NY Philharmonic's Star Studded SONDHEIM: THE BIRTHDAY CONCERT to Feature LuPone, Peters, Cerveris, Patinkin, McDonald & More, 3/16
The New York Philharmonic will present SONDHEIM: The Birthday Concert on March 15 and Tuesday, March 16, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. This celebration of the 80th birthday of the great Broadway and film composer/lyricist will include his most enduring orchestral music and songs - performed, in some cases, by the stars of the original Broadway cast productions - in addition to rarely-heard material. Joining the celebration will be (in alphabetical order) Michael Cerveris, Victoria Clark, Jason Danieley, Nathan Gunn, George Hearn, Patti LuPone, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, Donna Murphy, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, and others to be announced, including surprise guests. Paul Gemignani, Mr. Sondheim's longtime collaborator, will conduct the New York Philharmonic; Lonny Price is the director; and Mr. Price and Matt Cowart are the producers.
The evenings will include 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.
On Monday, March 15, 2010, the New York Philharmonic will celebrate Stephen Sondheim with its Spring Gala. The Gala Chairmen are Leni and Peter May and Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen. BNY Mellon is the presenting sponsor. For information about the Gala, which includes a pre-concert reception, concert, and post-concert birthday dinner with the artists, please contact Georgia Petritsis at (212) 875-5757 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Considered by many to be the greatest Broadway composer/lyricist of his time, Stephen Sondheim (b. March 22, 1930) wrote the music and lyrics for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962); Anyone Can Whistle (1964); Company (1970); Follies (1971); A Little Night Music (1973); The Frogs (1974); Pacific Overtures (1976); Sweeney Todd (1979); Merrily We Roll Along (1981); Sunday in the Park with George (1984; winner of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama); Into the Woods (1987); Assassins (1991); Passion (1994); and Road Show (2008). He wrote the lyrics for West Side Story (1957); Gypsy (1959) and Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965); and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), and Putting It Together (1993) are anthologies of his work as composer and lyricist.
For film, Stephen Sondheim composed the score for Stavisky (1974), and co-composed the music for Reds (1981), as well as songs for Dick Tracy (1990). He also wrote the songs for the television production Evening Primrose (1966), and co-authored the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and the play Getting Away with Murder (1996). He provided incidental music for the plays The Girls of Summer (1956), Invitation to a March (1961), Twigs (1971), and The Enclave (1973). His first professional musical, Saturday Night (1954), finally had its New York premiere in 1999. Mr. Sondheim is on the council of the Dramatists Guild - the national association of playwrights, composers, and lyricists - and served as its president from 1973 to 1981, when he founded Young Playwrights Inc. to develop and promote the work of American Playwrights ages 18 years and younger.
In May 2000 the New York Philharmonic presented three concert performances of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, starring Patti LuPone, George Hearn, Audra McDonald, Jon Aler, Davis Gaines, Heidi Grant Murphy, Neil Patrick Harris, Stanford Olsen, and Paul Plishka. Andrew Litton conducted and Lonny Price directed. A recording of the live performances was released on the Philharmonic's Special Editions label and was nominated for a Grammy Award. This followed the Orchestra's star-studded September 1985 performances of Sondheim's Follies, conducted by Paul Gemignani and directed by Herbert Ross, with a cast that included Licia Albanese, Carol Burnett, Liz Callaway, Betty Comden, Barbara Cook, Adolph Green, George Hearn, Howard McGillin, Erie Mills, Liliane Montevecchi, Phyllis Newman, Mandy Patinkin, Daisy
Prince, Lee Remick, Elaine Stritch, and Andre Gregory. The concert and recording of the live performance were produced by Thomas Z. Shepard, and a BBC Television documentary about the making of the show was later combined with parts of the performance for DVD release. In May 2004, the New York Philharmonic presented semi-staged concert performances of Bernstein's Candide - a musical for which Stephen Sondheim contributed lyrics.
