As part of the 2018 Lichfield Festival, The Stephen Sondheim Society, with award-winning Musical Director Jason Carr, presented a new cabaret/revue celebrating the extraordinary women in the shows of Stephen Sondheim and his collaborators.
"The theme of the Lichfield Festival is extraordinary women, so it seemed like a natural fit to honour the extraordinary women in Sondheim's musicals," said Sondheim Society Chairman Craig Glenday. "Be they lovers or wives, mistresses or mothers, fading actresses or psychotic pie-makers, these now-classic characters are all worthy of celebration."
"We're blessed with this incredible line up, too – Jason Carr as Musical Director, three extraordinary women in the shape of Beverley Klein, Charlotte Page and Corrine Priest, and one extra ordinary man: Nigel Richards." [Click names for full bios]
On offer was a selection of Sondheim's most popular numbers, from "Broadway Baby" to "Ladies Who Lunch", "Losing My Mind" to "Move On" and of course the title song, "Send in the Clowns".
Lichfield Garrick Theatre
Saturday 14th July, 3pm
Meet the performers
Jason Carr – Musical Director
Born in Leeds, Jason studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. After winning the 1988 Vivian Ellis Prize for Young Writers of Musicals, Jason was invited by Sir Peter Hall to compose the musical Born Again (Chichester Festival Theatre starring Mandy Patinkin and José Ferrer).
As Associate Composer at Chichester 2003–05, Jason wrote music and lyrics for two new musicals: The Water Babies and Six Pictures of Lee Miller (nominated British Composer Awards). His musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol has played Chichester, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep, and his new musical Lockhart has received a developmental production at Mountview Academy.
Jason has composed incidental music for over 50 plays at the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, in the West End and on Broadway, for directors including Steven Pimlott, Sam Mendes, Sean Mathias, Howard Davies, Antony Page, Adrian Noble, Samuel West, Elijah Moshinsky, Gregory Doran, Lindsay Posner, Edward Hall and Gale Edwards.
Orchestration credits includes the Menier Chocolate Factory’s Sunday in the Park with George, La Cage aux Folles and A Little Night Music (all also Broadway, winning the Drama Desk Award and two Tony nominations for Best Orchestrations).
Jason has accompanied many notable artists, including Elisabeth Welch, Betty Garrett, Kitty Carlisle Hart, and Michael Ball. He has accompanied Dame Felicity Lott in major opera houses across Europe. He arranged, produced and played on Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid’s album You Are The Best Thing That Ever Has Happened To Me. A long association with Maria Friedman includes her Olivier Award-winning show By Extra Special Arrangement.
Beverley Klein – Extraordinary Woman 1
Theatre: The Beggar’s Opera (Bouffes du Nord, Paris, and International tour), Deathtrap (Salisbury Playhouse and National tour), Caroline or Change (Minerva Theatre, Chichester); After October (Finborough); Ivanov, Platonov (Young Chekhov at Chichester and National Theatre); Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George (Théâtre du Chatelet, Paris); Candide, Romeo and Juliet, Honk! The Ugly Duckling, Summerfolk and The Villains’ Opera (National Theatre); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (TMA nomination), and Six Pictures of Lee Miller (Chichester Festival Theatre); Equally Divided (Watford Palace); Cornelius (Finborough and Brits Off Broadway, NY); Me & My Girl (Kilworth House); Ephesus-Schmephesus (part of 66 Books, Bush Theatre); Bernarda Alba (Union Theatre); The Kissing-Dance (JermynStreet Theatre); Candide (ENO at The Coliseum and Japanese tour); Fiddler on the Roof (Sheffield Crucible and Savoy Theatre, WOS Nomination); Into the Woods (Linbury Studio, ROH); The Enchanted Pig (The Opera Group, Linbury and New Victory Theatre NYC); Restoration (Headlong Theatre Company); Jerry Springer, The Opera (Edinburgh Festival); The Threepenny Opera (Donmar); Wedding Day at the Cro Magnons (Soho Theatre); Six Characters Looking for an Author (Young Vic); The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband (Snarling Beasties); Piaf (Nottingham Playhouse/York Theatre Royal and Oldham Coliseum – Manchester Evening News Best Actress Award); Sweeney Todd (Manchester Evening News nomination) and Arms and the Cow (Opera North); The Pirates of Penzance, HMS, Pinafore and Die Fledermaus (Carl Rosa Opera); Sarrasine, A Judgment in Stone, Night After Night (Gloria Theatre Company); original cast Les Misérables (RSC, Barbican Theatre & Palace Theatre).
