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Stephen Sondheim to Receive Olivier Special Award

Stephen Sondheim

The Society of London Theatre has announced that Stephen Sondheim will be the recipient of the Olivier Special Award 2011. He will accept the Award in person, given in recognition of his contribution to London theatre, at the Olivier Awards—London's equivalent of the Tony Awards on Broadway—this Sunday, March 13, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The Awards ceremony will conclude with a tribute to Sondheim by performers including Adrian Lester, who starred in Sondheim’s Company, and surprise guests on the night. The Special Award is chosen by the board of the Society of London Theatre; over the years, there have been a total of 24 recipients, including Alec Guinness, Judi Dench, Sam Mendes, and Laurence Olivier himself. 

This year’s Olivier Awards hosts are two former Olivier Award winners, Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton. They have a distinctive connection to Sondheim, as they will be starring together in Chichester Festival Theatre’s revival of his famed 1979 musical Sweeney Todd in September.

All of the evening's musical tributes, including special star performances, will be accompanied by the 72-strong BBC Concert Orchestra, under the musical direction of David Charles Abell, with original music and orchestrations provided by Larry Blank.

The whole evening will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, and there will be live televised coverage of the red carpet, the ceremony, and all the performances from the stage, via the BBC’s Red Button. There will be live coverage of the red carpet on BBC News as well as results and reactions after the ceremony.

Tickets can be purchased at or at tkts in Leicester Square and Brent Cross.


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