Michael Cerveris - actor, musician, singer, and song writer - is scheduled to appear in Lincoln Center Theater's production of Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room. He appeared in Universal Pictures' film Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant opposite John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek, and recently completed filming of Meskada and Stakeland. His previous films include The Mexican, opposite Julia Roberts and James Gandolfini; Paul Auster's Lulu on the Bridge; and Tokyo Pop. His television credits include Fringe, Fame, The American Embassy, CSI, Dr. Vegas, The Equalizer, and The Tracey Ullman Show. Mr. Cerveris was last seen on Broadway in Hedda Gabler, opposite Mary Louise Parker, and Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, opposite Patti LuPone. He received Tony and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his portrayal of John Wilkes Booth in Sondheim's Assassins. His other Broadway appearances include originating the title role in The Who's Tommy (Tony nomination, Theater World Award, Original Cast Grammy) and Titanic, the Musical. He starred in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on London's West End, Off-Broadway, and in Los Angeles (Garland Award, Ovation Award nomination). His other Off-Broadway credits include Wintertime, Fifth of July, Total Eclipse, Abingdon Square, The Games (BAM Next Wave), and The Apple Tree (City Center Encores!). Michael Cerveris appeared in Spring Awakening for Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, and in Sondheim's Passion, broadcast on Live From Lincoln Center on PBS. Across the country he has performed at the Goodman Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Hartford Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Kennedy Center, and Ravinia Festival, in plays ranging from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing to Passion and A Little Night Music. These performances mark his New York Philharmonic debut.
Victoria Clark received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her portrayal of Margaret Johnson in the critically acclaimed Craig Lucas-Adam Guettel musical The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center Theater. She joined the Broadway company of Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George in 1985, and has been a Broadway regular ever since - in Guys and Dolls; A Grand Night For Singing at the Roundabout; How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Titanic; Sam Mendes's revival of Cabaret at the Roundabout; and Urinetown. She has starred in many City Center Encores! productions, most notably Follies and Juno. Last season she starred in two Off-Broadway plays, Prayer for My Enemy by Craig Lucas at Playwrights Horizons, and The Marriage of Bette and Boo by Christopher Durang for the Roundabout, directed by Walter Bobbie. Ms. Clark's film credits include Cradle Will Rock, directed by Tim
Robbins; The Happening by M. Night Shyamalan; Tickling Leo; and two upcoming films, Harvest by Marc Myers, and Main Street by Horton Foote, directed by John Doyle. Her television appearances have included Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Mercy, and the PBS special, Sweeney Todd in Concert, with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, directed by Lonny Price. Her numerous concert appearances include the Boston Pops, Ravinia Festival, and the Sun Valley Symphony. Ms. Clark also maintains a teaching career in the U.S. and abroad, preparing actors for careers in acting and singing. She is making her New York Philharmonic debut in these concerts.
Jason Danieley appeared as Lt. Joe Cable in the PBS's Great Performances broadcast of South Pacific from Carnegie Hall. On Broadway he recently played Aaron Fox in Kander & Ebb's Curtains (for which he received an Outer Critics Circle Nomination). He made his Broadway debut as the title character in Candide (Theatre World Award and Drama Desk Nomination), was seen in The Full Monty on Broadway and in London's West End, and is a frequent guest of City Center's Encores! series, with leading roles in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Strike Up the Band. He has appeared in Off-Broadway productions of The Trojan Women: A Love Story, Dream True, and Floyd Collins, and his regional theater credits include The Highest Yellow (Helen Hayes Award), Beauty, Casino Paradise, 110 in the Shade (Garland Award), and Brigadoon. Mr. Danieley has been a guest artist with many of the country's leading orchestras including the New York, Boston, and Philly Pops, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the St. Louis, Grant Park, Ravinia Festival, Utah, Minnesota, and Buffalo symphony orchestras. He has starred in the San Francisco Symphony's fully-staged performances of Candide and Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing and Let 'Em Eat Cake. At Carnegie Hall he appeared in Carousel, and also on the Boston Pops' An Evening with the Pops and Pops Goes the Fourth. Opposite You is the title of the concert and album that Jason Danieley and his wife, Marin Mazzie, created for Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series, which was reprised at a number of the country's leading venues. He and his band recently released their debut CD, Jason Danieley and The Frontier Heroes (PS Classics). Mr. Danieley is making his New York Philharmonic debut in these concerts.
