An episode for Sondheim fans!
This week, we turn our focus to Sondheim Unplugged, one of the most popular and long-running series presented at Feinstein’s/54 Below. A celebrated New York event since 2010 (It’s a Hit!), the show features some of Broadway and cabaret’s most dynamic voices, accompanied by piano only, delving into the musical world of Broadway’s master composer. In December 2020, Sondheim Unplugged was recorded and streamed as part of 54 Below Premieres, the club’s new streaming series. God, That’s Good!
We are joined by creator and host Phil Geoffrey Bond and performer Lucia Spina.
Phil Geoffrey Bond created Sondheim Unplugged, the long-running, award-winning monthly series, in 2010 and has served as its producer and host ever since. His novel, The Last Year at Low Tide, is currently available on Amazon from Chess Books as are his other titles — My Queer Youth, Small Town Confessions, The Fall of Mrs. Parsons, The Disney Diaries, and All the Sad Young Men. Phil has served as Director of Programming for The Duplex Cabaret Theatre, The Laurie Beechman Theatre as well as Feinstein’s/54 Below, where he later became Director of Original Programming. He is the recipient of seven Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabarets (MAC) Awards, two Backstage Bistro Awards, a Broadway World Award, and a Nightlife Award.
Lucia Spina made her Broadway debut with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Rona Lisa Peretti) in 2006. Her Broadway credits include Kinky Boots (original cast), South Pacific, Legally Blonde (Enid), and Les Miserables. Off-Broadway, she originated roles in Silence! The Musical (Catherine/Senator Martin) and Fugitive Songs. She toured the country with Legally Blonde, and her regional work includes credits at Goodspeed Opera House, Long Wharf Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, Barrington Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and The Hangar Theater, as well as Sunday in the Park With George (Nurse/Mrs./Harriett) and Anyone Can Whistle (Osgood) at the Ravinia Festival (Lonny Price, director; Paul Gemignani, musical director). She has sung with the acclaimed American Pops Orchestra and has graced cabaret stages all over New York City garnering her Best Female Vocalist for BroadwayWorld’s 2015 Cabaret Awards. www.luciaspina.com
Sondheim Unplugged premiered online Saturday, December 26, 2020, and is available on-demand through January 23, 2021. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.54below.com/Sondheim.
View clips from the show:
Natalie Douglas sings “Losing My Mind” https://youtu.be/j9FLx8Z4Qfg
Telly Leung sings “Being Alive” https://youtu.be/viXRnxui0Uc
All music clips in this episode are from Sondheim Unplugged at Feinstein’s/54 Below, filmed on December 5, 2020:
“Being Alive” from Company, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, featuring Joe Goodrich on piano
“The Ladies Who Lunch” from Company, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, performed by Lucia Spina
“Marry Me a Little” cut from Company, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, performed by Nicholas Rodriguez
“Move On” from Sunday in the Park with George, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, performed by Lucia Spina & Nicholas Rodriguez
“Something’s Coming” from West Side Story, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, performed by Darius de Haas
“Losing My Mind” from Follies, music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, performed by Natalie Douglas
“Being Alive” from Company, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, performed by Telly Leung
“Anyone Can Whistle” from Anyone Can Whistle, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, performed by T. Oliver Reid
Instrumental from “Beautiful Girls” from Follies, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, featuring Joe Goodrich on piano
This podcast is hosted by Nella Vera and produced by Grace Benigni, with support from the Feinstein’s/54 Below marketing staff.
Original artwork by Philip Romano.
Follow Nella on Twitter at @spinstripes
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