Musical Theatre Guild's Stephen Sondheim Tribute Returns To Southern California

Performances are on January 18 and 21.

By: Nov. 29, 2023

Musical Theatre Guild's Stephen Sondheim Tribute Returns To Southern California

Since the passing of Stephen Sondheim, there have been countless tributes, concerts, and celebrations. In 2022, Southern California's own Musical Theatre Guild brought a unique spin to the life and work of Mr. Sondheim, resulting in a sold-out house, and the Broadway World Award for Best Special Event. Now, due to audience demand, LIVE LAUGH LOVE; A SONDHEIM CELEBRATION is back! This year's production, a fundraiser supporting Musical Theatre Guild and its' Student Outreach programs, will perform twice; in Rancho Mirage, at the Galen Performing Arts Center on Thursday, January 18th, 2024, and in Los Angeles, at the Colony Theatre in Burbank on Sunday, January 21st. Both performances take place at 7:00PM.

LIVE LAUGH LOVE was lovingly conceived and written by the late playwright/screenwriter Duane Poole, as one of his final projects. Poole has crafted a very special original revue that features material from virtually every produced Sondheim project. from Broadway shows to television and films. The chosen songs will find a perfect balance between the familiar classics and the forgotten gems, a Musical Theatre Guild specialty.

The irrepressible Jason Graae will host the evening and the cast will, of course, come from MTG's talented roster of performers, including a special appearance from former MTG member Teri Ralston from the original Broadway casts of COMPANY and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC.

Performers expected to appear include: Eydie Alyson, Eileen Barnett, Jennifer Bennett, Doug Carfrae, Barbara Carlton Heart, Will Collyer, Susan Edwards Martin, Melissa Fahn, Joshua Finkel, Tal Fox, Julie Garnye, Ron Christopher Jones, Melissa Lyons, Tonoccus McClain, Kevin McMahon, Dana Meller, Lisa Picotte, Glenn Rosenblum, Brent Schindele, Leslie Stevens, Mary Van Arsdel, Paul Wong, Robert Yacko and David Zack.

In addition, this year's production features students from Musical Theatre University, the professional theatre training program of Rancho Mirage High School, under the leadership of David Green. LIVE LAUGH LOVE will be directed by Lewis Wilkenfeld, with Musical Direction by Michael Collum and Brad Ellis. Julie Garnye serves as Video Designer, and Leesa Freed is the Production Stage Manager.

Proceeds from LIVE LAUGH LOVE: A SONDHEIM MUSICAL CELEBRATION, go to support Musical Theatre Guild's Youth Outreach Programs, a cornerstone of the organization's mandate to engage the next generation of theatre artists and theatregoers. MTG's Youth Outreach Program takes specially prepared live performances into Southern California schools, brings hundreds of local high school students to live theatre performances and offers mentorships to theatre students who shadow our professionals behind the scenes of mainstage productions. Musical Theatre Guild is committed to inspiring and developing the next generations of theatre artists and audiences. In addition, Musical Theatre Guild's fundraising efforts help provide ASL access for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing patrons at its' mainstage productions, such as the upcoming THE WEDDING SINGER next spring.

This eclectic, once-in-a-lifetime evening will appeal to everyone from the casual theatregoer to the most rabid Sondheim fan. Don't miss your chance to celebrate Stephen Sondheim's birthday with the Musical Theatre Guild. LIVE LAUGH LOVE: A SONDHEIM CELEBRATION is guaranteed to be an evening you will never forget.

LIVE LAUGH LOVE: A SONDHEIM CELEBRATION performs twice: on Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 7:00PM, at the Helene Galen Performing Arts Center at Rancho Mirage High School, 31001 Rattler Rd, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270; and on Sunday, January 21, 2024 at 7:00PM at the Colony Theatre, 555 N. Third Street, Burbank, CA 91502. Tickets are on sale now, with prices ranging from $35 to $80. Tickets for both performances can be purchased online at

Musical Theatre Guild's 2023-2024 Mainstage Season concludes with THE WEDDING SINGER, performing on Sunday, March 10th, 2024, 7:00PM, at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, Eli and Edythe Broad Stage. Additional productions, fundraisers and performance events will take place throughout the year. Go to to learn more, and to sign up for the Guild's email list.

Musical Theatre Guild is 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership company of theatre professionals, devoted to preserving the unique American art form of musical theatre by presenting seldom-seen musicals in a staged reading concert format.

Musical Theatre University (MTU) is a comprehensive, pre-professional Conservatory training ground for young people, grades 8-12, from throughout the Coachella Valley and neighboring communities who aspire to careers in professional theatre, most specifically on Broadway. The faculty is comprised of Broadway Veterans and supplemented by a cadre of master teachers including celebrated composers, lyricists, actors, choreographers, directors, producers and casting professionals. MTU was created and founded by David Green and is sponsored by the Palm Springs Unified School district so that the training is offered free of charge. Mr. Green's alumni include Tony winners Lindsay Mendez and Stephanie J. Block, Tony nominees Susan Egan and Matthew Morrison, stage and television actors Pedro Pascal, Krysta Rodriguez, Anneliese VanDerPol and hundreds more.