Baritone Nathan Gunn has appeared in internationally renowned opera houses such as The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Paris Opéra, Bayerische Staatsoper, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. His many appearances include the title roles in Britten's Billy Budd and Thomas's Hamlet, Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, and Mozart roles such as Papageno in The Magic Flute, Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte, and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro. A supporter of new works, he created the roles of Clyde Griffiths in Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy at The Met, Father Delura in Peter Eötvös's Love and Other Demons at the Glyndebourne Festival, and Alec Harvey in André Previn's Brief Encounter at the Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Gunn has appeared in concert with many of the leading American and European orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and London symphony orchestras. Recently, he has ventured outside the standard opera repertoire with appearances in semi-staged performances of Camelot with the New York Philharmonic (May 2008, broadcast live on PBS's Great Performances) and Showboat at Carnegie Hall. In recital, he has been presented at New York's Zankel Hall and AlIce Tully Hall, Cal Performances, Schubert Club, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, University of Chicago, Krannert Center, London's Wigmore Hall, and Brussels's Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. Nathan Gunn's first solo album, Just Before Sunrise, was released on the Sony/BMG Masterworks label. His other recordings include Billy Budd (Virgin Classics), Allegro (Sony Masterworks Broadway), Peter Grimes (LSO Live!), IL Barbiere di Siviglia (SONY Classics), and Kullervo (Telarc). This season's engagements include returns to The Met, Dallas Opera, and Los Angeles Opera; his debut at the Bilbao Opera in Billy Budd; and the world premiere of Daron Hagen's Amelia at the Seattle Opera.
George Hearn created the role of Max von Mayerling in the Los Angeles premiere and Broadway production of Sunset Boulevard, for which he received his second Tony Award. He won his first as Albin in La Cage aux Folles, a role he reprised in London, earning him an Olivier Award nomination. He received Tony Award nominations for Putting It Together, A Doll's Life, and Watch on the Rhine, and won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of the title role in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street after playing the role on Broadway and the national tour. He reprised the role with the New York Philharmonic (in 2000) and the San Francisco Symphony and Chicago's Ravinia Festival. Mr. Hearn's other Broadway appearances include The Diary of Anne Frank (with Natalie Portman), Meet Me in St. Louis, I Remember Mama (Liv Ullmann), Ah, Wilderness! (Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards), An Almost Perfect Person (Ms. Dewhurst), The Changing Room, and A Time for Singing. He starred in Follies with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera's Kismet, and South Pacific at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre. He has worked frequently with the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, and his regional appearances have included Promises, Promises for Ovations in Chicago, and I Do, I Do and Love Letters with Rue McClanahan. George Hearn's many television appearances include Law & Order; Homicide; Murder, She Wrote; L.A. Law; The Golden Girls; Dear John; Star Trek: The Next Generation; and the television films A Fire in the Dark, False Arrest, Annie: A Royal Adventure, Durango, and Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End. His motion pictures have included Barney's Great Adventure, See You in the Morning, The Vanishing, Sneakers, and The Devil's Own.
Patti LuPone has appeared on stage in Gypsy (for which she received a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards, and Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance of the Season); Sweeney Todd (Tony, Drama Desk Outer Critics Circle nominations); Passion, Candide, Can- Can, Noises Off!, Sweeney Todd (with the New York Philharmonic and others); The Old Neighborhood, Master Class, Patti LuPone on Broadway (Outer Critics Circle Award); Pal Joey, Anything Goes, Oliver!, Accidental
Death of An Anarchist, The Woods, Edmond, The Cradle Will Rock, Evita (Tony and Drama Desk Awards); Working, The Water Engine, and The Robber Bridegroom (Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations). In London she appeared in Matters of the Heart, Master Class, Sunset Boulevard (Olivier Award nomination), Les Miserables (RSC world premiere production), and The Cradle Will Rock (Olivier Award for her performances in both productions). Her opera performances include Jake Heggie's To Hell and Back for San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; Weill-Brecht's The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny for the Los Angeles Opera (debut); and Marc Blitzstein's Regina (The Kennedy Center). Ms. LuPone has appeared in the films City by the Sea; David Mamet's Heist and State and Main; Just Looking; Summer of Sam; Driving Miss Daisy; Live, Heatwave, Pal Joey, Matters of the Heart, Sweeney Todd (on the New York Philharmonic's Special Editions label), the 2006 and 2008 recordings of Sweeney Todd and Gypsy; the Ghostlight Records release of The Lady With The Torch; and Patti LuPone at Les Mouches, a digitally re-mastered live performance CD of her now-legendary 1980 nightclub act. Ms. LuPone is a founding member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School and of John Houseman's The Acting Company.
