By Diane Malone
15 Sept 2010

stephen sondheim digonis caroline

   On Wednesday, September 15th, the newly dedicated Stephen Sondheim Theatre Marquee was lit for the first time in a special ceremony with Stephen Sondheim along with his longtime Broadway colleagues Patti Lupone, Nathan Lane, John Weidman, and Tom Tuft (Chairman of the Roundabout Theatre), among other members of the Broadway community.  
   The Pulitzer Prize winning composer became emotionally overwhelmed at the ceremony and admitted shyly to the crowd that he “cries very easily”.  Stephen Sondheim shared his feelings with the Broadway crowd that had gathered about not being too fond of his last name but nevertheless was touched by the renaming theatre tribute in his honor. 
   Among the broadway patrons and friends that had gathered for Sondheim’s special day was his longtime friend, Mary Rodgers, daughter of the legendary composer Richard Rodgers, as well as producer/director Hal Prince, and film director Mike Nichols, among others.

mary rodgers sondheim digonis

   Onstage, Nathan Lane gave a thoughtful tribute to the legendary composer and of course shared his great sense of humor pointing out how much more meaningful a theatre named after Sondheim is rather than a financial sponsor with a name like “McNugget”.  Other speakers included Patti Lupone who praised Sondheim for his ability to teach the performer and Tom Tuft and John Weidman who had additional praise for Sondheim.

nathan lane digonis sondheim

   The renaming of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (previously the Henry Miller Theatre), was the Roundabout Theatre’s concept in honor of Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday.
   The Sondheim Theatre is set to open on October 26 with “
The Pee-wee Herman Show” that will run through January 2nd, 2011.  Visit the Stephen Sondheim theatre online for more information. 

Photos: (c) Caroline P. Digonis 2010