Celebrating Sondheim

Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 4:00 PM
Riverview Performing Arts Center
1 Ram Way, Sarasota, FL 34231

Toast to Broadway with this concert of show tunes written by Stephen Sondheim, celebrating his 90th birthday in 2020, including A Little Night Music, Company, Sweeney Todd, and Sunday in the Park with George (learn more about Sondheim). This performance also features renowned musical theater artists Ann Morrison, Michaela Ristaino, Ben Pattison, and Matthew Nall as soloists. See below for the full program.

Meet the Soloists

Ann Morrison – Michaela Ristaino – Ben Pattison – Matthew Nall

Ann Morrison

Ann is an award-winning actress, writer, teacher, and director for over 40 years. As an actress she starred on Broadway in Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along directed by Harold Prince (1982 Theatre World Award), and in LoveMusik (2007); London’s West End in Peg; Off-Broadway in the musical Goblin Market (Drama Desk Award Nom.) and was an original cast member of Forbidden Broadway. Nationally, she has starred in Sondheim on Sondheim, Into the Woods, Peter Pan, Guys & Dolls, Cabaret, Oliver!, Sunset Boulevard, On A Clear Day, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Good News, Embarrassments, Anyone Can Whistle, & many many more. Locally she starred in Noel & Gertie, Shadowlands, Ruthless!, I Do, I Do!. The quintessential solo artist, Ann has performed cabaret in major venues across the country, most recently at Feinstein’s/54 Below in NYC. She won a Best Actress Award for her solo play Linda Lovely Goes to Broadway in the United Solo Festival in NYC, and appeared there again with her solo play Word Painting: Soliloquies Around an Easel. Directing credits include both her solo play Trevor’s Fire starring Blake Walton and his solo play Leading Men at the United Solo Festival; large musicals The Secret Garden, Merrily We Roll Along, On A Clear Day, Smoke On the Mountain as well as many plays and revues. Four of Ann’s solo plays are published. She is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Kaleidoscope, a musical theatre workshop for persons with developmental disabilities.

Michaela Ristaino

Originally from Wisconsin, Michaela Ristaino comes to Sarasota by way of Milwaukee and San Francisco. Hailed as a versatile performer who is just as at home on the music theatre stage as the opera stage, she was a frequent performer at Milwaukee’s Skylight Opera Theatre, where she was seen in such productions as White Christmas, South Pacific, The Mikado, A Little Night Music, The Most Happy Fella, and She Loves Me. In addition to the Skylight, Michaela appeared with various performance venues in the Milwaukee and San Francisco Bay areas. Favorite music theatre roles include The Baker’s Wife and Cinderella in Into the Woods, Adelaide in Guys & Dolls, and Maria in West Side Story. Favorite opera roles include the title role in Carlyle Floyd’s Susannah, Pamina in The Magic Flute, and Rose in Street Scene. She is thrilled to be stepping out of the Soprano section and making her debut as a soloist with the Choral Artists for this very special tribute to one of her favorite composers, Stephen Sondheim. Michaela received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University, and her Masters in Vocal Performance studies at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee where she studied with Sarasota’s own Lee Dougherty Ross. Sarasota audiences will also find Michaela appearing with Milwaukee’s own Manhattan Transfer, BoyGirlBoyGirl in March as part of the Sarasota Artist Series. She is grateful to have found such an amazing and diverse performing community here in Sarasota!

Ben Pattison

Since 2012, Benjamin Pattison has been a tenor with The United States Army Chorus, performing for every president since Jimmy Carter and numerous heads of state. Prior to joining the Army Chorus, Mr. Pattison studied trumpet and voice at DePaul University and further vocal studies at the University of Maryland. He has appeared as the title role in Albert Herring with DePaul Opera Theatre, Bill Starbuck in 110 in the Shade, and Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center. Concert engagements include appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and at the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music in Seoul, South Korea. Print and commercial work across Washington D.C. includes photo shoots for the Washington Nationals and ABC 20/20. Last year, he was a finalist in the Kurt Weill Foundation’s internationally acclaimed Lotte Lenya Competition. Outside of performing, Mr. Pattison is a music program director at two elementary schools with the nonprofit noteBUSTERS.

Matthew Nall

Matthew Nall is a born and bred Texan from Garland. He received his Bachelor of Music from Texas Tech University and his Master of Arts from New York University. As an actor, he has performed such roles as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Curly in Oklahoma, and Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol. In 2006, Matthew became a baritone vocalist in The United States Army Chorus. Highlights of his career include performances for President Ford’s and President Bush’s State Funerals, the Queen of England, and the Pope. He is also the music director of a performing arts school in Alexandria, Virginia. None of this would be possible without his beautiful wife, Sara Hart, and two children, Cooper and Sadie.

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About Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim c. 1976

American composer Stephen Sondheim was born on March 22, 1930, in New York City. After early practice at songwriting, his knowledge of musical theater was influenced by master lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, who served as a mentor. Sondheim’s contributions to West Side Story and Gypsy in the 1950s brought him recognition as a rising star of Broadway. Known for the startling complexity of his lyricism and music, his major works for the theater also include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ForumSweeney ToddSunday in the Park With George and Into the Woods.

Sondheim has claimed eight Tony Awards, a record for a composer, as well as eight Grammy Awards. He shared the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Lapine for Sunday in the Park with George, and won an Academy Award for the song “Sooner or Later,” one of five tracks written for the 1990 film Dick Tracy.



The Frogs
Invocation and Instructions to the Audience

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Comedy Tonight

Evening Primrose
Take Me to the World

Being Alive
The Ladies Who Lunch
Marry Me a Little
Not Getting Married

Loving You
Merrily We Roll Along
Not a Day Goes By
Saturday Night
So Many People

Into the Woods
Into the Woods
I Know Things Now
Giants in the Sky
No One is Alone
Children Will Listen
Moments in the Woods

Merrily We Roll Along
Old Friend
Good Thing Going
Our Time

Sweeney Todd
The Ballad of Sweeney Todd
The Worst Pies in London
By the Sea
Green Finch and Linnet Bird
Pretty Women
Not While I’m Around

Waiting for the Girls
Ah, But Underneath
Losing My Mind

A Little Night Music
Send in the Clowns
It Would Have Been Wonderful

Sunday in the Park with George
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