Television includes: Mr Selfridge, Doctors, Call the Midwife, Ripper Street, Casualty, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Absolutely, Paris and Inspector Morse.
Recordings include: Les Misérables (Original London Company and 10th Anniversary Concert), Candide (National Theatre), The Threepenny Opera (Donmar production) and Fiddler on the Roof (Savoy Theatre production).
Film includes: Swinging with the Finkels.
Charlotte Page – Extraordinary Woman 2
Charlotte is from Staffordshire and studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Joy Mammen. Known for her versatility as a crossover classically trained singer and actress, Charlotte is a leading lady all over the world at opera houses and theatres alike.
Charlotte recently starred as Alice Beineke in The Addams Family UK Tour. Preceding this, she played Heidi in Follies in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall and Mrs Pearce in the UK Tour of Pygmalion for Theatre Royal Bath.
Operatic and Music Theatre: Sally in Follies (Opera Toulon); Christine in Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre, London); Young Heidi in Follies (London Palladium, Bill Deamer); Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory, Trevor Nunn); First Niece in Peter Grimes (Royal Opera at Savonlinna Festival, Finland); Melisande in Pelleas et Melisande (Atelier Lyrique, Orleans, France); Valencienne in Merry Widow (Opera Holland Park); Emma Jones and Nurse in Street Scene (The Opera Group/Young Vic, Opera de Toulon, France); Helen in La Belle Helene (Court Opera for Holland Park Opera); Gretel in Hansel and Gretel (WNO, Peter Stein and Opera Northern Ireland); Norina in Don Pasquale (Crystal Clear Opera); Adina in L’Elisir D’Amore (Bernini Ensemble and Chichester Festival); Polly Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera (First Act Opera); Jenny Diver in Threepenny Opera (The Opera Group); Paquette in Candide (The Opera Group); Adele in Die Fledermaus (Crystal Clear Opera and Opera Holland Park); Galatea in Acis and Galatea (English Bach Festival ROH); Despina in Così Fan Tutte, (Bernini Ensemble); Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Pimlico Opera); Pamina in The Magic Flute (Opera of the South); Cherubino in Le Nozze Di Figaro (Stowe Opera); Lucia in Lucia Di Lammermoor (Haddo House Opera); Doll in Vera of Las Vegas (Opera Theatre Company, Ireland); Aldimira in Erismena (Opera Theatre Company, Ireland); Louisa in La Duenna (ETO); Mimi in La bohème (The Opera Project); Yum Yum in The Mikado (D’Oyly Carte at Royal Festival Hall and Savoy Theatre). Phyllis in Iolanthe (D’Oyly Carte tour and at Savoy Theatre, Carl Rosa tour and Gielgud Theatre); Mabel in Pirates of Penzance (D’Oyly Carte, Savoy Theatre, Carl Rosa US/UK tours, Buxton G&S Festival); Patience in Patience (Carl Rosa at Normansfield Theatre and tour); Elsie Maynard in Yeoman of the Guard (Carl Rosa at the Tower of London and tour, Buxton G&S Festivals); Josephine in HMS Pinafore (Carl Rosa US tours); The Plaintiff in Trial By Jury (D’Oyly Carte Public workshops); Rosemaybud in Ruddigore (Buxton G&S Festivals); Various roles in Roswell Incident (Music Theatre Wales); Watch Your Step (Batignano Festival, Italy); The Moon on a Stick (Jonathan Gill, ROH, Genesis Project); and Rowan/Miss Rowan in Let’s Make An Opera (new play by Simon Butteriss) and The Little Sweep (Aldeburgh Festival).
