The star-studded event, Sondheim! The Birthday Concert, celebrating the 80th birthday of the Broadway and film legend Stephen Sondheim with performances of his music and songs by some of the world’s biggest talents, will make its debut on PBS stations across the country on November 24th, thanks to the Emmy Award-winning producer Ellen M. Krass and Tony Award-winning co-producers Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley in association with Thirteen/WNET and Image Entertainment. The production, which is hosted by David Hyde Pierce, will air at 9PM ET (check local listings).
Originally presented by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall on March 15th and March 16th, 2010, Sondheim! The Birthday Concert includes show-stopping numbers by Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Donna Murphy, Michael Cerveris, Elaine Stritch, Nathan Gunn, and many more. Led by world-renowned conductor Paul Gemignani and Emmy-nominated director Lonny Price, the evening includes songs and orchestral pieces from Sondheim musical theater favorites such as Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Passion, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Anyone Can Whistle, along with a suite from music he wrote for the film Reds, which has never before been performed live.
Sondheim! The Birthday Concert is the third television co-production of Ellen M. Krass Productions, Stewart F. Lane, and Bonnie Comley in association with Thirteen/WNET and Image Entertainment. The first two were Cyrano de Bergerac (2009) and Company (2008), both for PBS’s “Great Performances.” The only continuing primetime performance showcase on American television, “Great Performances” presents a diverse programming portfolio of the performing arts. With its programs garnering 64 Emmy Awards and four George Foster Peabody Awards, the series has received every major television honor. Lonny Price directed Sondheim! The Birthday Concert for television, with Gary Bradley as editor.