Marin Mazzie performed with the New York Philharmonic in May 2008 in the role of Guenevere in Camelot, a performance broadcast on Live at Lincoln Center on PBS. She most recently played Blanch DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire at Barrington Stage. A three-time Tony Award nominee for her performances in Passion, the original Broadway cast of Ragtime, and Kiss Me, Kate, she also received an Olivier Award nomination in her West End debut. She returned to the West End in Monty Python's Spamalot following her Broadway appearances in that show. Ms. Mazzie's other Broadway credits include Man of La Mancha, Into the Woods, Big River, and Kismet, as well as the Encores! presentation of Out of This World. Off-Broadway she has appeared in The Vagina Monologues, The Trojan Women: A Love Story, and The World Goes Round. She has performed at The Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, The Denver Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, and Pittsburgh CLO, among other regional theaters. On television, Ms. Mazzie has appeared in Still Standing, Without a Trace, Numb3rs, Jake in Progress, Stacked, Pryor Offenses, and One Life to Live. Her many performances on PBS's Great Performances series include Passion, My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies, My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs, and An Evening with the Pops and Pops Goes the Fourth with the Boston Pops. In concert, Marin Mazzie has performed with numerous conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Marvin Hamlisch, Skitch Henderson, Keith Lockhart, Paul Gemignani, Peter Nero, Patrick Summers, John Mauceri, and Doc Severinsen. With her husband, Jason Danieley, she has performed their concert Opposite You nationally, including at Feinstein's at the Loews Regency, Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, Joe's Pub, the Cinegrill. The album of Opposite You was heralded by NPR as "the album of the year."
Audra McDonald - who earned an unprecedented three Tony Awards before the age of 30 (Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime), and a fourth in 2004 (A Raisin in the Sun) - blends classically-trained soprano with an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling. In addition to her theatrical work, she maintains a major career as a concert and recording artist. She has sung regularly with all the major American orchestras, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; Boston, Chicago, National, and San Francisco symphony orchestras; and the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras - with many of the world's leading conductors, such as John Adams, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, and Michael Tilson Thomas. In the spring of 2005 she appeared with the New York Philharmonic to "preview" a scene from John Adams's then not yet premiered opera Doctor Atomic, with the composer conducting. Overseas, she performs at the BBC Proms (where she was only the second American in more than 100 years to solo on the famed "Last Night of the Proms"); with the London Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic; and at Paris's Théâtre du Châtelet. Ms. McDonald also maintains a thriving television career, and currently can be seen as Dr. Naomi Bennett in the third season of the hit ABC television series Private Practice. Her most recent recordings are Kurt Weill's The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (winner of two 2009 Grammy Awards) and a new studio recording of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Allegro (on the Sony MasterWorks Broadway label). Born into a musical family, Audra McDonald grew up in Fresno, California, and received her classical vocal training at The Juilliard School. Ms. McDonald last appeared with the New York Philharmonic on December 31, 2006, for a nationally televised New Year's Eve concert, conducted by Ted Sperling.
Donna Murphy received a Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and Tony nomination for her performance as Lotte Lenya in Lovemusik. She also received Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Astaire Awards; New York Magazine's Theater Award; the Drama League Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theater; and a Tony nomination for her performance in Wonderful Town. She won Tony, Drama Desk, and Drama League awards for Sondheim and Lapine's Passion, and Tony and Drama League Awards for The King and I (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations). Her Broadway appearances have included the title role in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Human Comedy, and They're Playing Our Song. She also appeared in Follies for City Center's Encores! Off-Broadway roles include Helen (New York Shakespeare Festival; Drama League Award); Twelve Dreams and Hello Again (Lincoln Center Theatre; Drama Desk nomination); Song of Singapore (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations); and Privates on Parade (Roundabout). Her film appearances include Rapunzel (2010), The Nanny Diaries, The Fountain, World Trade Center, Spider-Man 2, The Door in the Floor, Center Stage, Star Trek: Insurrection, The Astronaut's Wife, and Jade. On television she has been seen in Trust Me, Law & Order, Damages, HBO's Someone Had to Be Benny (Cable Ace, Emmy Awards), Hack, What About Joan, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Studio 60, CSI, The Last Debate, The Day Lincoln Was Shot, Murder One, Leonard Bernstein's New York, Liberty!, Passion (Grammy Award), The Kennedy Center Honors, The Practice, and Ally McBeal. Her recordings include Wall to Wall Sondheim, Wonderful Town, The King and I, Hello Again, and Leonard Bernstein's New York. Ms. Murphy is making her New York Philharmonic debut in these concerts.
