Sondheim concert brings Purdue and IU together on stage
Favorite Broadway numbers by Stephen Sondheim -- "Maria," "Somewhere," "Not While I'm Around," "Send in the Clowns," "Being Alive" and more -- fill a historic collaboration that brings together performers from the Indiana University Music Theater program and the Purdue Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras for a concert on Saturday, Dec. 1.The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at Lafayette's Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St. Admission is free.
Sondheim's complex and beautiful music needs an orchestra to properly bring it to life. All the tunes where written for pit orchestras of award-winning musicals from "Sweeney Todd" to "A Little Night Music." Although he didn't write the music for "West Side Story," his powerful and poignant lyrics helped the show become legendary.
Other shows sampled on the concert include "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Company" and "Anyone Can Whistle."
For his prowess, Sondheim has won eight Tony Awards, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award. He has been described by Frank Rich of the New York Times as "the greatest, and perhaps best known artist working in musical theater" and by British producer Cameron Mackintosh as "possibly the greatest lyricist ever."
Family ties are making this unique IU-Purdue collaboration possible. Purdue orchestra conductor Andrew King is the cousin of Ray Fellman on IU's music theater faculty. In total five singers -- both faculty and seniors with significant performing experience -- will be featured at the concert.
They are Scott Hogsed who has performed with the NYC Opera and on Broadway, Nick Fitzer, Brook Shelby, Chloe Williamson and Fellman. Fitzer and Fellman reprised a popular performance of "West Side Story" in Ecuador in November 2012. Fitzer sang the role of Tony and Fellman served as the show's music director.