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Cooper shows new Side of Sondheim

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 21 April 2008

A new production of the musical revue Side By Side By Sondheim, featuring musical staging by Adam Cooper, is to run at The Venue from 26 April (press night 1 May) to 14 July.

The revue, first produced in London in 1976, showcases the talents of musical theatre composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim including his collaborative work with Leonard Bernstein, Richard Rodgers, Mary Rodgers and Jule Styne. Held together with original narration written by Ned Sherrin, the revue features songs from shows including West Side Story, Gyspy, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Company, Follies, Pacific Overtures and A Little Night Music. It is performed by three vocalists, two pianists and a narrator, though casting has not yet been announced.

This production is directed by Hannah Chissick and has new musical staging by Adam Cooper. A former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet and Matthew Bourne, Cooper recently played Sky Masterson in Guys And Dolls. His West End choreography credits include Grand Hotel at the Donmar in 2004 and a dance production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

The original production of Side By Side By Sondheim was conceived as a fundraiser by David Kernan after a request from jazz singer Cleo Laine and her husband John Dankworth. After a successful West End run it transferred to Broadway in 1977 and picked up five Tony nominations.

Sondheim musicals recently seen in the West End include the Laurence Olivier Award-winning production of Sunday In The Park With George at the Wyndham’s last year, and Follies, which enjoyed a one-off gala concert performance at the London Palladium in February. Into The Woods receives a new production at the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio in June this year.

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