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Side by Side by Sondheim

Side by Side by Sondheim is a revue, and as such, has no plot. But, for a little history on how it came to be...

Original Cast Member David Kernan was playing Carl-Magnus in the Original London Production of Sondheim's A Little Night Music. He as contacted by Cleo Lane and her husband John Dankworth, who wanted Kernan to put together a revue of some kind as a benefit for a theatre they owned in Wavendon. Kernan contacted director Ned Sherrin and suggested that they do a revue of Sondheim material. When they wrote to Sondheim for permission, Kernan received a telegram back saying "By all means try, but I can't think of anything more boring except possibly the Book of Kells".

Fortunately, audiences did not agree, and their little benefit (with Millicent Martin, Julie McKenzie, Kernan, and Ned Sherrin as the narrator) went over very well. Cameron Mackintosh, just starting out as a producer, saw the show and agreed to move it to the Mermaid Theatre. Sondheim agreed to come over and work with the cast, and ended up essentially directing. The show ran there for eight weeks and then moved to the larger Wyndham Theatre, where it ran for three years.

Hal Prince agreed to produce a Broadway version, and persuaded Actors' Equity Association to allow the original British Cast to transfer with the show. After several months and Tony nominations for the show and all four actors, the British cast was phased out and replaced by Nancy Dussault, Larry Kert, Georgia Brown, and Hermione Gingold as the Narrator. (Gingold also sang "I Never Do Anything Twice" in that production). After a move up the street to the Morosco Theatre in 1978, the show was hosted by Burr Tilstrom and Kukla, Fran, and Ollie until it closed on March 19, 1978.

This show became very popular with regional companies, and is perhaps the single biggest reason for the spread of Sondheim's popularity beyond sophisticated NY and London Theatre circles. Since it was put together in 1975, the show only contains material up through Pacific Overtures, and is the only official Sondheim revue that uses music written by other composers with Sondheim lyrics. The continued success of the show inspired companies to continually ask for permission to "update" the show with new material. While Sondheim was resistant to such efforts, he did eventually agree to put together another compilation containing newer material - 1992's Putting it Together.

- June Abernathy

Original Production

Opened May 4, 1976 at the Mermaid Theatre in London, England
July 7, 1976, moved to Wyndham Theatre
Ran for 3 years
Music by Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Mary Rodgers, Richard Rodgers, Jule Styne
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Produced by Cameron Mackintosh and H.M. Tennent Ltd. in association with the Mermaid Theatre and by arrangement with the InComes Company (Theatre) Ltd.
Directed by Ned Sherrin
Musical Numbers Staged by Bob Howe
Pianists/Co-Musical Directors Tim Higgs and Stuart Pedlar
Musical Supervision Ray Cook
Set Design by Peter Docherty
Costume Design by Gina Gratini
Lighting Design by John Wood
Opened April 18, 1977 at the Music Box Theatre, NYC
February 22, 1978, moved to the Morosco Theatre
384 Performances
Produced by Harold Prince, in association with Ruth Mitchell
Directed by Ned Sherrin
Musical Staging by Bob Howe
Musical Direction by Ray Cook
Pianists: Daniel Troob and Albin Konopka
Musical Supervision by Paul Gemignani
Set Design by Peter Docherty
Costume Design by Florence Klotz
Lighting Design by Ken Billington
Scenery Supervision by Jay Moore

Musical Numbers

Comedy Tonight
Love is in the Air
If Momma Was Married
You Must Meet My Wife
The Little Things You Do Together
Getting Married Today
I Remember
Can That Boy Foxtrot!
Another Hundred People
Marry Me A Little
I Never Do Anything Twice
Bring on the Girls
Ah, Paree!
Buddy's Blues
Broadway Baby
You Could Drive a Person Crazy
Everybody Says Don't
Anyone Can Whistle
Send in the Clowns
We're Gonna Be All Right
A Boy Like That/I Have a Love
The Boy From . . .
Pretty Lady
You Gotta Have a Gimmick
Losing My Mind
Could I Leave You?
I'm Still Here
Conversation Piece (Medley)
Side By Side By Side

Original Cast

Millicent Martin
Julie N. McKenzie
David Kernan
Ned Sherrin

Discuss this show in's community forum: Finishing the Chat... ››



Recently Overheard...
Assassins is about how society interprets the American Dream, marginalizes outsiders and rewrites and sanitizes its collective history. "Something Just Broke" is a major distraction and plays like an afterthought, shoe horned simply to appease. The song breaks the dramatic fluidity and obstructs the overall pacing and climactic arc which derails the very intent and momentum that makes this work so compelling...”
- Mark Bakalor

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“I found [the Sondheim Celebration's Company] to be completely delightful. Almost all of the numbers excited and energized me, and most of the scenes were about as pitch-perfect as you can get. I just sat there with a big smile on my face the whole show.

Which is not to say that it is perfect...”
- popcornonmyknees

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Music, Books & More
Elaine Stritch
With three hand-held cameras, one major theatrical milestone and nearly nineteen hours of footage, this rare and intimate look with Original Cast Album - Company is a must for any Sondheim fan.

DVD: $26.96
VHS: $24.95

One of Sondheim's most beloved works is sure to be Sunday in the Park with George, available on DVD, video tape, and CD.

CD: $13.99
DVD: $25.49
VHS: $19.98

Nathan Lane
All Sondheim completists are sure to now own the first complete recording of The Frogs coupled with Evening Primrose. Do you?

CD: $18.97

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