Putting It Together

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Putting It Together
PuttingItTogether.jpg
1999 Broadway production poster
MusicStephen Sondheim
LyricsStephen Sondheim
BookStephen Sondheim
Julia McKenzie
Productions1992 Oxford
1993 Off-Broadway
1998 Los Angeles
1999 Broadway
2015 Ireland

Putting it Together is a musical revue showcasing the songs of Stephen Sondheim. Drawing its title from a song in Sunday in the Park with George, it was devised by Sondheim and Julia McKenzie. The revue has received several productions, beginning with its premiere in England in 1992, Broadway in 1999 and the West End in 2014.

Production history[edit]

Original UK production (1992)[edit]

The revue came about due to many requests for an update to Side by Side by Sondheim (1976). Having resisted a new show, he was finally convinced by producer Cameron Mackintosh, and Julia McKenzie was brought in to assist.[1]

Putting It Together was first performed on January 27, 1992 at the Old Fire Station Theatre in Oxford, England, where it ran for 24 performances. Directed by Julia McKenzie and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, the cast included Diana Rigg, Clive Carter, Claire Moore, Clarke Peters, and Kit Hesketh-Harvey.[2]

Original US production (1993)[edit]

The Manhattan Theatre Club production opened Off-Broadway on April 1, 1993 at New York City Center, where it ran for 59 performances and 37 previews. It was directed by McKenzie and choreographed by Bob Avian, with scenery by Robin Wagner, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge, and lighting by Tharon Musser. The cast included Stephen Collins, Christopher Durang, Michael Rupert, Rachel York, and Julie Andrews, making her return to the New York City stage after an absence of more than 30 years.

The markedly revised revue now had a slight plot: At an all-night, black-tie party in a penthouse. The hosts, an older couple (Andrews and Collins) face their disillusions and marital troubles; a younger, less jaundiced couple (Rupert and York) struggle with their feelings and desires, and a commentator (Durang) oversees and influences the action. The spouses deal with infidelity and divorce but finally reconcile before dawn.[3] A cast recording was released by RCA Records.

Broadway production (1999)[edit]

A production at the Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles)[4] transferred to Broadway the following year, opening November 21, 1999 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, where it ran for 101 performances and 22 previews. Directed by Eric D. Schaeffer and choreographed by Bob Avian, the Broadway cast included Carol Burnett (Wife), George Hearn (Husband), Ruthie Henshall (Young Woman), John Barrowman (Young Man), and Bronson Pinchot (Observer). Kathie Lee Gifford replaced Burnett at some performances. The production marked the return of Burnett to the Broadway stage after performing in Moon Over Buffalo in 1995. Hearn was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

A video recording of the Broadway production (directed by Don Roy King) was released for television and home media as Putting It Together: Direct from Broadway.[5] The DVD release includes blooper footage of Burnett's skirt falling down during the opening of the second act.

West End production (2014)[edit]

The revue received its West End premiere in January 2014 at St. James Theatre, London with a cast that included Janie Dee, David Bedella, Damian Humbley, Caroline Sheen, and Daniel Crossley. It was directed by Alastair Knights, with choreography by Matthew Rowland and Musical Supervision by Alex Parker. It ran for a strictly limited 3-week run, closing on the 1st February 2014.[6]

Original Ireland production (2015)[edit]

The revue received its Irish premiere in December 2015 at Lyric Theatre, Belfast with Fra Fee, Carol Starks, Nicholas Pound, Christina Tedders, and Brad Clapson, directed by Stephen Whitson, and musical supervision by Alex Parker.[7]

Songs[edit]

Original production[edit]

Broadway production (1999)[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award ceremony Category Nominee Result
2000 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical George Hearn Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Musical Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abernathy, June."'Putting It Together' history" sondheim.com, retrieved August 31, 2010
  2. ^ "'Putting it Together' production history" sondheimguide.com, retrieved August 31, 2010
  3. ^ Rich, Frank.Review/Theater; Julie Andrews Sings in a Sondheim Revue (p.2)" The New York Times, April 2, 1993
  4. ^ The Mark Taper Forum's acclaimed and extended production of the Sondheim revue Putting It Together will end its run on December 6.
  5. ^ "Putting It Together". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  6. ^ Shenton, Mark. "Sondheim Revue 'Putting it Together' to Receive London Premiere at St. James Theatre"
  7. ^ "Putting it Together at Lyric Theatre, Belfast". UK Theatre Web.

External links[edit]