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Hollywood stars and Broadway veterans are teaming Sunday to celebrate the 90th birthday of the legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. In a special virtual concert, titled Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration, more than 20 powerhouse performers are uniting to sing songs of inspiration from the Sondheim catalog.
Meryl Streep, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Christine Baranski, Donna Murphy, Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Aaron Tveit, Maria Friedman, Iain Armitage, Katrina Lenk, Michael Cerveris, Brandon Uranowitz, Stephen Schwartz, Elizabeth Stanley, Chip Zien, Alexander Gemignani and, from the cast of Pacific Overtures at Classic Stage Company, Ann Harada, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh and Thom Sesma are all set to perform.
Raul Esparza will serve as host and producer. Drama Desk Award winner Mary-Mitchell Campbell is the evening’s music director, with Paul Wontorek serving as director.
The free online event is set to take place on the exact 50th anniversary of the opening night of Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical Company (the original production debuted on Broadway on April 26, 1970).
Take Me to the World will act as a fundraiser for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), an organization that connects performing and visual artists with youth from underserved communities in the U.S., encouraging them to break the cycle of poverty.
“The world is in a hard place, and we are all searching for something great. Well, Stephen Sondheim is greatness personified. So, we’ve assembled a group of people who love Steve and have worked with Steve and have been inspired by Steve to sing his music and share some joy and some heartache together,” said Esparza in a statement. “We may be far from Broadway right now, but Broadway is never far from us. Besides, Stephen Sondheim turned 90. How many times do you get to be 90? 11? So come on, say it, get it over with, come on, quick…happy birthday.”
Take Me to The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration is set to air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Broadway.com and the Broadway.com YouTube channel.
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