All-star birthday tribute set for Stephen Sondheim

Fans of Stephen Sondheim - and indeed, musical theatre in general - are in for a real treat this coming Sunday. That’s when the Theatre Royal Drury Lane is hosting Hey, Old Friends! – an 85th birthday tribute to the acclaimed American composer. The title comes from a song in Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, which Maria Friedman directed to critical acclaim and an Olivier Awards for best musical revival in 2012. Friedman isn’t on the bill for the Richard Douglas Productions/Stephen Sondheim Society production but it’s crammed with more than 50 star performers. Sondheim, Stephen Tracie Bennett, Millicent Martin, Michael Xavier, Bonnie Langford, Daniel Evans and Anton Du Beke are just a few of the names confirmed. Many of the cast have worked with the great man himself and they’re all fans, with Nicholas Parsons declaring him a genius and Rula Lenska saying “I just adore his work”. The performers will be joined by new talent from ArtsEd and backed by a 40-piece orchestra, with proceeds being split between the Sondheim Society’s educational programmes and The Silver Line, a helpline for older people. Hey, Old Friends! An 85th Birthday Tribute to Stephen Sondheim is at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London, on Sunday October 25th. For tickets call 0844 412 4657 or visit seetickets.com Words by SIMON BUTTON. 650px X 150px ATTITUDE TV BANNER