Side by Side by Sondheim

Repeat Side by Side by Sondheim

Beginning Friday, October 7, Kalamazoo Civic Theater will present two weekends of Side by Side by Sondheim in a Reader’s Theater production at the Parish Theatre. Kalamazoo Civic Artistic Director Tony Humrichouser says Reader’s Theater is for artists over 50 and accommodates all kinds of people, including those embracing new things later in life and others who keep their theatrical skills sharp. Humrichouser says Sondheim’s music and lyrics can be complex — and tapping into her own experiences helps bring the songs to life.

Humrichouser’s vision for the revue is to put the 14-member cast on tour at the Parish Theater, backed by pianist Sirasa Schonder. The show features 28 full songs and an “epic medley” of 28 songs at the end.

Humrichouser knows his theatrical history and often uses anecdotes to add context when directing. A personal wisdom he heard in a WMUK interview in the 1980s with James Daniels, a professor of theater at Western Michigan University, who said: “An actor says, ‘I believe these things to be true. Therefore, this is how I would like to say them. .'” “I’ve worn this all my life,” Humrichouser says.

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