Dayton Playhouse will present Side by Side by Sondheim as its 2012-2013 Season extra September 7 – 16. This energetic musical, highlighting the most endearing of Sondheim’s early work, will be directed by Brian Sharp with musical direction by Ron Kindell, both of whom won acclaim for last season’s sold-out production of The Sound of Music.
Side by Side by Sondheim will feature local actor Saul Caplan as the master of ceremonies and vocalists Carol Chatfield and Bonnie Dobbs of Kettering, Kathy Clark of Centerville, Laura Bloomingdale of Beavercreek, Shawn Hooks of Dayton, and David Moyer of Springboro. Nancy Perrin and Bryon Dobbs are featured pianists.
When, in 1976, the owners of a small, struggling theater asked Stephen Sondheim for permission to produce a musical revue of his work as a fundraiser, the composer said he “couldn’t think of anything more boring.” However, Sondheim underestimated the appeal of his music, and when Side by Side by Sondheim opened, it charmed its initial audiences and caught the eye of a young Cameron Macintosh, who moved it to the Mermaid theater in London, where it became one of his first successful productions.
Widely produced, and popular with regional groups, Side by Side by Sondheim is often given credit for solidifying Sondheim’s reputation beyond London and New York theaters. This “boring” show has enjoyed numerous revivals, five Tony nominations, and over 800 performances on three continents.
Side by Side by Sondheim is unique in that it is the only revue of Sondheim’s work to include music from West Side Story and Gypsy, shows for which Sondheim wrote the lyrics, but did not compose the music. It is also one of the only places for audiences to hear some of his lesser-known works such as “Love is in the Air,” which was initially intended to be the opening number for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, but was replaced with the well known “Comedy Tonight.”
Other musicals highlighted in the revue include the popular Company, Follies, and A Little Night Music, as well as rarely performed shows such as Evening Primrose, Anyone Can Whistle, and Pacific Overtures. The show features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, music by Leonard Bernstein, Mary Rodgers, Richard Rodgers, and Jule Styne, and Continuity by Ned Sherrin. It was produced on Broadway by Harold Prince in association with Ruth Mitchell.
Side by Side by Sondheim opens September 7th and runs through September 16th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM, and Sundays at 2PM. Tickets, priced at $17.00 for adults and $15.00 for students and seniors, are available at www.DaytonPlayhouse.com or through the Dayton Playhouse box office at 937-424-8477.
(from Dayton Playhouse)