(July 28, 2022–Chatham, NY) “To Sondheim, With Love,” a new musical correspondence featuring the work of the late Stephen Sondheim created by Mac-Haydn favorite Meredith Lustig, debuts at the Mac-Haydn Theatre next month. The production, running August 10, September 14 & 16, kicks off the theatre’s Limited Performances Series.
Everybody says “don’t meet your heroes.” Well, Meredith Lustig says “do.” She met the legendary Stephen Sondhiem on two separate occasions and would never want to change that. Her only regret is that she didn’t know at the time how deep his gift for, and dedication to letter writing was. He wrote thousands of them through the course of his life, to all sorts of people.
In “To Sondheim, With Love,” Lustig takes us through a musical correspondence with one of the greatest theatrical minds in history. Along the way she discovers the content of the letter she wishes she had written to a man who helped shape an entire generation of artists.
“The music of Sondheim is so versatile and specific,” said Lustig. “It speaks to me on all levels: juicy characters to explore, scores that stimulate the intellectual musical part of my brain, and lyrics that remain timeless and relevant.”
Meredith Lustig is joined vocally by her husband, Michael Axtell. The pair currently play opposite each other in the Mac-Haydn’s production of “Kiss Me, Kate.” Fresh from her run as the Associate Music Director for “Most Happy: In Concert” at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jillian Zack joins the production on piano.
“I think sometimes people find Sondheim’s music less accessible because of the emotional intensity with which he writes,” said Zack. “I’m hoping this will give people new to Sondheim an insight into his genius, and for those that are already lovers of his work, a chance to hear some of his greatest hits, and perhaps some lesser known works as well.”
The performance features some of the “Into The Woods” and “Sweeney Todd” composer’s greatest hits, including “No One is Alone” (Into The Woods), “Broadway Baby” (Follies) and “Move On” (Sunday in the Park with George) as well as the lesser-known gems “So Many People” (Saturday Night) and “Now You Know” (Merrily We Roll Along).
“I’m excited to let the Mac Haydn audience get to know me a bit better,” said Lustig. “As performers, we train ourselves to be comfortable with vulnerability, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you strip away the characters and costumes and offer up a piece of your actual life story to share with an audience.”
The Mac-Haydn Theatre’s Limited Performances Series runs August through October and features Meredith Lustig (To Sondheim, With Love), Gabe Belyeu (A Call To Places), toUch Performance Art (Major Arcana: The Next Draw) and the Mac-Haydn 2022 Company (Showstoppers).
Vaccination and masks are required for all patrons. For tickets, please visit www.machaydntheatre.org or call the box office at (518) 392-9292.
About the Mac-Haydn Theatre
Founded in 1969, the Mac-Haydn Theatre strives to present innovative, diverse and professional musical theatre productions to the residents of Columbia County and beyond. We aim to cultivate young talent for careers in theatre and seek to provide a supportive environment for the creation of new musical theatre works.