22 March 2013
Have an Egg Roll, Mr. Sondheim
Happy 83rd birthday to Stephen Sondheim! Courtesy of the Digital Archives, Steve is pictured above, fourth from the left, next to Leonard Bernstein as the two get ready to mambo with rehearsals for West Side Story (to which Sondheim contributed lyrics).
Of course, Sondheim’s music isn’t foreign to Phil fans, either. In in 2011 we presented his 1970 musical Company with a star-studded cast that included Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Patti LuPone, and Christina Hendricks (available for purchase here). We’ve also offered full reads of Follies in 1985 and Sweeney Todd in 2000, plus plenty of tastes of the full Sondheim canon, most recently his music on its own, in January’s Symphonic Sondheim. Many happy returns, Steve!
25 February 2013
Walk the Walk
“Writing comes darned hard to me,” Carousel co-creator Oscar Hammerstein II told The New York Times in 1946. “I do most of it on our farm in Doylestown. There I have a room with one of those tall old-fashioned desks you used to see in shipping offices. It takes me a long time to get started, and even then the words come slowly. I keep walking up and down the room and when I get what I want I go over to the desk and write in longhand with a soft pencil. I often wonder how many miles an act I walk.”
Of course, Hammerstein’s farm in Doylestown was also a significant place in music history as it served as a childhood home-away-from-home for Hammerstein’s young neighbor and protégée, Stephen Sondheim, who has his own connection to the Phil.
(Above: Hammerstein pictured in his Doylestown Studio. Photo courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization)
30 January 2013
Nathan Lane meets up backstage with Stephen Sondheim after the Philharmonic’s Symphonic Sondheim program last evening. It was a purely musical evening of the composer’s works sans lyrics, although Nathan provided plenty of words as the host, in his Philharmonic debut.
(Chris Lee photo)
22 August 2012
In Comes Company (on DVD)
It’s the little things you do together, like pre-ordering the New York Philharmonic’s production of Company on Blu-ray or DVD, that make you aware of being alive. If you couldn’t make it to the sold-out performances featuring Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks — do we really need to drop any more names? — relive the production from the best seats in the house… your own seats in your own house!
Both Blu-ray and DVD will be released on November 13, pre-order now.
3 May 2012
Happy to Help with the Bucket List, Stephen
“He’s played host to Björk, The Cars, Radiohead, Rush, Green Day, Paul Simon, Yo-Yo Ma, and Cheap Trick. He’s performed with the New York Philharmonic. When most of us would have settled for a poster, Colbert outlandishly enshrined the real-life Michael Stipe of R.E.M. in a niche on his set’s wall.”
14 March 2012
“Are You Nuts?”
— Jon Cryer on being asked to participate in the New York Philharmonic’s 2011 production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, with a starry cast that included Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, and Christina Hendricks. The production is showing worldwide in movie theaters this week. In anticipation, Jon Cryer spoke to Metro (UK) about his excitement and fear for his first professional musical — in the role of David in his New York Philharmonic debut — and discusses his dreams, his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and being starstruck with Shirley MacLaine.
6 April 2011
Cast members of the New York Philharmonic’s upcoming performances of Stephen Sondheim’s Company surround Neil Patrick Harris (Robert) during a recent rehearsal.
Stay tuned for more on Company!
Photo by Chris Lee
8 February 2011