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Sondheim's Opening Doors at Carnegie Hall Begins Tonight Sept 30

Directed by David Kernan, Opening Doors Celebrates the Works of Stephen Sondheim and Features More Than 40 Vocal Selections Interspersed with Personally Recorded Narrations by the Composer

The Cast Includes Kate Baldwin, Victoria Clark, Gregg Edelman, Jan Maxwell and Eric Jordan Young

Conceived by British director David Kernan as a 70th birthday tribute to the life and talent of Stephen Sondheim, Opening Doors takes the listener on a journey through Sondheim's life illustrated by images, musical selections, and narration by the celebrated composer/lyricist. The cast includes Kate Baldwin, Victoria Clark, Gregg Edelman, Jan Maxwell, and Eric Jordan Young. The revue is scored for piano (Rob Berman), cello (Mairi Dorman), and double bass and bass guitar (Dick Sarpola).

Previews begin on Thursday, September 30, with the official opening and New York premiere Tuesday, October 5, in Zankel Hall. The production runs through October 9.

Opening Doors - first produced in July 2000 in London under the title of Moving On - is an evening of more than 40 songs written by the acclaimed composer/lyricist over the course of his long and illustrious career. The revue features many of Mr. Sondheim's most popular and poignant selections, which are grouped thematically. Each grouping represents memorable times or experiences in the composer's life - from childhood, schooling, and growing up in New York City to personal opinions on such things as friendship and posterity as well as his own work and career. Each section is linked through pre-recorded introductions by the composer; corresponding images of Mr. Sondheim's life and works are simultaneously displayed.

In addition to direction by Mr. Kernan, the production features musical direction by Rob Berman; choreography by James Scott Wise; musical arrangements by Jason Carr; contributions by John Kane; costume design by Jane Greenwood; sound design by Peter Hylenski; and casting by Jay Binder, C.S.A./Laura Stanczyk.

Tickets, priced at $35 and $85, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street. They may also be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or purchased online at the Carnegie Hall website, www.carnegiehall.org. Please see below for complete listings information.

Considered to be one of the world's most prolific and celebrated composer/lyricists, Stephen Sondheim has amassed an expansive body of works that includes the music and lyrics to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Passion, Assassins, The Frogs, Bounce as well as the lyrics to West Side Story, Do I Hear a Waltz, and Gypsy. For films, he composed the scores of Stavisky and Reds as well as songs for Dick Tracy. He also wrote selections for the television production Evening Primrose, co-authored the film The Last of Sheila and the play Getting Away with Murder, and provided incidental music for The Girls of Summer, Invitation to a March, Twigs, and The Enclave. In recognition of his achievements, Mr. Sondheim has received seven Tony Awards. Sunday in the Park with George won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and he received an Academy Award for his song "Sooner or Later" from Dick Tracy. He is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, having served as its President from 1973 to 1981, and in 1983 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1990 he was appointed the first Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University and in 1993 was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2002 he received ASCAP's Richard Rodgers Award. Born in 1930 and raised in New York City and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Mr. Sondheim graduated from Williams College, where he studied theory and composition with Milton Babbitt.

For more than four decades, David Kernan has enjoyed a career on the stage and screen as a director, producer, actor, singer, and writer. Mr. Kernan's West End performing credits include 1776, Our Man Crichton, A Little Night Music, Irma La Douce, and The Rate-Payers Iolanthe; and he has received two Olivier Award nominations for his appearances in 1776 and The Ratepayers Iolanthe. Mr. Kernan is the co-creator of one of today's most widely produced musical revues, Side by Side by Sondheim, which was nominated for two Tony Awards. He has made over 300 television appearances, including in Song by Song, a series of 13 hour-long specials devoted to the great lyricists, which was aired on PBS; as an original member of the That Was the Week that Was team; and in Churchill's People, The Chief, The Avengers and Upstairs, Downstairs. His film credits include the Carry on Series, the Day of the Jackal, and Zulu. As a producer and director Mr. Kernan created the Showpeople Seasons for the Donmar Warehouse. Through this series, Mr. Kernan introduced singer Barbara Cook to the London audiences and produced Sir Ian McKellen's Acting Shakespeare, as well as a series of one-man performances at The Playhouse Theatre by Dame Judi Dench, Sir Alan Bates, and Sir Derek Jacobi. Further credits include Blues in the Night at the Piccadilly Theatre and the Olivier-nominated revue Kern Goes to Hollywood, which he directed in London and New York.

Program Information:
Stephen Sondheim OPENING DOORS
Zankel Hall

Preview Performances:
Thursday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 3 at 2:00 p.m.

OPENING PERFORMANCE:
Tuesday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Additional Performances:
Wednesday, October 6 at 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 9 at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Cast:
Kate Baldwin
Victoria Clark
Gregg Edelman
Jan Maxwell
Eric Jordan Young

David Kernan, Director
Rob Berman, Music Director and Piano
Mairi Dorman, Cello
Dick Sarpola, Bass

James Scott Wise, Choreographer
Musical Arrangements by Jason Carr
Jay Binder, C.S.A./Laura Stanczyk, Casting Director
Jane Greenwood, Costume Consultant
Peter Hylenski, Sound Designer
Opening Doors is made possible by a generous underwriting gift from John L. Tishman in memory of Judith Arron.

Nonesuch at Carnegie

Ticket Information:

Tickets, priced at $35 and $85, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street. They may also be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or purchased online at the Carnegie Hall website, www.carnegiehall.org.


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