Side by Side by Sondheim will awe audiences with a night of Stephen Sondheim’s best
ST. LOUIS (January 5, 2023) – The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (The Rep)- the leading regional performing arts theatre in the Midwest- will start the new year with Side by Side by Sondheim, a Sondheim revue (replacing Putting it Together: A Sondheim Review). The intimate and nostalgic production will begin previews on January 29 and will run from February 3 to February 19 at the Catherine Berges Theatre at the Center for the Creative Arts (COCA).
Celebrate legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim in a cabaret-style revue revisiting some of his most poignant, powerful and witty songs in the American musical theatre canon. This Tony-award-winning production features a variety of Sondheim’s most notable works, including rarely performed numbers straight from the cutting-room floor. Side by Side by Sondheim explores the breadth of Sondheim’s acclaimed career, including numbers from Follies, West Side Story, Company, Anyone Can Whistle, Pacific Overtures, Gypsy and more.
Side by Side by Sondheim will mark the St. Louis directorial debut of Reggie D. White, The Rep’s recently hired Associate Artistic Director. White joins The Rep from New York City and brings with him more than two decades of theatre experience, including over 10 years of expertise as an award-winning artist, educator and arts advocate.
“Musical theatre is how I began my career and I have loved Sondheim’s work for decades,” said White. “Side By Side is an especially wonderful piece because it introduces new listeners to his music, gives the most ardent lovers of his work a taste of his greatest hits and it reminds us all of the boundary smashing genius with which he created some of the most iconic musical theatre songs of the 20th Century. He gave us so many gifts over his career and this is such a beautiful way to keep his songs in our hearts.”
Side by Side by Sondheim features four cast members. The role of Narrator will be played by Paul HeeSang Miller, whose Broadway experience includes Mamma Mia!, the first revival of Miss Saigon and the Tony award winning The King and I. The role of Man will be played by Saidu Sinlah. This will be Sinlah’s debut at The Rep, but St. Louisans may recognize him from the Muny’s performances of Aida and The Wizard of Oz. The role of Woman 1 will be played by Phoenix Best. Best’s Broadway credits include Dear Evan Hansen and The Color Purple Revival. The role of Woman 2 will be played by Amy Spanger. Spanger created the role of Susan in Jonathan Larson’s tick, tick… Boom and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her role of Holly in The Wedding Singer.
Sound design for this production is by Sharath Patel, who boasts previous experience at The Rep with his sound design of The Mystery of Irma Vep in 2020. Heather Beal serves as the choreographer. Audience members may remember her work as choreographer of Feeding Beatrice at The Rep in 2019. The Projection Designer will be Camilla Tassi. Tassi’s design experience includes working at Carnegie Hall and the Berlin Opera Academy. Oona Natesan will return to provide Costume Design after designing costumes for House of Joy at The Rep earlier this season. The Lighting Designer will be Xavier Pierce, who was recently the Lighting Designer for Confederates at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival- a show that The Rep is producing this season. Tre’von Griffith returns to The Rep as the Music Director. Rep audiences may remember him as the Music Director for A Christmas Carol. Alerica L. Anderson will serve as the Music Coordinator and St. Louis audiences may recognize his work from the Pre-Broadway Premiere of The Karate Kid-the Musical at STAGES.
Side by Side by Sondheim will also mark the first mainstage production of the new year performed at the Catherine Berges Theatre at the Center for the Creative Arts (COCA). This performance space is a state-of-the-art theatre built in 2020, and is part of The Rep’s initiative to bring theatre into the St. Louis Community.
The Rep is pleased to offer several special offerings and accessible performances throughout the run of Side by Side by Sondheim. These include:
Post Show Talkbacks, Feb. 9, 7 p.m & 15, 2 p.m. – Following the performance stick around for an informal discussion with members of the cast and creative team of the show.
Audio Described Performance, Feb. 16, 2 p.m. – The Rep partners with MindsEye to offer live audio description for the final Thursday performance of all productions.
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreted, Feb. 18, 2 p.m. – An ASL interpreted performance will be offered on the final Saturday matinee. Interpreters will be inside the theater and sign along with what the actors are saying and expressing for the audience.
Open-Captioned Performance, Feb. 19, 2 p.m. – The Rep offers open captioning, an electronic text display that shows what the actors are saying or singing, at the last Sunday show for all Mainstage performances.
About The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
The Rep is the St. Louis region’s most honored live professional theatre company. Founded in 1966, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis is a fully professional theatrical operation belonging to the League of Resident Theatres, The League of St. Louis Theatres and is a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Inc., the national service organization for the not-for-profit professional theatre. Visit www.repstl.org for more, and find The Rep on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.