ABOUT

Sondheim Unplugged is a popular New York City cabaret series that was launched in July of 2010 and is currently in residence at New York's famed nightspot, Feinstein's/54 Below. The Broadway World and Bistro Award-winning series features some of Broadway and cabaret's most esteemed vocalists (including special guests who created roles in Stephen Sondheim musicals), delving into the musical world of the celebrated Broadway composer, accompanied by piano only.

The series was launched during "the hoopla surrounding Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday, which was widely celebrated here in New York," according to series creator and host, Phil Geoffrey Bond. After seeing a few of the "big gala celebrations," Bond wanted to create a smaller, pared down tribute to Sondheim at The Laurie Beechman Theatre on West 42nd Street where, at the time, he served as Director of Programming.

The series was only meant to run for four performances throughout the month of July. However, as the series grew in popularity throughout the month, so did demand, and Sondheim Unplugged continues its run currently.

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Phil Geoffrey Bond,
creator and host of Sondheim Unplugged 

As much as creator and host Bond admires large concert presentations of Sondheim's music, he wanted "to pare everything down and concentrate on the brilliance of these melodies and lyrics", as he explains in the show. Throughout the evening, Bond fills the audience in on "various tidbits of theatrical lore" concerning the original Broadway productions.

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VENUES: Although scheduled to open at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, a last minute decision by management resulted in the venue closing down during the Fourth of July weekend. So, a hurried substitution was made, and Sondheim Unplugged instead played its first performance at the Manhattan venue Don't Tell Mama, resuming performances at The Laurie Beechman Theatre the following week.

When Broadway nightspot 54 Below (now Feinstein’s/54 Below) opened its doors in 2011, Bond had already been hired to serve as Director of Programming for the new venue, so Sondheim Unplugged transferred there, where it remains as the NYC home of the series.
Sondheim Unplugged has played several other venues and performing arts centers, including NJPAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center), ARC Stages and The Philipstown Depot Theatre. On May 14, 2018, the series debuted in London at The Hippodrome in Leicester Square, followed by regular visits which continue presently at Crazy Coqs, Live at Zedel near Piccadilly.
OTHER INCARNATIONS: Upon transferring to 54 Below, the series proved so successful that several incarnations of the series were added to the venue’s schedule. These have included A Little Night Music for Company, Assassins in the Park with George, Anyone Can Whistle Follies, and the annual Into Sweeney Todd’s Woods, which continues to play at the venue each Halloween. These “special editions” of the series include only music from the musicals mentioned in their respective show titles.