Putting It Together

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Putting It Together
1999 Broadway production poster
Music Stephen Sondheim
Lyrics Stephen Sondheim
Book Stephen Sondheim
Julia McKenzie
Productions 1992 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[edit]

The revue came about due to many requests for a new version of Sondheim's 1976 revue, Side by Side by Sondheim. 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 Off-Broadway production[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 double-compact disc recording was released by RCA Records.

Broadway revival[edit]

A production ran at the Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles, California), from October 22, 1998 to December 6, 1998. The cast included Carol Burnett, George Hearn, John Barrowman, Ruthie Henshall, and Bronson Pinchot. This production transferred to Broadway, opening on November 21, 1999 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, where it ran for 101 performances and 22 previews. It was directed by Eric D. Schaeffer and choreographed by Bob Avian, with the cast featuring Burnett (The Wife), Barrowman (The Younger Man) and Pinchot (The Observer) reprising their roles, with George Hearn (The Husband) and Ruthie Henshall (The Younger Woman), with Kathie Lee Gifford replacing 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 recording of a live performance is available on both videotape and DVD as Putting It Together: Direct from Broadway[4] At the final show, Burnett's skirt fell down during the song "Back in Business", which was included in the DVD.

Original London Production[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. Rumours of a possible transfer have been in circles, with the Wyndham's Theatre being a possible new home for the show. [5]

Original Irish Production[edit]

The revue received its Irish premiere in December 2015 at The Lyric Theatre, Belfast with a cast that included Fra Fee, Carol Starks, Nicholas Pound, Christina Tedders and Brad Clapson. It was directed by Stephen Whitson, with Musical Supervision by Alex Parker.[6][7]

Television film[edit]

Putting It Together was made as a TV movie in 2000 with Carol Burnett starring and directed by Don Roy King & Eric D. Schaeffer.[8]


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


External links[edit]