By Susan Motander
The Taylor Performing Arts Center is presenting its eighth professional production for the Community, “Side by Side By Sondheim.” According to Patrick Garcia, Director of Performing Arts for Monrovia Unified School District and the Producing Artistic Director of the Taylor Performing Arts Center, it “is a moving retrospective of some of Stephen Sondheim’s best known and most beloved music,” and “a perfect introduction to the work of Stephen Sondheim and a must see for die-hard Sondheim fans,” said Patrick Garcia.
This musical is a compendium of Sondheim’s beloved songs including those from Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, and Pacific Overtures, not to mention the classics written with musical theatre giants, Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne, and Richard Rodgers.
The talented cast of Sondheim at the Taylor Center includes at least two very familiar faces: Nate Overby, the drama teacher at Monrovia High School and Samantha Pinto, a student at MHS. Completing the 10-member cast of singers and dancers are Jeff Scot Carey, Emily Clark, Amanda Knight, Danielle Wallius, Alejandro Vera, Philip McBride, Jerome Libang, and Courtney Davis.
Performance dates and times are: Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.
“We invite our audience to laugh, cry, and fall in love with this timeless and innovative music composed by musical theatre’s leading composer for the past fifty year,” Garcia commented.
“Side by Side By Sondheim” opened on Broadway on April 18, 1977 at the Music Box Theatre and ran for a total 384 performances. It is one of the few shows to have the distinction of its entire cast being nominated for Tony Awards.
“We have assembled an extraordinary cast and creative team for ‘Side by Side By Sondheim,’” said Garcia, who is counting on loyal audience members who have championed previous productions (Music Man, White Christmas, The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me In St. Louis, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray, and West Side Story) to return to the Taylor Center to support “Side by Side By Sondheim.”
The gifted creative team for “Side by Side By Sondheim” includes Director: Andrew Fernando; Choreographer: Joelle Martinec; Music Director: Brigham Freeth; Stage Manager, Lighting and Set Designer: Martyn Tyler; Assistant Director: Daniel Berg; First Pianist: David Cohen; Second Pianist: Graham Jackson; Sound Designer: Lafayette Hight; and Costume Assistant: Abbey Veffer.