It has just been announced that Gypsy's Imelda Staunton is to join the impressive line up for the Stephen Sondheim crowd-funded birthday gala at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25th October. The event, is seeking to secure funds using thecrowd-sourcing platform Kickstarter
Other supporters so far include History Boys actor JAMIE PARKER (Assassins, currently starring in High Society at the Old Vic); the Olivier Award winner and Tony nominee JENNA RUSSELL (Sunday in the Park with George, Into The Woods, Merrily We Roll Along), and stage, screen and radio legend NICHOLAS PARSONS (Into The Woods) with more talent from the West End set to confirm in the coming weeks. Subject to availability, Olivier Award winner BILL DEAMER (Top Hat) will direct and choreograph the show, and acclaimed West End Musical Director GARETH VALENTINE – recent MD of City of Angels at the Donmar Warehouse and last seen on stage conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Follies at the Royal Albert Hall – will conduct.
The gala, titled HEY, OLD FRIENDS!, is also being staged in support of The Silver Line charity which listens to older people who may need friendship, information or advice, but who have literally no-one else to talk to.” Founded by DAME ESTHER RANTZEN, DBE, who says: “I think it’s an absolutely spectacular idea to put together a gala concert to honour Stephen Sondheim in his 85th year, and to do it for a really good cause. ‘Hey Old Friends!’ is particularly appropriate, as this is what The Silver Line does – it
Hey, Old Friends! is supported by THE STEPHEN SONDHEIM SOCIETY and produced by RICHARD DOUGLAS PRODUCTIONS, the team behind many of the large-scale charity galas staged in London, including Children Will Listen at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Barbara Cook & Friends at the Coliseum, Follies in Concert at the Palladium and 30th Anniversary Side by Side by Sondheim at the Novello Theatre.
Tickets for the October gala are on sale now at www.sondheim.org/gala