For the first time since its NYC debut in 1983, the rarely seen Stephen Sondheim musical revue You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow is coming to Brooklyn’s The Great Room at Art NY Studios for a limited engagement of sixteen performances beginning on October 13. Presented by Brooklyn Heights’ award-winning company Theater 2020, the 70-minute staged concert highlights a selection of songs for which Sondheim wrote both the music and lyrics – some lesser-known and infrequently performed, and some that were cut before Broadway, along with several of his beloved classics.
Directed by David Fuller and choreographed by Judith Jarosz (Co-Producing Artistic Directors of Theater 2020), with music direction by pianist Griffin Strout and costumes by Susan Yanofsky, the cast features Elena Cramer, Matthew Liu, Matthew Mancuso, Rori Nogee, Alex Parrish, and Helen Jane Planchet celebrating Sondheim, and the best in ourselves, with an optimistic look to the future. The show covers songs from Saturday Night (the first professional musical written by Sondheim, intended to play on Broadway in 1955, but shelved after the sudden death of its lead producer) through Merrily We Roll Along (which closed after a short Broadway run in 1981, and is soon to open in a sold-out limited-engagement revival from New York Theatre Workshop this November).
Writer Paul Salsini, founding editor of The Sondheim Review and author of the recently released memoir Sondheim & Me, offered his insights into You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow and research into its history, telling me, “Because the songs may be lesser known, the revue is not produced that often, but to be clear, the songs are definitely not ‘lesser Sondheim.’ I still remember seeing a terrific production by Pegasus Players in Chicago in 1999.”
He went on to say, “I found that the revue began as a concert, with two performances on March 3, 1983, at Sotheby Parke Bernet in New York. It starred such greats as Liz Callaway, George Hearn, Judy Kaye, and Victoria Mallory. Sondheim himself accompanied Angela Lansbury on ‘Send in the Clowns’ and led the singers on ‘Old Friends.’ The presentation was recorded live and released as A Stephen Sondheim Evening. Later, it was called You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow and licensed by Music Theater International, which said: ‘The exhilarating work is nothing short of a revelation: the appealing melodies and astonishing craft of his first unproduced Broadway musical, Saturday Night; the gut-busting numbers that didn’t make it into A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; the stark beauty of Pacific Overtures; the sweeping romanticism of Anyone Can Whistle, and a heart-rending gorgeous ballad from his adaptation of The Frogs.’”
Salsini also noted, “Besides ‘Send in the Clowns,’ the revue includes such famous songs as ‘Being Alive’ and ‘Not a Day Goes By.’ Mostly this is a chance for new audiences to discover the mastery of Stephen Sondheim.” I can add that it’s also a rare opportunity for long-time aficionados to revisit this infrequently produced show of songs by the Broadway legend, so whichever you are, you won’t want to miss it.
Running Time: Approximately 70 minutes, without intermission.
You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow plays at 8 pm, on Thursday, October 13-Sunday, November 6, 2022, at Theater 2020, performing at The Great Room at Art NY Studios, 138 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY. For tickets (priced at $40-50, or $30 for students and seniors with ID, plus fees), go online. Everyone is encouraged to wear a mask inside the building and during the show.