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  Sondheim on Sondheim at Stage 773

Sondheim on Sondheim

Stage 773
1225 W Belmont Ave Chicago

"The words "intellectual" and "Broadway musical" were seldom mentioned in the same breath until the era of Stephen Sondheim," said The New York Times. Sondheim on Sondheim delves into this era and is the final say on this unparalleled body of work with an intimate portrait of the famed songwriter in his own words and music. Featuring new arrangements of more than two-dozen Sondheim songs, ranging from the beloved to the obscure, interspersed with filmed commentary by the composer himself, Sondheim on Sondheim reveals fascinating details about his life and his art.

Thru - Mar 15, 2015

Price: $45

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 773-327-5252

Running Time: 2hrs, 20mins

Stage 773 Seating Charts

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  Sondheim on Sondheim Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...So, Sondheim fans, what's not to love, and if you find a what's-not, you can debate it thereafter. You'll feel like you're in the safe hands of the man. And yet - and here's why I loved the show - the show does not capitulate to the composer. There's a distinct point of view (you can also see it manifest in Sally Dolembo's fascinating costumes), a daring critique, an explication, a reminder, especially from Cook and Keffer (they sound like a Sondheim double act) that even God cannot own himself."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...The Porchlight production, directed by Nick Bowling, features a knockout turn by the galvanically talented Austin Cook, the onstage pianist/singer/actor/musical director. Cook's playing is orchestral in its emotional sweep, and throughout he serves as something of a youthful alter ego to the composer-lyricist, complete with Sondheimlike beard. An immense talent, I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote his own musical one day."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...The revue samples Sondheim's output from his first professional musical (Saturday Night) to his latest material (Road Show), and the show is packed with fascinating facts about Sondheim's life and work-told by the man himself in a series of taped interviews dating back to the early 1970s. But some of the power of Sondheim's tunes is lost taken out of context. And some of the performers in Nick Bowling's production for Porchlight Music Theatre, though technically fine, lack fire. Energetic, versatile Adrienne Walker is one who doesn't."
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Jack Helbig

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Some of the younger cast members can come across as auditioning for the roles they're singing-and quite well at that: Matthew Keffer's rendition of "Finishing the Hat" has me ready for his future Sunday in the Park with George. Music director Austin Cook, bearded and outfitted to recall a young Sondheim himself, is a powerful force on the piano at center stage; his performance with young talents Amelia Hefferon and Yando Lopez of "Opening Doors," from Merrily We Roll Along, provides a persuasive case for a full production. It's not easy to play straight man to a composer so revered he gets his name in the title twice. But Porchlight's fantastic cast does the trick."
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Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Recommended

"...The performance I heard offered a night of good singing that generally stopped short of the next level. There was much to savor in Finnegan's softly caressed account of "In Buddy's Eyes" from "Follies." And from the same show, Jones and Rader caught the happily filtered memory of "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs." Still, on a night of solid singing, one waited in vain to experience the real brilliance, or depth, of Sondheim's music. Finnegan and Jones offered a turn through "Send in the Clowns" that, for all its tenderness, did not touch the heart-stopping poignancy of one of Sondheim's most profound songs."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...Lovingly shaped by director Nick Bowling, more than two dozen delights in this 140-minute discovery reconfirm S.S.'s once and future legacy, even a wry new number "God" that wittily salutes the idolatry of Sondheim worshippers everywhere. I'm tempted to mention every selection, if only to sufficiently praise Emily Berman, Rebecca Finnegan, Amelia Hefferon, James Earl Jones II, Matthew Keffer, Yando Lopez, Stephen Rader, and Adrienne Walker-and, most notably, music director/pianist/participant Austin Cook. Of course, they're terrific-they're singing Sondheim: How could anyone go wrong?"
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The amazingly effect format of blending videos in their own words with live performance of the subject's songbook works as insightful entertainment and educationally informative history as well as a powerful glimpse into the creative process. This thoroughly engaging show is a "Must See" for Sondheim enthusiast; a "Must See" for those who wish to learn how to sing Sondheim; and for those who relish learning about a 'living legend." Sondheim on Sondheim is astonishingly perfect night of entertainment. If you only see one show this winter - make it Sondheim on Sondheim."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...Most Valuable Player goes to Conductor/Pianist/Music Director Austin Cook, a Sondheim doppleganger who tickles the ivories even as a woman crawls under and through him. He “acts the song” and sends this show to the stars. I suspect with the conceptual flaws of this play, you wont have so many opportunities to see this material so well performed very often, so you owe it to yourself to catch it while you can."

Angela Allyn

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Conceived and written by James Lapine, who was one of his strongest collaborators, with music and lyrics by none other than Stephen Sondheim himself, this special musical entertainment is what might be called the "Legacy of Stephen Sondheim. A man and his music!". Two hours plus of sheer elegance as performed on the stage at Stage 773 on Belmont Ave. by Porchlight Music Theatre Company."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The cast is also a delight to listen to, with James Earl Jones II, Rebecca Finnegan and Adrienne Walker standing out for their big vocals. Musical director Austin Cook’s on stage piano play is also commendable and does well in representing a young Sondheim at work. From start to finish this is a production that works. The casual fan will delight in standbys such as “Send in the Clowns” and “Comedy Tonight” with the more veteran theatergoer marveling at the more obscure offerings. To say that Sondheim deserves this production is a compliment indeed."
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Noel Schecter

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Certainly this winter’s brought some excellent theatrical offerings for Chicagoans willing to brave the cold, but Nick Bowling’s extraordinary celebration of all things Sondheim is at the top. Chic, mellifluous, and brimming with warmth and honesty, this is a production that shouldn’t be missed. Starring the magnetic, accomplished pianist, singer and music director Austin Cook, Torchlight’s revue sports a talented cast of first-rate actors performing a bounty of wonderful songs. This show, which allows audiences to not only enjoy Sondheim’s work, but to actually meet the composer himself through years of videoed archival interviews, is an absolute must-see."
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Colin Douglas

Huffington Post - Highly Recommended

"...As any Sond-head knows, a handful of Sondheim revues, such as Putting it Together or Marry Me a Little, already exist. However, as smartly arranged as they are, they often feel like a crisp and hollow examination of Sondheim's canon. However, Sondheim on Sondheim, which was conceived by Sondheim's long-time collaborator James Lapine and premiered on Broadway in 2010, is the first revue that actually seems to have a firm point of view and an emotional core."
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Robert Bullen

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM is a musical biography of Stephen Sondheim. His career has spanned 5 decades and is still going. This salute to Sondheim does not have the warhorses like “Somewhere,” “Not while I’m around” and I was waiting for one of my faves “The Ladies that Lunch.” Still, the collection becomes more personal and meaningful because it’s the composer’s top hits. This is his career songbook. And it’s a keepsake to be shared."
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Katy Walsh

  Sondheim on Sondheim Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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