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Tickets now on sale for Sondheim "CHILDREN AND ART" All-Star Gala Benefit

The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton and Barbra Streisand (Honorary Chairs), with Young Playwrights Inc. and producers Richard Maltby, Jr., Kevin Stites and Sheri M. Goldhirsch are proud to present "CHILDREN AND ART," a spectacular musical gala evening in celebration of Stephen Sondheim's 75th birthday, for one performance only at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre (214 West 42nd Street) on Monday, March 21, 2005 (7:30 p.m. curtain), the eve of Sondheim's birthday.

All proceeds from "CHILDREN AND ART" will benefit Young Playwrights Inc., an organization founded by Stephen Sondheim in 1981.

Directed by Tony Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr. with music direction by Kevin Stites, "CHILDREN AND ART" features performances of Sondheim works by an all-star cast including* Matthew Broderick, Michael Cerveris, Barbara Cook, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Jason Danieley, John Dossett, Harvey Evans, Dame Edna Everage, Harvey Fierstein, Whoopi Goldberg, George Hearn, Judy Kuhn, Nathan Lane, Rebecca Luker, Patti LuPone, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, Debra Monk, Mandy Patinkin, Michele Pawk, Bernadette Peters, Kurt Peterson, David Hyde Pierce, Tonya Pinkins, Lonny Price, Alice Ripley, Chita Rivera, Marti Rolph, Virginia Sandifur, Jim Walton and B.D. Wong.

In addition, "CHILDREN AND ART" features appearances from members of the original casts of Company, Follies and Merrily We Roll Along, plus a 35-piece orchestra, the 100-voice Broadway Star Chorus and the 60-voice Young People's Chorus of New York (dir. Francisco Nuñez).

The mission of Young Playwrights Inc. is to nurture playwrights aged 18 or younger through development and presentation of their work, to promote the arts as a part of basic part of education by facilitating the integration of playwriting into the curriculum, to develop new work for the theater, and to serve as an advocate for young people regardless of ethnicity, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation or economic status.

Tickets for "CHILDREN AND ART" are scaled from $500 - $5,000 and are now available by calling Young Playwrights Inc. at (212) 594-5440.  Tickets at the $1,500 level and above include an exclusive post-show dinner with Stephen Sondheim at the Four Seasons (99 East 52nd Street). Balcony tickets are available at $150 and $250. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information on the "CHILDREN AND ART" benefit concert, please visit For more information on YPI, please visit

Co-Chaired by Mary Ann Madden and Ben & Donna Rosen, the "CHILDREN AND ART" Benefit Committee includes Stanley & Marion Bergman, Douglas S. Cramer, Myrna & Freddie Gershon, Lois Robbins and Showtime Networks.


YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS INC. (YPI) was founded in 1981 by Stephen Sondheim and is the only professional theater in the United States dedicated solely to the works of new American playwrights aged 18 or younger. YPI's mission is to identify new writers for the theater, involve them as active participants in the highest quality Off Broadway productions of their plays, and insure that their voices are heard by the theater community, audiences, and their peers. Programs include the Young Playwrights Festival, the National Playwriting Competition, and the Writers Conference; among the alums of these programs are working dramatists such as Kenneth Lonergan, Rebecca Gilman, Jonathan Marc Sherman and Keith Glover.  To advance the arts in basic education and provide young people with an outlet for creative expression, YPI offers an extensive national education program, Write A Play!, that facilitates the integration of playwriting into the pre-college curriculum through a tested series of lesson plans and writing exercises; YPI provides in-school and after-school playwriting workshops for students and a Teacher Training Institute for classroom teachers.   The inspiration for more than 50 local and regional programs for young playwrights, Young Playwrights Inc. is the recipient of two Obies, the NY Drama Critics Circle Award, the Margo Jones Award, the Villager Award, 20 Newsday Oppys, the Alliance for the Arts Schools and Culture Award, the Children's Theater Foundation Medallion, and the Jujamcyn Theaters Award; and was a consultant to the Presidents' Summit for America's Future.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Assassins, Passion and Bounce, as well as lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, Do I Hear A Waltz? and additional lyrics for Candide. Side by Side by Sondheim, Marry Me a Little, You're Gonna Love Tomorrow, Putting It Together and Opening Doors are anthologies of his work as composer and lyricist. He co-authored the play Getting Away With Murder and provided incidental music for The Girls of Summer, Invitation to a March, Twigs and The Enclave. For films and television, he composed the scores of Stavisky and Reds, co-authored The Last of Sheila and wrote songs for Evening Primrose and Dick Tracy.

Richard Maltby JR. (Producer/Director) conceived and directed two Tony-Award winning Broadway musicals: Fosse (1999: Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk Awards) and Ain't Misbehavin' (1978: Tony, New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk Awards), for which he also won the Tony Award as Best Director. With longtime collaborator, composer David Shire, he directed and wrote lyrics for Starting Here, Starting Now, 1977 (Grammy nomination); Baby, 1983, with librettist Sybille Pearson (nominated for seven Tony Awards); Closer Than Ever, 1989 (Two Outer Critics Circle Awards: Best Off-Broadway Musical, Best Score); and the musical Big, 1996, with librettist John Weidman (Tony nomination for Best Score). With the team of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, he wrote lyrics for the international hit, Miss Saigon (London Evening Standard Award, Best Musical, 1990; Tony nomination for Best Score, 1991). Richard directed and co-wrote with Don Black the American adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song & Dance, 1986, which won a Tony Award for its star, Bernadette Peters. He has enjoyed a long association with the Manhattan Theatre Club, where he directed five musicals including the original production of Ain't Misbehavin'. The son of the well-known orchestra leader, Richard also contributes devilish crossword puzzles to Harpers Magazine.

Kevin Stites (Producer/Music Director). Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof, Nine (2003 Tony), Oklahoma!, Titanic (1997 Tony), On the Town and Sunset Boulevard. Tours: Martin Guerre (American prem.), Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables. TV: "The Late Show with David Letterman," "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," "Macy's Thanksgiving Parade," and several Tony Award telecasts. Cast albums: Fiddler on the Roof (2004 revival), Titanic, Nine (Antonio Banderas). Chicago: more than 60 productions, winner six Jefferson Awards for musical direction: Sweeney Todd, Chess, Pal Joey, Sunday in the Park with George, Baby, Windy City. Music director: Chicago's acclaimed Ovations! series. Choirmaster: Maury Yeston's 2000-voice American Cantata. He most recently conducted the orchestra scoring sessions for the film Reefer Madness, to be presented this spring on the Showtime Network.

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