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Marquee unveiling – Stephen Sondheim Theatre on 9/15

Roundabout Theatre Company

The Broadway community will gather to honor Stephen Sondheim as the marquee is unveiled on the newly dedicated Stephen Sondheim Theatre

Wednesday, September 15th, 6:30PM

The Stephen Sondheim Theatre is located at 124 West 43rd St.

On Wednesday, September 15th at 6:30PM, the Broadway community will gather alongside Stephen Sondheim as the lights of the newly dedicated Stephen Sondheim Theatre marquee are lit for the first time.

Roundabout Theatre Company will host the event to honor the most celebrated artist in American musical theatre.  The participants in the event will include his longtime collaborators Patti LuPone & John Weidman as well as Tom Tuft, Chairman of Roundabout Theatre Company’s Board of Directors and Mr. Sondheim himself.

The event will take place directly in front of the theatre’s marquee at 124 West 43rd Street, beginning at 6:30PM.  The first 50 people in line for the event, beginning at 6pm, will receive a complimentary copy of the recently released Original Broadway Cast Recording of Sondheim on Sondheim, donated by PS Classics.

In order to facilitate this dedication, a small group of Stephen Sondheim devotees initiated a generous contribution to the renaming dedication of the theatre to support Roundabout’s Musical Theatre Fund.  The Musical Theatre Fund was established in 2003 by Roundabout’s Board of Directors to sustain this important art form and insure that Roundabout can continue its mission to produce musical revivals as well as developing new musicals by both established and emerging composers.

Roundabout has a long relationship with Stephen Sondheim having produced five Tony Award® nominated Sondheim revivals including Company (1995), Follies (2001), Tony Award® winning Assassins (2004), Pacific Overtures (2004), Sunday in the Park with George (2008) & the recent acclaimed production of Sondheim on Sondheim. In 2009 Roundabout presented a one-night only gala concert reading of A Little Night Music at Studio 54 starring Natasha Richardson, Victor Garber and Vanessa Redgrave.  In 2005, Roundabout honored Sondheim with the Jason Robards Award for Excellence in Theatre for the indelible impact his life’s work has made on the theatre world.

ABOUT STEPHEN SONDHEIM

Stephen Sondheim is widely acknowledged as the most innovative, most influential, and most important composer and lyricist in modern Broadway history.  He is the winner of an Academy Award, numerous Tony Awardsâ, multiple Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize.  Some of his other accolades include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors (1993), the National Medal of Arts (1996), the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Gold Medal for Music (2006) and a special Tony Awardâfor Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre (2008).

His extensive body of work has revolutionized the musical theatre canon and has made him perhaps the greatest stage composer of the last 100 years.  Sondheim’s musical sophistication, which combines intricate vocal lines and inventive harmonies with intelligent lyrics and subject matter, is an ability that is unmatched by many of his musical theatre peers.  Simply put, he is a legend.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Road Show (2008),  Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971; revised in London, 1987), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), as well as the lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), 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 (1993/99) are anthologies of his work, as is the new musical Sondheim on Sondheim. He composed the film scores of Stavisky (1974) and Reds (1981) and songs for Dick Tracy (Academy Award, 1990). He also wrote songs for the television production “Evening Primrose” (1966), co-authored, with Anthony Perkins, the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and, with George Furth, the play Getting Away with Murder (1996), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls of Summer (1956), Invitation to a March (1961) and Twigs (1971). He won Tony Awards for Best Score for a Musical for Passion, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Follies and Company. All of these shows won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, as did Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George, the latter also receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Saturday Night (1954), his first professional musical, finally had its New York premiere in 1999 at Second Stage Theatre.

ABOUT THE STEPHEN SONDHEIM (FORMERLY HENRY MILLER’S) THEATRE

The Durst Organization and Bank of America completed construction and restoration of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on West 43rd Street in Times Square in May 2009.  The Stephen Sondheim Theatre is the first new Broadway theatre built in over a decade and sets new standards for environmentally sustainable design and construction of performing arts venues.  The Stephen Sondheim Theatre sits behind the preserved and restored neo-Georgian façade of the original 1918 theatre.

By 1969, after being used as a Broadway theatre for 51 years the Stephen Sondheim Theatre was abandoned as a legitimate theater.  In 1998, Roundabout Theatre Company transformed, reopened and operated the venue as a Broadway theatre with their Tony award winning production of Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret.  Cabaret ran for nine months, closed because of a construction accident at an adjacent building, re-opened briefly, and transferred to Studio 54 for a five-year run.

Based on Roundabout’s proven track record of successfully revitalizing and managing theatres, a unique opportunity was presented to Roundabout by The Durst Organization, New York’s leading developer of eco-friendly buildings.  In September 2009, Roundabout Theatre Company became the curator of the new state-of-the-art, 1,055-seat Broadway theatre, New York’s first LEED rated theatre, built as part of the Bank of America at One Bryant Park project.

The revitalization of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre is consistent with Roundabout’s history of bringing dilapidated, lost theatres back to life and programming the venues as viable, live performance spaces for the benefit of theatre artists and audiences and managing them efficiently.

The Stephen Sondheim Theatre serves the company’s mission by providing more opportunities for artists as well as audiences.  With the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, Roundabout will create 80-100 new jobs each year for artists and theatre staff through its activities.

With the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and as a result of the overwhelming response to Roundabout’s audience development programs, Roundabout expanded Access Roundabout offering even more discounted tickets during the 2009-2010 season.  A total of 34,000 tickets at $10-$20 was allotted to underserved audiences, which is an increase of 12,000 tickets over the past season.

The beautifully revitalized theatre is used for Roundabout productions.  Ensuring year-round occupancy of first-rate Broadway productions, the theatre will also be rented to commercial producers and other not-for-profit theatres.  The Pee Wee Herman Show will play a limited run in the theatre this fall.

ABOUT ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY

Roundabout Theatre Company is one of the country’s leading not-for-profit theatres.  The company contributes invaluably to New York’s cultural life by staging the highest quality revivals of classic plays and musicals as well as new works by established writers. Roundabout consistently partners great artists with great works to bring a fresh and exciting interpretation that makes each production relevant and important to today’s audiences.

Roundabout Theatre Company currently produces at three permanent homes each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout’s mission.  Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics.  Roundabout’s Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions.  Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.  Roundabout also programs the Stephen Sondheim Theatre which is the first new Broadway theatre built in over a decade and set new standards for environmentally sustainable design and construction of performing arts venues.

American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Flatotel is the official hotel of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties; the New York Department of State; the New York State Department of Education; and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation among many private foundations, corporations, individuals, and patrons.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2010-2011 season features George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession starring Cherry Jones & Sally Hawkins, directed by Doug Hughes; Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, adapted and directed by Emma Rice; Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still, directed by Sam Gold; Julia Cho’s The Language Archive, directed by Mark Brokaw; Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, starring and directed by Brian Bedford; Tennessee Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore starring Olympia Dukakis, directed by Michael Wilson; Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster, directed & choreographed by Kathleen Marshall; David West Read’s The Dream of Burning Boy, directed by Evan Cabnet.  The 39 Steps made its third transfer to the New World Stages after a successful Broadway run at three Broadway theatres.

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