Concerts: Josephine in HMS Pinafore (Tour); Mabel in Pirates of Penzance (Tour); soloist in Strauss Gala (Tour); New Year Concert (Barbican) and Yum Yum in The Mikado (Tour) all for Raymond Gubbay. Barbara Cook and Friends (London Coliseum); Gertrude Lawrence in the balcony scene from Private Lives with Alistair McGowan; Gracie Fields in Fly with the Stars (London Palladium) and From West End to Broadway (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane). Charlotte was the first "Diva" for Incognito Artists, formerly Tenors and Divas Incognito, and has sung for many prestigious events including Elton John’s Christmas Party and Jade Goody’s wedding.
Cabaret: Sincerely Noel (Edinburgh Fringe and UK Tour)
Radio: Regular solo appearances on The Most Peregrinations Of A Most Musical Irishman (BBC Radio 4); Friday Night is Music Night (BBC Radio 2) most recently at the Royal Festival Hall with Leslie Garrett and Richard Suart; various characters in Continuity (BBC Radio 4); and Alex Lowe Double Act (BBC Radio 2).
Television: This Motley Pair for Sky Arts.
Recordings: The Classic Salon (London Salon Ensemble, Meridian) and all professional productions of Buxton G&S Festival are available on DVD
Corrine Priest – Extraordinary Woman 3
Corrine trained at The London School of Musical Theatre and won The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year award in 2014. Musical theatre: Lucy in Can’t Stop It (The Other Palace), Woman in GOD! A Celebration (and Parody) of Stephen Sondheim, Lucy in Ushers: The Front of House Musical (Arts Theatre), Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol (Blackpool Opera House) and Amy Thomas in Girlfriends (Union Theatre). Corrine also recorded the acclaimed one-woman song cycle, Heart of Winter, available on iTunes and Spotify.
Nigel Richards – Extraordinary Man
Nigel has just finished playing the lead in the National tour of Son of a Preacher Man, having returned from Latvia to bring in their New Year at the Cesis National Concert Hall. Late last year, his career took a classical turn and he sang his first Messiah (Eastbourne) and sang Britten’s cabaret songs in a new contemporary imagining of Auden’s poetry alongside new work by Mark Ravenhill and Conor Mitchell in Queer Kabaret (Lyric, Belfast).
West End: Phantom in Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s), As You Like It (Wyndhams), Les Misérables (Palace), Martin Guerre (Prince Edward), Napoleon (Shaftesbury), The Cutting Edge (Donmar), 10 Plagues (Royal Court) and Songs from a Hotel Bedroom (Royal Opera House).
Barbican: Bernstein’s Mass, Tom Waits’ The Black Rider (also San Francisco, Sydney and LA) and Drift & Tilt: The Songs of Scott Walker.
Theatre: By Jeeves (directed by Alan Ayckbourn), The World Goes Round (Scarborough), A Little Night Music (Frinton), Hair (National Tour), Ghosts, Macbeth, The Mikado (New Vic), Blood Brothers (Dublin), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Scoop), The Glass Menagerie (Oxford Touring Company), A Funny Thing Happened (Manchester), School for Scandal, China Song (Plymouth).
Opera: The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni (Vienna & Stuttgart), Silverlake (Wexford)
Premieres: Spend!Spend!Spend! (Leeds), Charlotte Saloman (Philadelphia & Amsterdam), Baby (Forum), Green Violin (Amsterdam), Floyd Collins, Songs for a New World and Hello Again (Bridewell), The Stationmaster (Tristan Bates), Neil Gaiman’s Night Before My Wedding (Latitude).
Concerts: Five Proms (John Wilson Orchestra), Hired Man (Cadogan), Carousel (RFH).
Recordings: A Shining Truth (solo album), Judge Smith’s Requiem.
Film & TV: Tale of Two Cities, Lucky Old Bag, Murder Central, Holby City, The Blender
As writer: Judgement of Will (Biglittle Theatre Co.), Larger Than Life (KPAC,Malaysia), Never the Victim (TLC Malaysia)
Nigel will be recording his second solo album later this year, called Short Stories, after which he will be singing an evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein with the Northern Musical Theatre Orchestra, for whom he is patron. Nigelrichards.org