I live in Cincinnati and have a long history with this city’s local public radio stations. (I worked for WGUC, a classical music station once licensed to the University of Cincinnati, and managed WNKU, an eclectic NPR affiliate licensed to Northern Kentucky University.) In recent years I have conducted theater interviews — including several with Stephen Sondheim — for WVXU, Cincinnati Public Radio’s news/talk station.
When the Sondheim Encyclopedia was published, Michael Monks, the host of WVXU’s midday interview program, “Cincinnati Edition,” invited me to be a guest in late August. We invited three alumni of the College-Conservatory of Music, the University of Cincinnati’s renowned musical theater program, to join us. One was Pamela Myers, CCM’s very first grad in 1969, who went to New York City post-graduation and was quickly cast as Marta in Company. Sondheim wrote “Another Hundred People” in 1970 with her in mind. Pam lives in Cincinnati today, but she’s returned to Broadway more than once, especially playing Cinderella’s stepmother and Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother in the 2002 revival of Into the Woods. At the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, she turned in memorable performances as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (1997) and as Rose in Gypsy (2001).
Also in our conversation were a pair of grads from the 1990s: Jessica Hendy has done a lot of Broadway work (especially Grizabella in the revival of Cats) plus concert performances for Broadway programs by symphonies and pops orchestras, during which she often sings songs by Sondheim. Our third guest was Vince DeGeorge, now a member of CCM’s musical theater and opera faculty: He’s staging a production of Sunday in the Park with George in April 2022. Michael Monks is a top-notch interviewer (with a background in theater, so he’s especially insightful on this subject), and our conversation expanded beyond Sondheim and the Encyclopedia to the current state of theater. I hope you find the 48-minute program an enjoyable listen. Here’s the link: https://www.wvxu.org/show/cincinnati-edition/2021-08-23/encyclopedia-of-stephen-sondheim-rick-pender
Please continue to remind acquaintances that they can purchase their own copies of The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia via this website, using Special Encyclopedia Offer link and the 30% discount coupon code above.