An all-star company will perform in a special virtual concert in celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 90th Birthday, “Take Me To The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration”, on Sunday, April 26 at 8:00 PM ET on the theater world’s premier online content provider, Broadway.com and the Broadway.com YouTube channel. The free online event, hosted by Raúl Esparza, is set to take place on the exact 50th anniversary of the opening night of Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical Company (the original production debuted on Broadway on April 26, 1970).
This once-in-a-lifetime event will include songs of inspiration from the Sondheim catalog featuring performances from many of the artists who delivered iconic turns in his shows, including Meryl Streep, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Christine Baranski, Donna Murphy, Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Aaron Tveit, Maria Friedman, Iain Armitage, Katrina Lenk, Michael Cerveris, Brandon Uranowitz, Stephen Schwartz, Elizabeth Stanley, Chip Zien, Alexander Gemignani and, from the cast of Pacific Overtures at Classic Stage Company, Ann Harada, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh and Thom Sesma.
Additional performers include Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Benanti, Melissa Errico, Beanie Feldstein, Josh Groban, Jake Gyllenhaal, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Kuhn, Linda Lavin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Platt, Randy Rainbow, and Lea Salonga will perform songs of inspiration from the Sondheim catalog. This once-in-a-lifetime event will also feature special appearances by Victor Garber, Joanna Gleason, Nathan Lane, and Steven Spielberg.
The evening’s host and producer Raúl Esparza starred as Bobby in the highly acclaimed, Tony Award-winning revival of Company in 2006, and in the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration productions of Sunday in the Park (George) and Merrily We Roll Along (Charlie) in 2002, as well as the City Center Encores! production of Anyone Can Whistle (Hapgood) and, most recently, in last year’s Road Show (Wilson).
Drama Desk Award winner Mary-Mitchell Campbell is the evening’s music director, with Paul Wontorek serving as director.
This special online event will act as a fundraiser for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), the organization conceived by Broadway Musical Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of youth using the most powerful tool they had: their art. Today, ASTEP connects performing and visual artists with youth from underserved communities in the U.S. and around the world to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty.