Sondheim sells out

Four-month fest debuted with 'Todd,' nabbed crix kudos

WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration, an ambitious mounting of six musicals by Stephen Sondheim, is off to a rousing start, with favorable notices for its first two productions and healthy bookings for every performance.

The four-month festival officially debuted May 12 with “Sweeney Todd,” which drew kudos from critics. The New York Times’ Ben Brantley called Christopher Ashley’s production “handsomely sung” and “richly mounted” and heaped praise on stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and particularly Christine Baranski. Other Gotham crix who headed south for the opening, including John Simon in New York and Linda Winer in Newsday, were equally laudatory.

A week later, Sean Mathias’ “Company” opened to some equally fine notices. Michael Kuchwara of AP said the production “provides further proof that this celebration is essential viewing for anyone who cares about the American musical theater.” In the Washington Post, Nelson Pressley said Mathias’ “beatifully balanced” staging “throbs with sensual energy.”

From a B.O. standpoint, the entire festival was a success even before opening night. “Sweeney” and “Company” are sold out (runs average just 16 perfs), and the others — “Sunday in the Park With George” (opening June 2), “Passion,” “A Little Night Music” and “Merrily We Roll Along” (opening in July and early August) — are headed that way, according to the Kennedy Center.

The center broke its single-day ticket sales record in February when it sold $632,000 worth of ducats at a $76 top. The entire festival is just shy of 80% sold out, per the center.

More Legit

  • Jagged Little Pill review

    Regional Theater Review: 'Jagged Little Pill'

    WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration, an ambitious mounting of six musicals by Stephen Sondheim, is off to a rousing start, with favorable notices for its first two productions and healthy bookings for every performance. The four-month festival officially debuted May 12 with “Sweeney Todd,” which drew kudos from critics. The New York Times’ […]

  • Mean Girls Tina Fey

    Stagecraft Podcast: Tina Fey on Comedy, Broadway and 'Mean Girls'

    WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration, an ambitious mounting of six musicals by Stephen Sondheim, is off to a rousing start, with favorable notices for its first two productions and healthy bookings for every performance. The four-month festival officially debuted May 12 with “Sweeney Todd,” which drew kudos from critics. The New York Times’ […]

  • COLIN CALLENDER STRICTLY BUSINESS Podcast

    Strictly Business Podcast: Colin Callender on 'Cursed Child' and Navigating Co-Productions

    WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration, an ambitious mounting of six musicals by Stephen Sondheim, is off to a rousing start, with favorable notices for its first two productions and healthy bookings for every performance. The four-month festival officially debuted May 12 with “Sweeney Todd,” which drew kudos from critics. The New York Times’ […]

  • Patricia Morison Dead: 'Kiss Me Kate'

    Patricia Morison, Stage Star of 'Kiss Me, Kate,' Dies at 103

    WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration, an ambitious mounting of six musicals by Stephen Sondheim, is off to a rousing start, with favorable notices for its first two productions and healthy bookings for every performance. The four-month festival officially debuted May 12 with “Sweeney Todd,” which drew kudos from critics. The New York Times’ […]

  • Prince Harry Meghan Markle

    Who's on the Royal Wedding Guest List?

    WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration, an ambitious mounting of six musicals by Stephen Sondheim, is off to a rousing start, with favorable notices for its first two productions and healthy bookings for every performance. The four-month festival officially debuted May 12 with “Sweeney Todd,” which drew kudos from critics. The New York Times’ […]

  • In the Heights

    'In the Heights': Warner Bros. Wins Movie Rights to Lin-Manuel Miranda's Musical

    WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration, an ambitious mounting of six musicals by Stephen Sondheim, is off to a rousing start, with favorable notices for its first two productions and healthy bookings for every performance. The four-month festival officially debuted May 12 with “Sweeney Todd,” which drew kudos from critics. The New York Times’ […]

  • School of Rock

    'School of Rock' Captures the Heart and Soul of Messy Adolescence

    WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration, an ambitious mounting of six musicals by Stephen Sondheim, is off to a rousing start, with favorable notices for its first two productions and healthy bookings for every performance. The four-month festival officially debuted May 12 with “Sweeney Todd,” which drew kudos from critics. The New York Times’ […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content