Kennedy Center to do “Sondheim Celebration”

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com June 09 2001 12:00 AM ET

AP reports that four directors will stage six musicals by gay composer Stephen Sondheim at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center next year. The “Sondheim Celebration” will play in repertory from May 10, 2002, through August 25, 2002, and is meant to “try and mimic as closely as possible a museum retrospective of one single artist,” according to the president of the Kennedy Center, Michael Kaiser. Craig Schaeffer, who runs the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va., will direct Sunday in the Park With George and Passion; Mark Brokaw (As Bees in Honey Drown) will stage A Little Night Music; Sean Mathias (Indiscretions) will mount Company; Christopher Ashley (Jeffrey) will direct both Sweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along. In addition, the Kennedy Center will bring in the New National Theatre of Tokyo’s production of Pacific Overtures. Schaeffer, who is also the overall artistic director of the “Sondheim Celebration,” says, “We really wanted to go and find people who would actually bring a new voice to these productions. These productions are totally reinvented.” While Sondheim was not present at the news conference announcing the series, in a prepared statement he admitted, “First, I’m flattered. Second, I’m thrilled. Third, I’m nervous. It’s such an ambitious enterprise.”