Mandy Patinkin was born November 30, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois. Even from an early age he employed his lovely voIce To entertain, whether it was singing in temple or just for family and friends. He attended Kenwood High School, the University of Kansas, and The Juilliard School of Drama. His first break into show business came when he played Che in Evita on Broadway in 1979, for which he won a Tony Award. After this initial success in musical theater, Mr. Patinkin moved onto film, playing a number of small parts in movies such as Yentl and Ragtime before returning to Broadway in 1984 to star in Sunday in the Park with George, which earned him another Tony Award nomination. Over the next decade he continued to appear in various movies, such as Dick Tracy and Alien Nation, and on Broadway in The Secret Garden. He released two solo albums titled Mandy Patinkin and Dress Casual. In 1994 he burst onto the small screen playing Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on CBS's Chicago Hope and promptly won an Emmy Award. Since Chicago Hope he has worked in a number of films, but mostly he has performed as a singer, releasing three more albums. He returned to Broadway in 2000 in the New York Shakespeare Festival's The Wild Party, which earned him another Tony Award nomination. Recently Mandy Patinkin has been seen in the Showtime comedy-drama Dead Like Me. He starred in the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds as the unconventional Special Agent Jason Gideon, and most recently appeared in Three Rivers for CBS. Mr. Patinkin last appeared with the New York Philharmonic in 1985 in the concert performance of Sondheim's Follies.
Bernadette Peters has won numerous accolades, including two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe, two Grammy Awards, and three Emmy nominations, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She received both Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her performance in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Song and Dance. She earned her second Tony Award for her performance in Annie Get Your Gun, and received Tony nominations for her performances as Momma Rose in Sam Mendes's critically acclaimed revival of Gypsy, The Goodbye Girl, Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, the Jerry Herman/Gower Champion ode to the movies Mack and Mabel, and the Leonard Bernstein/Comden and Green musical On the Town. Her television credits include, most recently, for Living Proof opposite Harry Connick, Jr., for Lifetime; the 2008 season premiere of ABC-TV's Grey's Anatomy; and a recurring role in the network's Ugly Betty. Ms. Peters has appeared in 17 films, among them Pennies from Heaven (Golden Globe), The Jerk, The Longest Yard, Silent Movie, Annie, Pink Cadillac, Slaves of New York, Alice, Impromptu, and It Runs in the Family. In addition to numerous original Broadway cast recordings, Ms. Peters has recorded six solo albums, including the Grammy-nominated Bernadette Peters Loves Rodgers & Hammerstein; Sondheim, Etc., Etc.: Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall; and I'll Be Your Baby Tonight. Bernadette Peters devotes her time and talents to numerous events that benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids in addition to Broadway Barks, an animal shelter adoption program in the New York City area. These concerts mark Ms. Peters's New York Philharmonic debut.
Paul Gemignani (conductor) has been the musical director for more than 40 Broadway and West End shows, including Follies, Pacific Overtures; Candide, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Dreamgirls, Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, On the Twentieth Century, Sunday in the Park with George, Jerome Robbins's Broadway, Crazy for You, Passion, High Society, and Kiss Me, Kate. In 2004 he was the musical director for Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, The Frogs, and the Japan National Theatre Company's Pacific Overtures. Mr. Gemignani has made recordings with the American Theatre Orchestra in addition to many cast albums; appeared as guest conductor with numerous orchestras; and is a regular guest conductor at the New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera Company, and the New York City Ballet. His film work includes Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp, Kramer vs. Kramer, Reds, and Eyewitness. Mr. Gemignani received the 2001 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater, and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award (1994), as well as a special Drama Desk Award (1989) for "consistently outstanding musical direction and commitment to the theater." In 2003 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of musical arts from the Manhattan School of Music, and in 2006 he received a Prime Time Emmy Award for Best Musical Direction for a Great Performances presentation of South Pacific. The Drama League of New York honored him for Outstanding Achievement in the Musical Theatre in 2008. Mr. Gemignani served as the musical director of the New York Philharmonic's concert performance of Stephen Sondheim's Follies in September 1985, and in May 2008, as conductor and music supervisor of the Orchestra's semi-staged performance of Camelot.
