And there are other productions of Sondheim shows in the works. The Encores! program at New York City Center had already announced it was planning a two-week run of “Into the Woods” next May, with public school students and older adults joining Sara Bareilles, Christian Borle, Heather Hedley and Ashley Park in the cast; last week Encores! announced that the production will now be dedicated to Sondheim, who wrote the music and lyrics.
“I’ve been hearing from some of the performers that are in it, who are weeping as they relisten to his music and prepare for their roles,” said the Encores! artistic director, Lear deBessonet, who is directing the “Into the Woods” production. “This is a moment of grace, to celebrate Steve and all he brought to this world.”
MasterVoices, a New York based chorus, is planning a concert version of the rarely staged “Anyone Can Whistle” in March at Carnegie Hall, starring Vanessa Williams. Barrington Stage Company, in the Berkshires, announced Tuesday that it would produce “A Little Night Music” next summer, directed by Julianne Boyd in her final season as that theater’s artistic director.
And New York Theater Workshop, an Off Broadway nonprofit, is close to confirming plans for a production of “Merrily We Roll Along,” directed by Maria Friedman, for late next year.
Plus, of course, the Steven Spielberg-directed movie remake of “West Side Story,” which Sondheim wrote the lyrics for, is already generating awards buzz in advance of its release on Friday. (“I think it’s just great,” Sondheim said of the film in an interview a few days before he died. He added, “The great thing about it is people who think they know the musical are going to have surprises.”)
A film version of “Follies” is also in the works; the script is “in active development,” according to a spokesman for the production company, Heyday Films.
Ben Sisario contributed to this report.
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