Erie Playhouse celebrates Sondheim


“Into the Woods,” “West Side Story,” “Gypsy” and “Sweeney Todd” are musicals that have much more in common that many would suspect.
Besides all being on Broadway, these productions were all scored by the same man, who produced so much more music as well.
Join the Erie Playhouse as they tell the story of American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim in “Sondheim on Sondheim.”
Sondheim knew from the age of 10 what he wanted to do with his life.
He wrote a comical musical for his school called “By George.”
Although it was a success among his peers and other young songwriters, Sondheim wanted a professional opinion.
He asked his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein, to look it over and give his honest opinion.
Hammerstein told him it was a terrible play, but coached him through improving it.
Sondheim said he had learned more in that single day about song writing than most would ever in a lifetime.
Sondheim has written half a century’s musical work for theater.
His works have made him an idol, winning eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award and much more.
“Sondheim on Sondheim” is a musical showcasing some of Sondheim’s greatest and most popular works including “Somethings Coming” from “West Side Story,” “Being Alive” from “Company,” “Ever After” from “Into the Woods,” and over 20 more.
In addition are clips from private interviews of Sondheim teaching or explaining his works.
The performance of “Sondheim on Sondheim” also stars one of Gannon University’s professors, the Rev. Shawn Clerkin.
Clerkin said he was very excited to perform because he grew up with Sondheim’s music.
He also said that he studied Sondheim’s productions when he was studying theatre at Gannon.
“It takes so much concentration and skill to execute these songs and arrangements,” he said.
Consider going to see what the Erie Playhouse desribes as, “an intimate look at the father of the modern musical” with performances of “Sondheim on Sondheim” taking place at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
For tickets and more information, as well as a list of upcoming Erie Playhouse performances, visit
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