Lonny Price (director and co-producer) just finished shooting his first feature film, Master Harold...and the Boys, starring Freddie Highmore and Ving Rhames. He is returning to the New York Philharmonic, where he previously directed the semi-staged production and Live From Lincoln Center broadcast of Camelot, starring Gabriel Byrne in May 2008. Previously, at the Philharmonic, he directed Sweeney Todd, starring Patti LuPone and George Hearn, the recording of which received a Grammy nomination, and later directed the musical again with the San Francisco Symphony (broadcast on Great Performances; Emmy Award). Also at the New York Philharmonic, he directed Candide, starring Kristin Chenowith and Ms. LuPone (broadcast on Great Performances, Emmy nomination). Mr. Price directed the Emmy Award-winning production of Sondheim's Passion, starring Ms. LuPone, Audra McDonald, and Michael Cerveris (Live From Lincoln Center), and filmed the acclaimed Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company, for which he received an Emmy nomination. On Broadway, Mr. Price directed Audra McDonald in 110 in the Shade for the Roundabout Theatre Company; Danny Glover in Athol Fugard's Master Harold...and the Boys; Joan Rivers in Sally Marr and Her Escorts (which he co-wrote with Ms. Rivers and Erin Sanders); Jenn Colella in Urban Cowboy; and himself in A Class Act, for which he also co-wrote the book (with Linda Kline) and was nominated for a Tony Award. His Off-Broadway directorial
work includes Visiting Mr. Green, starring Eli Wallach; Jules Feiffer's Grown Ups; and Mary Pat Gleason's Stopping Traffic for the Vineyard Theatre. Mr. Price made his opera directing debut at the Houston Grand Opera directing Audra McDonald in Poulenc's La Vox Humaine and Michael John LaChiusa's Send. His first association with Mr. Sondheim goes back to 1975, when he worked afternoons during his days at the High School of Performing Arts for Hal Prince on the Prince/Sondheim musical, Pacific Overtures. Several years later, in 1981, he originated the role of Charley Kringas in the Prince/Sondheim show, Merrily We Roll Along, on Broadway.
Matt Cowart (co-producer) served as associate director for the New York Philharmonic's semi-staged production of Camelot in 2008. He has worked with co-producer Lonny Price on numerous productions during the last three years, including Broadway: Three Generations (Kennedy Center, associate director); My Favorite Things, a Rodgers and Hammerstein revue starring Shirley Jones (for which he was associate director); Beautiful Girls, a Stephen Sondheim revue starring Zoe Caldwell, Patti LuPone, Marin Mazzie, Donna McKechnie, and Jenn Colella (associate director]; the Broadway revival of 110 in the Shade starring Audra McDonald (assistant director); and most recently, All Fall Down, an official selection of the New York Musical Theater Festival (co-director). In the summer of 2009 he co-wrote and co-directed the children's original musical, Dream Machines, with collaborator Isaac Klein. Other directing credits include Kiki Baby (Eugene O'Neill Music Theater Conference); the world premiere of We Three (Clark Studio Theater, Lincoln Center), and the critically acclaimEd Salacious Uncle Baldrick (NYC Fringe). Mr. Cowart is currently the co-artistic director of MUDasMAN productions, and has served as artistic director of the OffBeat Theater Company and as the associate artistic director of the 78th Street Theatre Lab. He was a 2004-05 Kenan Directing Fellow at the Lincoln Center Institute, and is an alumnus of the 2005 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and a member of the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers. Mr. Coward is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and is currently developing a new hip-hop musical, Legend of the Word, with Isaac Klein and James Stewart.
For more information, visit www.nyphil.org.