Sondheim the Softie
Bernadette Peters and Stephen Sondheim at Signature's Sondheim Award Gala on Monday night. (Russ Hirshon)
Things we learned at Signature Theatre's first Sondheim Award dinner Monday night: Stephen Sondheim is a real softie -- the legendary composer wiped his eyes as Eleasha Gamble performed two of his favorite songs: "Home" from "The Wiz" and "My Man's Gone Now" from "Porgy and Bess."
Bernadette Peters is ... 61. (We lost the bet.) The living kewpie doll still looks amazing: red curls, curvy figure, no visible wrinkles.
Since founding Signature 20 years ago, artistic director Eric Schaeffer has produced 18 Sondheim musicals, more than any other theater in the country.
The composer, 79, accepted the first Sondheim Award by urging that it be given not to just the "venerable folk" but promising young artists as well: "I think awards should be like manure -- spread around to make things grow."
The Reliable Source
April 29, 2009; 1:00 AM ET
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