Sunday, April 8, 2012
A MUSICAL treat is on offer at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City next week. The sophisticated songs of the great Stephen Sondheim will be heard in the Handside Lane theatre’s auditorium as the Barn presents Side by Side.
Directed by Keith Thompson, the acclaimed revue of Sondheim’s early work opens on Friday, April 13 and runs to Saturday, April 21.
Side by Side had its premiere on May 4, 1976 at the Mermaid Theatre.
After 59 performances it moved to Wyndham’s Theatre and then the Garrick, being perfomed 806 times in all in London.
In 1977, it moved to New York and the Broadway version featured the original British cast. It had the distinction of having its entire cast nominated for Tony Awards.
It ran for 384 performances on Broadway and a national tour followed with Hermione Gingold as the Narrator.
If you’re not a connoisseur of the dramatic arts, Sondheim’s name may not ring a bell.
Well, he wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and both the words and music for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum were also by him.
The haunting song Send in the Clowns is another of his compositions and 25 shows in all are attributed to him.
And this is not counting numerous songs included in productions other than Sondheim ones.
So Side by Side is a revue of many very familiar tunes that audience members will recognise and, hopefully, enjoy.
The lyrics are all by Sondheim and some of the music was composed by him, with other composers being Bernstein, Mary and Richard Rodgers and Jule Styne.
The revue is divided into sections, with the Narrator explaining the themes.
Tickets cost £10 and performances are nightly at 8pm, with a Saturday matinee on April 21 at 2.30pm.
Call the box office on 01707 324300 or book online at www.barntheatre.co.uk