Kansas City Repertory Theatre Announces Addition to its 2016-17 Season



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Side by Side

by Sondheim

A celebration of the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim


January 27 through February 19

At Spencer Theatre      


 Kansas City, MO (Sept. 29, 2016) – Kansas City Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce an exciting addition to its current season. Artistic Director Eric Rosen will direct a starry cast in the acclaimed musical revue Side by Side by Sondheim.

Nominated for both London’s Olivier Award and Broadway’s Tony Award for Best Musical, Side by Side by Sondheim celebrates the music and lyrics of Pulitzer, Tony, and Academy Award winning Stephen Sondheim. Side by Side by Sondheim ran in London and New York for well over a thousand performances, making it one of the most successful musical revues of all time. A glittering evening of music, comedy, and song, the show features beloved hits from Gypsy, West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music and Pacific Overtures – some of the songs include “Comedy Tonight”, “Broadway Baby”, “Anyone Can Whistle”, “A Boy Like That” and the Grammy Award winning “Send in the Clowns” to name a few.

“KC Rep audiences love Sondheim – among our biggest hits of all time are Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and Company” says Artistic Director Eric Rosen. Side By Side takes us back to Sondheim’s most prolific period, from when he was a young artist writing lyrics for Bernstein’s music from West Side Story to the triumphs of musicals like A Little Night Music that made him a legend. The show promises to be a dazzling and unforgettable night in the company of the most inspirational, influential, funny, and moving composer of this or any era.”

Due to unforeseen circumstances Side by Side by Sondheim will replace the previously announced The Fabulous Fitches. Performances run January 27 through February 19, 2017 at the Spencer Theatre, on the UMKC campus.  All tickets originally issued for The Fabulous Fitches will be honored for the same date and time of the performance of Side by Side by Sondheim; no exchange is necessary.   Questions may be directed to the KC Rep Box Office at 816.235.2700 or tickets@kcrep.org.

Press night is scheduled for Opening Night Friday, February 3, 2017.   Appropriate for ages 13+.  Some adult content and language.

Making the Play

One half hour before every Preview Performance

One half hour before performances on Fri, Sat, and Sun

Conversation Series

Patrons are invited to attend FREE post-show forums to learn more from the artists and creative teams about the production.

 About the Artists

 Eric Rosen (Director) was the founding Artistic Director of Chicago’s About Face Theatre (AFT) from 1995 to 2008, and is a writer, director and producer. Original projects include Venice (KC Rep, Center Theatre Group-LA, Public Theater-NYC, “Best Musical of 2010”–TIME Magazine); Wedding Play (Steppenwolf/AFT, Jefferson nomination); Winesburg, Ohio (Step­penwolf/AFT-Jeff Award, Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company—Barrymore Award, KC Rep); Clay (AFT, Lookingglass Theatre-Chicago, Center Theatre Group, KC Rep, Lincoln Center/CT3-Drama Desk Nomi­nation, Jeff Award); and Undone, Whitman and Dream Boy (Jeff Award, several productions across the country). In addition to Venice, other KC Rep directing credits include: Clay; Winesburg, Ohio; world premiere of A Christmas Story, The Musical! (a hit musical on Broadway—three Tony nominations, including Best Musical); Cabaret; August: Osage County; The Whipping Man; Pippin; Death of a Salesman; Ro­meo and Juliet; and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Additional directing credits include productions at Lincoln Center, Center Theatre Group, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Alliance, Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare, Hartford Stage, 5th Avenue, Prince, Cincinnati, Melbourne (Australia) and workshops at Sundance, O’Neill, Playwrights Horizons, and the Public Theater. He has developed and produced over 40 world premieres, including Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning I am My Own Wife and work by Mary Zimmerman, Frank Galati, Stephen Flaherty, Moisés Kaufman, David Cale and The Civilians, among others. He holds a doctorate in performance studies from Northwestern University, has twice served as an NEA panel­ist, and serves on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization of non-profit theatres.

Stephen Sondheim (Lyricist/Composer).  Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for more than a half-century of contributions to musical theatre. Sondheim has received an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award, and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has been described by Frank Rich of The New York Times as “now the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater.” His best-known works as composer and lyricist include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods. He wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.

The design and production team includes Jack Magaw (Set Designer), Cory Pattack (Lighting Designer), Sarah Beers (Costume Designer), Jeff Cady (Projections Designer) and Mary R. Honour (Production Stage Manager).

Broadway’s Claybourne Elder to star in this season’s The Santaland Diaries, with Shanna Jones

 We are also happy to announce that Broadway star and Rep favorite Claybourne Elder returns to star in this year’s production of David Sedaris’ holiday comedy The Santaland Diaries.  David Sedaris’ hysterical tale of elfin’ woe is a hilarious send-up of his brief, misguided career as a Macy’s elf.  Clay joined Shanna Jones in the original production in 2013 along with Brian Sills. This year he steps into Sill’s Elf costume for a new take on this beloved Rep holiday tradition. Shanna Jones is also set to return, providing a hilarious score of twisted holiday favorites against the twisted landscape of Sedaris’s unmatched wit. The event plays at Copaken Stage December 8 – 24, 2016.

Claybourne Elder is a Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominee known by Kansas City audiences for his performances as George in Sunday in the Park with George, Cliff in Cabaret, Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince in Moises Kaufman’s Into the Woods at KC Rep and as the Prince in Cinderella at the Starlight. In New York and on Broadway he originated the roles of Buck in Bonnie and Clyde, Hollis in Stephen Sondheim’s Road Show, and Ollie in Tennessee Williams’ One Arm (Drama Desk Nom, Best Actor). He was also seen in the NY revivals of Two by Two (starring Jason Alexander), as Joe Jr. in John Doyle’s production of Allegro (Lucille Lortel Nom Best Actor), as Eddie in Do I Hear a Waltz and the Soldier in Sunday in the Park… (with Jake Gyllenhaal) both at City Center, as well as off-Broadway in Venice at the Public Theatre. Regionally he has played George in Sunday in the Park… at the Signature Theatre (Helen Hayes Award, Best Musical). On television he played Pete O’Malley on the CW series The Carrie Diaries.

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