Chances are, if you have never heard of Stephen Sondheim, you have at least heard of his music. As the composer of numerous Broadway smash-hits such as West Side Story, Gypsy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods, Sondheim’s work is practically inescapable not only in the world of theatre, but also in the realm of contemporary pop culture. Many of his musicals have been adapted into extremely popular films, and his songs have been featured in everything from sitcoms to Pampers diapers commercials. So whether you’re a full-blown musical theatre fanatic or just the type who likes to hum “I Feel Pretty” on a particularly good hair day, it is likely that you’ll hear a familiar tune or two if you go to see Side by Side by Sondheim, a fantastic musical revue, at the Tennessee Williams Center this October.
According to the show’s stage manager, Page Forrest (C’17), Side by Side by Sondheim, directed by Peter Smith, will feature musical numbers from some of Sondheim’s most well-known works, including Company, Follies, [and] West Side Story. The cast showcases a range of Sewanee students, such as Elise Anderson (C’16), Megan Quick (C’15), Charlotte LaNasa (C’16), Sarah High (C’15), Kalynn Harrington (C’18), Chase Brantley (C’15), Huntre Woolwine (C’16), Max Hagan (C’16), Audrey Tchoukoua (C’16), and Will Burton-Edwards (C’18).
“Sewanee hasn’t done a musical in a while,” says Forrest, “and it’s really fortunate we get to put on Side by Side by Sondheim this year with such an amazing cast. At rehearsal last night I was blown away by how talented everyone was. It’s definitely going to be a show worth seeing.”
Burton-Edwards, a performer in the show, agrees. “There’s a song called ‘Conversation Piece’ which is going to be awesome. It’s really complex—there are, like, eighty things happening at the same time. You’re going to love it.”
For those Sewanee students who are interested in getting a little more Sondheim into their lives—and let’s face it; we could all use a good show tune every now and then—Side by Side by Sondheim will open at the Tennessee Williams Center on Friday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m. Subsequent performances will take place October 18, 23, 24, and 25 at 7:30 p.m., and October 19 at 2:00 p.m.