Where Oscar Meets Stephen
On Sunday 3rd March, a specially devised evening of music and storytelling will take place at Crazy Coqs Live at Zédel celebrating the life, music and work of the two great protagonists of the Broadway musical: Oscar Hammerstein II and his protege Stephen Sondheim.
The evening of music is a dramatic concert, specifically looking at the influence Hammerstein had on the young Stephen Sondheim both privately and professionally. The evening will look at Hammerstein's teaching, Sondheim's early composing and writing to what he eventually found with his own music while using (and sometimes not using) Hammerstein's teaching and mentorship. Their story, if you like, is a really carrying the torch legacy and without their early risk-taking and experiment, dramatic musical story telling would not exist today in it's current form. Without Oscar Hammerstein, they're would be no Hamilton and certainly no Stephen Sondheim....
The evening is based on an idea by Conor Sheridan and is a direct collaboration between Conor, Matthew Seadon-Young and David Seadon-Young.
Matthew Seadon-Young is currently playing Theo in Marrianne Elliot's reimagining of Stephen Sondheim's Company at the Gielgud Theatre opposite Rosalie Craig and Patti Lupone and will soon star in Marianne Elliot's revival of Death of a Salesman at the Young Vic with Wendell Pierce. His other credits include Anthony in Sweeney Todd at the London Coliseum With Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson, Assassins at the Gate Theatre Dublin, Beautiful at the Aldwych Theatre, Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace and She Stoops to Conquer at the National Theatre.
David Seadon-Young played Leon Czolgosz in Jamie Lloyd's much lauded production of Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Other recent credits include the Broadway transfer of An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre, Jud Fry in Oklahoma with the John Wilson Orchestra at the BBC Proms and regional tours of Ghost and Mamma Mia. Other credits include Oliver at Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Trevor Nunn's productions of Aspects of Love and Gone with the Wind.
Conor Sheridan is an actor, writer and producer. His theatre credits include Alan Menken's A Christmas Carol at the Lyceum Theatre, The Commitments (original workshop) directed by Jamie Lloyd, A Sentimental Journey at the El Portal Theatre Los Angeles, Riverdance at the Orchard Hall Tokyo and subsequent Asian tour. Regional tours include Doctor Dolittle and Scrooge. He most recently collaborated with director Neil Jordan on the audio recording of his new novel Carnivalesque and recorded a new publication of James Joyce's Dubliners for international audio release. In 2012 he produced A Christmas Carol starring Clive Francis, recreating his RSC performance from the original Barbican production, the show toured to fifteen theatres across the UK and Ireland, including the inaugural season at the Other Palace (formally St James Theatre) and the Ustinov Studio at the Theatre Royal Bath.
Joining them on the night will be four special guests:
Ako Mitchell, currently appearing in Caroline or Change at the Playhouse; oher credits include Spelling Bee (Donmar Warehouse), Sister Act (London Palladium).
Carly Bawden – Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory), Romantics Anonymous (Globe), My Fair Lady (Sheffield Crucible)
George Blagden – currently appearing in Company at the Gielgud Theatre and Vikings series 1–3; Tartuffe (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
Laura Pitt-Pulford – Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Olivier Nomination, Open Air Theatre), The Light Princess (National Theatre), Flowers for Mrs Harris (Chichester), Nell Gwynn (Globe Theatre).
The musical director and arranger for the evening is Gareth Valentine. Gareth has worked with Stephen Sondheim on Sam Mendes's production of Company at the Donmar Warehouse, Michael Grandage's production of Merrily We Roll Along at the Donmar and Into the Woods at the Open Air Theatre Regents Park. His body of word as musical director and arranger is too expansive to mention but notable and recent work includes Trevor Nunn's production of Anything Goes at the National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Me and My Girl (Chichester), Kiss of a Spider Woman (West End), Richard Eye's production of The Pajama Game (Chichester and West End), Chicago (Adelphi Theatre), Trevor Nunn's adaptation of Porgy and Bess (Savoy Theatre), Nine and City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse). He is currently musical supervisor and arranger on Josie Rourke's final production as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse: Sweet Charity with Anne-Marie Duff.