Who: Meryl Streep, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Christine Baranski, Donna Murphy, Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Aaron Tveit, Maria Friedman, Iain Armitage, Katrina Lenk, Michael Cerveris, Brandon Uranowitz, Stephen Schwartz, Elizabeth Stanley, Chip Zien, Alexander Gemignani, Melissa Errico, Ann Harada, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh Thom Sesma, Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Benanti, Beanie Feldstein, Josh Groban, Jake Gyllenhaal, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Kuhn, Linda Lavin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Platt, Randy Rainbow, Lea Salonga, Victor Garber, Joanna Gleason, Nathan Lane, Steven Spielberg, Raúl Esparza
What: Live online celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s ninetieth birthday
Where: Broadway.com YouTube channel
When: Sunday, April 26, free, 8:00
Why: Stephen Joshua Sondheim was born in New York City on March 22, 1930. Over his long career, the Oscar, Tony, and Grammy winner has written the music and lyrics for such shows as West Side Story, Gypsy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and many others. A much-lauded revival of Company was set to hit Broadway on March 22, joining a revival of West Side Story, but both shows were closed down when Broadway went dark March 12 because of the coronavirus. But an all-star lineup will be paying tribute to Sondheim from their homes with “Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration,” a gala event being held on April 26 at 8:00. Sponsored by Broadway.com, the party will be streamed live on YouTube for free, but watchers are encouraged to donate to ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), an NYC Service organization that seeks to “unite New Yorkers in service to advance lifelong civic engagement for a more equitable and inclusive city.” Above is the remarkable guest list of performers and well-wishers; the evening will be hosted by Tony winner Raúl Esparza, a veteran of Sunday in the Park with George and Company. Sondheim might be ninety, but we got used to seeing him all the time at the theater, as an audience member. Sunday night he’ll take center stage, where he belongs.