The brilliant extraordinary called “Take Me to the World” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kelli O’Hara, Lea Salonga, Judy Kuhn, Katrina Lenk, Aaron Tveit, Laura Benanti, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Patti LuPone, and Bernadette Peters, who finished off the show with a great adaptation of “No One Is Alone” with no going with music.
Sondheim turned 90 on the 22nd of March, yet plans to celebrate were brought online after Broadway lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The festival on Sunday night corresponded with the 50th anniversary of the opening of Sondheim’s Broadway show “Company,” and filled in as a fund for Artists Striving to End Poverty.
Sutton Foster was the first to sing, picking “There Won’t Be Trumpets” and her young daughter, Emily, wished Sondheim a happy birthday in the end. Christine Baranski, Audra McDonald, and Meryl Streep each downed glasses of booze to team up for a raucous “The Ladies Who Lunch.”
Neil Patrick Harris sang “The Witch’s Rap” and expressed gratitude toward Sondheim: “He made me love theater, he made me love music, he made me love rhythm,” he stated. Harris’ children had a role in the performance, bowing toward the end.
There was a warm vibe in the event, with numerous artists and vocalists wearing T-shirts, little makeup, and with simple backgrounds.
“I’ve got to go make dinner,” stated Melissa Errico admitted after singing “Children and Art.”
Beginning fashionably late, the tribute commenced on YouTube over an hour after the reported beginning time.
“Send in the singers!” one cranky fan posted, riffing off Sondheim’s classic tune “Send in the Clowns” — that was later sung by Donna Murphy.
It was facilitated and delivered by Raúl Esparza, who featured in the Tony Award-winning recovery of “Company” in 2006. Esparza accused the lateness of specialized challenges, tweeting, “The curtain always goes up late on opening night.”
We are having tech issues but it is being taken care of and we’ll be right with you. Stars are still on the red carpet and we’re waiting for them to get to their seats. The curtain always goes up late on opening night. 🎉
— Raúl E. Esparza (@RaulEEsparza) April 27, 2020
During one aborted beginning, Esparza showed up. However, his initial letter couldn’t be heard and he unexpectedly strolled off-screen. (“They should have hired the ‘SNL’ folks,” said one online commentator.) Esparza later appeared in short videos offering personal commentary and sang “Take Me to the World.”
The postponement and the way that a large number of the recordings were pre-taped helped some to remember Fox’s 2019 broadcast of the musical “Rent,” which utilized pre-recorded material for a significant part of the show after an entertainer was harmed during a practice.
Sondheim’s shows also include “Merrily We Roll Along,” “Sweeney Todd” and “A Little Night Music.” He also worked beside Leonard Bernstein as a lyricist for “West Side Story.”
Steven Spielberg regarded Sondheim’s photographic information on the film and expressed gratitude toward him for assisting on the movie producer’s up and coming variant of “West Side Story.”
“For me it was like going back to school and meeting my most favorite professor,” Spielberg said.
Path, a successive teammate, kidded that the oft-celebrated Sondheim was “an unsung hero” of the American theater.
“Here’s my little show business adage for this evening: If at all possible, try to work with a genius,” Lane said. “They’re fun. They’re smart. They’re inspiring and they tend to bring out the best in you. And that’s the kind of genius Steve is.”