Stars of TV, Broadway & Film Celebrate Stephen Sondheim’s 90th Birthday

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Ben Platt, Christine Baranski, Sutton Foster, Steven Speilberg, Meryl Streep, Jake Gyllenhaal, Audra McDonald, Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Groban and more celebrate Stephen Sondheim’s 90th Birthday 

Emily Mae Heller

AfterBuzz TV Host & Writer
Posted On: April 27th, 2020 8:23 pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

Take Me To the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration 

Dozens of stars came together to celebrate the 90th birthday to the one-and-only, American composer, lyricist, and one of the most influential icons in musical theatre, Stephen Sondheim in the Take Me To the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration with proceeds going to ASTEP – Artists Striving to End Poverty. Known for such musicals as Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Assassins, Gypsy and so many more his work spans decades and changed the American musical forever. 

A variety of Broadway, film, and tv stars came together with musical Zoom recordings or pre-recorded messages of love from their homes. 

(Source: Broadway.com Twitter)

The show had a few technology hiccups in the beginning, but once it started it was a delightful evening of songs from The Great White Way. Take it from someone who grew up singing every musical theatre song possible, this evening was full of surprises and a Broadway revue all on its own, a master class for anyone who wants to learn to sing the Sondheim canon. 

I loved all of the performances from these Broadway darlings but here are some of my favorites: 

Neil Patrick Harris 

This TV, film, and theatre star is a fan favorite on and off-Broadway and stretched his vocals with a really fun rendition of “The Witch’s Rap” from Into the Woods starring his kids! 

(Source: Broadway.com Youtube)

Kelli O’Hara 

I’ve loved her classical tone and voice since The Light in the Piazza. Also known for South Pacific, The Pajama Game, Nice Work If You Can Get It and The King and I, Kelli O’Hara beamed while singing the song “What More Do I Need?” from Saturday Night honoring the streets, noise, and unique personality that is New York City. 

Beanie Feldstein & Ben Platt 

Hello Dolly and Booksmart star, Beanie Feldstein joined Dear Evan Hansen and The Politician star, Ben Platt to sing this perfect duet together, “It Takes Two” from Into the Woods. This showed how much fun these two best friends have together! What a way to celebrate Sondheim! 

(Source: Broadway.com Youtube)

Elizabeth Stanley 

Previously starred in Company, Million-Dollar Quartet, and Jagged Little Pill this was one of the most surprising and moving performances of the night. This was one of the most beautiful renditions of “The Miller’s Son” from A Little Night Music I’ve heard in a really long time. Heart-wrenching and inspiring with gorgeous tone and vibrato. 

(Source: Broadway.com Youtube)

Steven Spielberg 

With a new film revival of West Side Story coming soon, Hollywood director and producer, Steven Speilberg had a message for Stephen Sondheim,“I celebrate you for one of your other extraordinary gifts: your photographic memory which is constantly updated for your love of movies. I thought I was supposed to be the film guy with all that archival knowledge, but it turns out you’re that guy who knows more about Hollywood cultural heritage than me and maybe Martin Scorsese put together.” Wow, what a statement from such an icon! 

(Source: Broadway.com Youtube)

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

(Source: Broadway.com Youtube)

Viewers couldn’t get enough of Lin-Manuel Miranda especially when singing the Into the Woods classic “Giants In the Sky” and the scary and fun adventure that it can bring. 

Lea Salonga 

Famous for her role in Miss Saigon and Les Miserables this was a beautiful love song from a musical not produced very often, “Loving You” from Passion. With lyrics like,Loving you is why I do, the things I do, loving you is not in my control, but loving you, I have a goal, for what’s left of my life, I will live, and I would die, for you.” A complicated and simple love song all at the same time! 

Laura Benanti 

This Tony-award winner makes me beam ear to ear every time she sings. This rendition of “I Remember” from Evening Primrose showcases her vocal talent and she brings to life the world we all miss of blue skies and sunshine with every syllable with lyrics like, I remember sky, It was blue as ink, Or at least I think, I remember sky.” May we all appreciate that blue sky! 

Josh Groban 

(Source: Broadway.com Youtube)

With a voice like an angel, Josh sang two Broadway classics, “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods and “Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd. These two perfect ballads work together to express his emotional vocal range and give us all goosebumps.

Donna Murphy 

Five-time Tony award nominee and two-time winner for Passion and The King and I, she sang one of the most well-known Sondheim songs from one of my favorite musicals, A Little Night Music. This soaring ballad is ripe with feelings of reflection, rejection and years gone by, “Send in the Clowns” will bring you to tears. 

Meryl Streep, Audra McDonala, and Christine Baranski 

(Source: Broadway.com Youtube)

One of the highlights of the evening was having 6-time Tony award winner and Broadway goddess Audra McDonald sing in a trio with two-time Tony winner Christine Baranski and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. This hilarious rendition of “The Ladies Who Lunch” from Company included sipping wine and various beverages throughout the performance. A perfect moment of levity we all needed! 

Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford 

(Source: Broadway.com Youtube)

This beautiful song is a reprised duet by this duo that I’ve heard them sing before but it felt so relevant in this moment. They sang “Move On” from Sunday in the Park with George with perfect inflection, emotion and connection to the lyrics, Stop worrying where you’re going, move on, If you can know where you’re going, you’ve gone, just keep moving on,” that resonated with me all evening.

Patti LuPone 

(Source: Broadway.com Youtube)

Broadway isn’t complete without the iconic voice of Patti LuPone, known for her legendary performances in Evita, Anything Goes, Gypsy and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, just to name a few, “Anyone Can Whistle” from Anyone Can Whistle is the inspirational ballad of hope and finding a way to break free that we needed to hear, especially from Patti LuPone!  

Bernadette Peters 

(Source: Broadway.com Youtube)

Another Broadway and film icon joined the evening festivities, known for Gypsy, Annie Get Your Gun, Into the Woods, Follies, this celebration wouldn’t be complete without her. One of the only acapella songs of the evening, Bernadette Peters sang her heart out with “No One is Alone” from Into the Woods. This was an emotionally charged performance and reminder to everyone staying home, struggling right now or fighting on the front-lines of the pandemic that no one is truly alone and we are all in this together. 

Thank you Broadway and Sondheim for bringing us together for the night. Many of us can’t wait for those doors to open again! The live chat was going wild throughout the night as fans demanded more songs, specific talent to appear, and wanting to hear songs from West Side Story.

What songs did you love or did you think were missing? Catch all of your favorite songs and the full show show here. 

If you love musicals and all of the news on your favorite TV and Broadway stars, share this article with a friend. Catch more tv musicals news and tune in daily for other AfterBuzz TV and entertainment news. 

About The Author:

Emily Mae Heller is an Emmy-nominated film, tv, live events, and theatre producer, born and raised in Los Angeles with a deep passion for storytelling, sports, and entertainment.

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

“We don’t just celebrate and cover the top shows, content and stars, we celebrate and cover ALL the shows, content and stars.”

Maria Menounos

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