An Affordable Paperback Sondheim Encyclopedia … and a signing at the Drama Book Shop

New York City’s Drama Book Shop

A couple of news items about The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia. A paperback edition, priced at $55, is now available from my publisher Rowman and Littlefield. That’s a significant reduction from the hardback edition published in 2021 for $135. You can order either edition (as well as the eBook) at Here’s an insider tip: I can offer you a “Friends & Family” 30% discount, which reduces the price of the paperback to $38.50. Just apply the code RLFANDF30 when you place your order.

With the release of the encyclopedia as a paperback, I’m heading to New York City for a signing event at The Drama Book Shop (266 W. 39th Street) on Monday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m. I hope a lot of Sondheim fans from New York and nearby will stop by! Check out the evite for more details. I’ll have a few words to say about working with Sondheim when I edited The Sondheim Review. I’d love to lots of Sondheim admirers in person!

Just a few days after my book signing, Here We Are will begin its world premiere run in New York City at The Shed’s Griffin Theater, located at 545 W. 30th Street between 10th and 11th avenues. The official opening night of Sondheim’s final musical, with a book by playwright David Ives and directed by Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, will have a limited engagement through January 7, 2024. The show was inspired by two surrealistic films by Luis Buñuel, The Exterminating Angel (1962) and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972). Here We Are has two acts with music and lyrics by Sondheim. The cast includes François Battiste, Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannavale, Micaela Diamond, Amber Gray, Jin Ha, Rachel Bay Jones, Denis O’Hare, Steven Pasquale, David Hyde Pierce, and Jeremy Shamos.

Deaf Broadway, which produced a signed version of Into the Woods in September 2021, recently returned to Lincoln Center for a one-night, semi-staged performance of Sondheim and Furth’s Company on August 2 at Damrosch Park. They projected the film of the New York Philharmonic 2011 production while eleven actors simultaneously performed the roles using American Sign Language. For a taste of this ingenious evening directed by James Caverly check out this web post. Deaf Broadway was founded on Sondheim’s 90th birthday in 2020.

The East Coast isn’t the only place where Sondheim’s music still thrills audiences. Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times wrote a glowing and detailed review of the July 30 Sondheim tribute at the Hollywood Bowl. Performers included a team of Broadway all-stars — Patti LuPone, Sutton Foster, Norm Lewis, Sierra Boggess, Skylar Astin and Brian Stokes Mitchell — performed “Everybody Rise! A Sondheim Celebration.”

Sondheim’s shows continue to be produced around the world. Here’s a review by Bill Stephens of the Canberra Critics Circle of a production of Sweeney Todd at the Sydney Opera House in July. And this article from Spain reports that Antonio Banderas and his theater company plan to stage Gypsy at the Caixbank Soho Theatre in Málaga in Andalusia, Spain, in October 2024. This will be Banderas’s company’s fourth musical production; he staged Company in 2022. (Other musicals presented there were A Chorus Line and Godspell.)

The American Theater Hall of Fame in New York City was founded in 1972. A half-century later it continues to honor actors, playwrights, songwriters, designers, directors, and producers who have had careers in American theater for at least 25 years and at least five major Broadway production credits. Selections are made annually by the more than 250 voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and members of the American Theatre Critics Association. (I belong to the latter group, so I get to vote in the annual election.) Of course, Sondheim and many of his collaborators who I wrote about in The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia have been inducted. Their ranks will be expanded in November by eight more professionals, including librettist John Weidman (Pacific Overtures, Assassins, Road Show) and Mandy Patinkin (who originated the role of Georges Seurat in Sunday in the Park with George). The other 2023 inductees include actors Bebe Neuwirth, Judd Hirsch, Laurie Metcalf, director JoAnne Akalaitis, composer Maury Yeston and playwright Amiri Baraka. Their names will be added to the plaques hung in the grand staircase and escalator at Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre.

Finally, for some fun later this month, how about Forbidden Sondheim: Merrily We Stole a Song? It’s a new special edition of Forbidden Broadway on Wednesday, August 23, and Thursday, August 24, at New York City’s cabaret nightclub Don’t Tell Mama (343 W. 46th St.) It will be an evening of hilarious parody lyrics, directed by Forbidden Broadway’s longtime mastermind, Gerard Alessandrini. Performers include Chris Collins-Pisano, Dayna Jarae Dantzler, Jenny Lee Stern and Michael West, with special guest Christine Pedi, a Forbidden Broadway veteran and currently a program host on SiriusXM’s “On Broadway” channel. Fred Barton is the pianist and musical director. Reservations:

Thanks for reading my monthly blog post. I you have Sondheim news you’d like to share, please drop me an email:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *