Stephen Sondheim celebrated at London gala

Dozens of stars of musical theatre gathered Tuesday night for a celebration titled “Old Friends” to raise money for the Stephen Sondheim Foundation, which will benefit young composers.

Sondheim, a groundbreaking Broadway composer/lyricist, died in November at age 91. 

According to ABC, among those present was Judi Dench, who was given a standing ovation for “Send in The Clowns.” Bernadette Peters bent over with her back to the audience and with her head between her legs blasted her trumpet to “You Gotta Get A Gimmick.”

Petula Clark, 89, belted out “I’m Still Here.” And Imelda Staunton set off a huge ovation with “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”

What the four had in common was devotion to Sondheim. 

“He always considered London his second home,” producer Cameron Mackintosh, who organised the event, told the sellout crowd of about 1,100 at a theatre renamed the Sondheim from the Queen’s in 2019. “He brilliantly has left his incredible legacy of work to the support of future generations of artists through his foundation.”

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