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2014/15 Press Releases
Jason Robert Brown to Present Stephen Sondheim with Arden Theatre Companyís Inaugural Master Storyteller Award
Rob McClure Announced as Performer at Ceremony and Concert to Honor Sondheim on Monday, June 1
May 20, 2015

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company announces a final list of performers for the Master Storyteller Award ceremony and concert on Monday, June 1, 2015. The award will be bestowed upon Composer and Lyricist Stephen Sondheim , who will accept the award at a ticketed ceremony and concert, which is a fundraising benefit for the Arden’s extensive educational and outreach programs. Composer and Lyricist Jason Robert Brown will present Mr. Sondheim with the award.
Held in the Arden’s F. Otto Haas Stage at 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, guests will be treated to a concert that features the work and music of Mr. Sondheim, performed by artists who have appeared in previous Arden Sondheim productions, and accompanied by a 14-person orchestra.
Additional performers and presenters, announced today:

PERFORMER/PRESENTER                                SHOW TITLE                             YEAR  

Jason Robert Brown                                         Parade, Last Five Years             Arden produced
                                                                        Songs for a New World             Parade in 2014
                                                                        Bridges of Madison County
                                                                        Honeymoon in Vegas
                                                                       
Rob McClure                                                    A Funny Thing Happened             2006
                                                                        On the Way to the Forum                       
                                                                                                                                   
Darren Michael Hengst                                     Passion                                     now in Previews
                                                                        Sunday in the Park with George    2010
                                                                       
Elisa Matthews                                                  A Little Night Music                     2013
                                                                        Sweeney Todd                            2005

Mathew Mastronardi, Elena Camp and Leigha Kato have also been announced as performers, but have not appeared in Arden Sondheim productions.              

JASON ROBERT BROWN has been hailed as “one of Broadway’s smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and his “extraordinary, jubilant theater music” (Chicago Tribune) has been heard all over the world, A composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, director and performer – his scores include The Last Five Years, his debut song cycle Songs for a New World, Parade (for which he won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Score and three Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre when it was produced at the Arden in 2014), The Bridges of Madison County, and the recent Honeymoon in Vegas, which premiered on Broadway in January, 2015. 

ROB McCLURE is a Broadway performer who was seen recently as “Jack Singer” opposite Tony Danza in Jason Robert Brown’s Honeymoon in Vegas. For his starring role as Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin, he received Tony Award, Drama League, Astaire, and Outer Critics Circle Nominations, and won the TheatreWorld and Clive Barnes Awards. He performed in the staged concert of Where’s Charley at New York City Center Encores! and was seen as Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q. He calls Philadelphia home and has appeared locally at the Arden Theatre Company (The Flea & the Professor – world premiere - and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and at the Walnut Street Theatre (Amadeus, The Producers, Oliver!).

Performers previously announced:

PERFORMER                CHARACTER                SHOW TITLE                             YEAR  

Tony Braithwaite           Pseudolous                    A Funny Thing Happened             2006
                                                                        on the Way to the Forum

Billy Bustamante                                              Pacific Overtures                        2003

Rich Ceraulo                                                    Pacific Overtures                        2003

Jen Childs                    Amy                             Company                                   1997

Derrik Cobey                Mr. Lindquist                  A Little Night Music                     2013

Jeff Coon                     John Wilkes Booth           Assassins                                  2007
                                    George                          Sunday in the Park with George    2010

Ben Dibble                   Colonel Ricci                  Passion                                     now in Previews
                                    Count Carl Magnus         A Little Night Music                     2013
                                    Lee Harvey Oswald        Assassins                                  2007
                                    Anthony                         Sweeney Todd                            2005

Krissy Fraelich             Dot                               Sunday in the Park with George    2010

Todd Horman               The Beadle                    Sweeney Todd                            2005

Alex Keiper                  Petra                             A Little Night Music                     2013

Josh Lamon                 Toby                             Sweeney Todd                            2005

Larry Lees                    Lieutenant Torasso          Passion                                     now in Previews

Mary Martello               Mrs. Lovett                   Sweeney Todd                            2005
                                    Sara Jane Moore            Assassins                                  2007

Ben Michael                 Giorgio                          Passion                                     now in Previews

Chris Mullen                Leon Czolgosz               Assassins                                  2007
                                    Fredrik                          A Little Night Music                     2013

James Sugg                 Charles Guiteau              Assassins                                  2007
                                    Pirelli                             Sweeney Todd                            2005

Rob Tucker                                                       Pacific Overtures                        2003

Additional performers, who have frequently been seen at the Arden, but not in Sondheim productions, include: Rachel Camp, Caroline Dooner and Robi Hager.

Tickets are on sale now for $250, and include the award ceremony, concert and post-show reception. Visit www.ardentheatre.org/support/masterstoryteller.html for details or call Genvieve Goldstein at 215.922.8900, ext. 49. Tickets will also be available through the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122.

The Arden Theatre Company’s productions of Stephen Sondheim’s works include: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (2006), A Little Night Music (1995 & 2013), Assassins (2008), Company (1997), Into the Woods (2000), Merrily We Roll Along (1998), Pacific Overtures (2003), Passion (May, 2015), Sunday in the Park with George (1994 & 2010), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1993 & 2005). In the fall of 2008, they produced the Royal National Theatre’s version of Candide, with additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Road Show (2008, originally titled Bounce), Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971, revised in London 1987 and in New York 2001), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962); as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear a Waltz (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide (1973).  Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), and Putting it Together (1992, 2000) are anthologies of his work.  For film he composed the scores for Stravinsky (1974) and Reds (1981) and songs for Dick Tracy (Academy Award, 1990).  He wrote the songs for television’s Evening Primrose (1966), co-authored the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and the play Getting Away with Murder (1966), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls of Summer (1956), Invitation to a March (1961), and Twigs (1971).  He won Tony Awards® for Best Score of a Musical for Passion, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Little Night Music, Follies, (1971), and Company.  All of these shows won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, as did Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George, the latter also receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1985).  Mr. Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981, and in 1983 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1990, he was appointed the first Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University, and in 1993 was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. He published two books: Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes and Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany. In 2014, Into the Woods was made into a major motion picture and was recognized with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture in a Musical or Comedy.

About the Arden Theatre Company
Founded in 1988, the Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers on stage, in the classroom, and in the community. Five Mainstage and two Arden Children’s Theatre shows are produced each season. The Arden provides extensive arts education programs including Arden For All, a program in schools in the Greater Philadelphia area. In the fall of 2013, The Arden completed construction on the Hamilton Family Arts Center. Located a few doors down at 62 N. 2nd Street, it is the home to Arden Drama School and has six classrooms, a rehearsal hall, and an 80-seat Studio Theatre.

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