are Steve’s words and music, and our cast. They speak, or rather sing, for themselves,“ Mackintosh explained to Deadline before the star-studded event began at London’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
Worked like a treat. Thirty minutes saved, because Old Friends wasn’t lumbered with a host.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’ Afterparty
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | May 3, 2022
L to R: Allie Esiri, Damian Lewis, Sue Latimer, Helena Bonham Carter
Media outlets are claiming it was a hit and fans feel honored to have witnessed it, so why not continue the celebrations of Sondheim’s Old Friends gala with an afterparty! After their performances, stars of the stage gathered at The Prince of Wales Theatre in Leicester Square, London, on May 3, 2022 for a little adult-cocktailing to salute the memorable event in aid of the Stephen Sondheim Foundation. View more photos of the afterparty in our Gallery here.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on VIDEO: A Night With ‘Old Friends’
A Celebration in Aid of the Sondheim Foundation
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | May 3, 2022
Old friends and new united tonight for the Sondheim gala, with stars joined by students from RAM and Mountview to round off an incredible evening. In Act 1, Damian sang Hello Little Girl with Bernadette Peters while adorning a tail. In Act II he sang Everybody Ought to Have a Maid with Rob Brydon, Julian Ovenden and Sian Phillips while wearing a domestic outfit over his tux. At the end of Act II, Damian sang Old Friends, Side by Side and Our Time with the Full Company. Below is a video clip from the finale and other highlights from the event – I spy a Ginger!
Written By GingersnapComments Off on VIDEO: Inside Rehearsals for Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | April 27, 2022
As we previously reported here, Damian has joined The Old Friends gala to celebrate the legacy of the legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s life and work in a one-night-only performance for the Sondheim Foundation. The fundraising event will take place at The Sondheim Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End on May 3, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
Now, let’s go inside rehearsals and see if we can spy a Ginger. Enjoy the sneak peek video:
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’ Will Be Broadcast Live to Prince Edward Theatre
Simulcast: Live Gala Screening
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | March 30, 2022
As previously reported here, Damian Lewis will take part in the The Old Friends gala fundraising event at the Sondheim Theatre in London’s West End on May 3, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets sold out within a couple of hours when they went on sale, leaving thousands of disappointed fans unable to get tickets.
As the Sondheim Theatre only holds 1,100 seats, Cameron Mackintosh wanted to extend this experience to a wider audience and will transform the Prince Edward Theatre into a unique theatrical event powered by The Luna Cinema and transmit live from the Sondheim Theatre.
The event will start from 7:00 p.m. on May 3 with a live broadcast from the Sondheim leading up to the Gala commencing at 8:00 p.m.
Everyone involved agreeing to this special screening will now allow over 2,500 to see the performance. All profits from the evening at both the Sondheim and Prince Edward Theatres will go to the Stephen Sondheim Foundation.
To book tickets ahead of general on sale later today, please click here. Tickets will be sent by email 24 hours prior to the event. For the latest venue information and guidance regarding CoVid-19, please click here.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Damian Lewis Confirmed for Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’ Gala
A Celebration in Aid of the Sondheim Foundation
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | March 3, 2022
The Old Friends gala is a celebratory salute to the legacy of the legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s life and work in a one-night-only performance for the Sondheim Foundation. With over 30 Broadway and West End all-star cast members confirmed, audiences will be enthralled with appearances by performers who have starred in Sondheim’s work over the decades such as, Damian Lewis, Dame Judi Dench, Bernadette Peters, Imelda Staunton, Hannah Waddingham, Elaine Paige, Michael Ball, Daniel Evans, Petula Clark, Bonnie Langford, Adrian Lester and Clive Rowe, with more names yet to be announced. Dame Judi Dench is said to be performing ‘Send in the Clowns’ from A Little Night Music and Bernadette Peters will perform ‘Losing My Mind’ from Follies.
As for Damian’s act, we can only speculate at this point that he will reprise a song he sang during his 1998 performance in Into the Woods. Damian played both the Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince singing ‘Hello, Little Girl’ and ‘Agony,’ but also sang with Company on the following numbers: ‘Opening: Into The Woods,’ ‘First Midnight,’ ‘Second Midnight,’ ‘Opening: So Happy’ and the ‘Finale: Act One and Act Two.’ Visit our Gallery here for program information about that production.
The fundraising event will take place at The Sondheim Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End on May 3, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. There will be a 26-piece orchestra conducted by Alfonso Casado Trigo for the event. Tickets go on sale March 15 here.