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Sondheim comes home to Cherry Creek

DENVER—Stephen Sondheim’s indelible career began writing lyrics for “West Side Story” in 1957. Nearly 70 years later, the posthumous world premiere of his final musical, “Here We Are,” opens Off-Broadway next month.

Cherry Creek Theatre (CCT) has always had a spot in its heart and on its stage for the famed songwriter. Since its inaugural season, CCT, founded by Maxine & Mark Rossman, have treated audiences to the wisdom and wit of great American composer, who redefined the Broadway musical through his genius lyrics, catchy melodies, and complex characters.

“Sondheim pens song-stories that are in themselves works of art. They weren’t written to be sung by mere mortals,” The Denver Post wrote in its 2011 review of CCT’s “Side by Side by Sondheim.” “That this fledgling theater company would take on such a brazen challenge out of the gate says everything about its creative ambitions.”

CCT’s first fully-staged Sondheim musical, “A Little Night Music,” starring Susie Roelofsz and Brian Merz-Hutchinson, earned four Henry Award nominations. Famous for bringing the world “Send in the Clowns,” the 1973 musical is currently back on the local stage at the Denver Center, featuring the young actress Sophia Dotson who is reprising the role she played in CCT’s 2019 production.

Now, two years after the world lost the legendary composer, CCT is remounting “Sondheim on Sondheim,” October 27–November 19 at the Mizel Center. The company first produced the work in 2015 at Shaver Ramsey Rug Gallery.

The cast of Cherry Creek Theatre’s “Sondheim on Sondheim” (2015). The company will restage a new production this fall featuring three original ensemble members.

More than a musical revue, “Sondheim on Sondheim” weaves his exceptional songbook with first-person video anecdotes, providing audiences with an intimate and insightful look into the life and process of a brilliant composer.

From the 2015 cast, Roelofsz, Merz-Hutchinson and David Kincannon will reprise their roles. They are joined by Isabella Duran, Traci Kern, Carolyn Lohr, Lars Preece, and Carter Edward Smith. The powerhouse ensemble will perform songs from “Into the Woods,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Sweeney Todd,” and numbers that were cut from the final scores of classic musicals like “Company” and “West Side Story.”

The 2023 version is produced in partnership with JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center as part of the 2023–24 Neustadt JAAMM Presents season. Bernie Cardell directs, with music direction by Rob Lowe, who also returns from the original production.

Tickets are on sale now at CherryCreekTheatre.org or by calling the box office at 303-800-6578.