Music Theatre

Melbourne Theatre Fans to Spend ‘One Evening With Sondheim’

Producer John Frost announced today that Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim will appear in a special event, One Evening with Stephen Sondheim at 7.30pm on October 22 at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne.

UPDATE 15 October: This event has now been postponed until 5 November 2012 due to Stephen Sondheim’s fracture of his right wrist. Ticket holders need not exchange, just present existing tickets for entry on 5 November.

Sondheim will be in Melbourne to attend the highly anticipated Premiere of Frost’s new production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum starring Geoffrey Rush and directed by Simon Phillips. The event will be a rare opportunity to be in the audience for an evening of music and conversation with the composer and lyricist hailed by The New York Times as the greatest artist in American musical theatre, One Evening with Stephen Sondheim will be presented on the set of Forum and promises to be a not-to-be-missed event for musical theatre devotees.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is the beloved Tony Award® winning musical with a name as long as its list of stars. The colossal comedy lineup includes Shane Bourne, Hugh Sheridan, Magda Szubanski, Gerry Connolly, Christie Whelan, Mitchell Butel, Adam Murphy and Bob Hornery.

The Melbourne exclusive 12-week only season of Forum commences on October20 in advance of the show’s Premiere on October 27.

For One Evening with Stephen Sondheim the celebrated composer and lyricist will be in conversation with Australia’s preeminent interviewer Ray Martin, who will host the event. Musical direction will be by Kellie Dickerson and a stellar line-up of Australian talent (to be announced at a later date) will perform selections from Sondheim’s body of work.

Producer John Frost, OAM, said, “It was with great delight and excitement that I was able to confirm that Stephen Sondheim would be attending our Premiere back when we announced this new production of Forum. Stephen has visited Australia three times but to date has never made it to Melbourne. I know he’s looking forward to being able to attend the Premiere and see Geoffrey Rush as in the ‘star turn’ role of Pseudolus and experience the rich cultural fabric of Melbourne.’

To now be able to announce this one night only evening with Sondheim is sure to make that one week in October a highlight on the national arts calendar for 2012 and I look forward to being able to unveil the lineup of Australian talent that will join Sondheim in conversation with Ray Martin just days before we open.’

Director Simon Phillips is currently in New York to discuss Forum with Stephen Sondheim. ‘This is such an exciting project for me,’ he says. ‘A bullet proof cast in a musical comedy that is now a classic.’

‘The idea that John [Frost] and I had was to go to Geoffrey with a proposition: we’d put together a group of Australia’s great comic mischief-makers. Throw them together and see how much see how much mayhem ensues.’

One Evening with Stephen Sondheim will be the first in what will become a regular initiative to be known as The Guest Series under the umbrella of the ANZ Trustees Foundation; Rob Guest Endowment. Proceeds from The Guest Series will be contributed towards the annual endowment.

In 2008, after the sudden death of Rob Guest, one of Australia’s most celebrated musical theatre performers, ANZ and ANZ Trustees established a memorial fund. The ANZ Trustees Foundation: Rob Guest Endowment is awarded each year to an emerging musical theatre performer selected by a panel of industry experts providing the performer with further knowledge and training in the industry to develop their potential. Last year’s winner, Blake Bowden, recently starred in the World premiere season of Moonshadow.

The 2012 Rob Guest Endowment Concert presented by ANZ Trustees will be held on November 19 at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne.

Tickets are now on sale for One Evening with Stephen Sondheim.

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