Encore Sondheim: The Mature Master

Three Mondays, October 19, 26 and November 2, 6:00–7:30 P.M. | Private residences; addresses will be provided to subscribers | LIMITED ENROLLMENT

Responsible for scores of Broadway scores including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and Assassins, Stephen Sondheim is arguably the most influential artist in American musical theater. He has won seven Tony Awards (more than any other composer) as well as the Special Tony for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, multiple Grammy Awards, an Academy Award and a Pulitzer Prize.

In a continuation of his Fall 2008 series highlighting Sondheim’s early career and collaborations, Paul Hope will examine the composer’s later works and legacy, and his influence on today’s emerging composers. As usual, Mr. Hope will enhance his presentation with vintage film clips and recordings of songs.

October 19: "Stay a Child While You Can Be a Child." Elaborating upon last fall’s series, this session will focus on Sondheim’s life leading up to his successes in the 1970s. We will examine his pivotal mid-career shows, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods.

October 26: "Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos." This session will highlight Sondheim’s later life and career to the present day, exploring his increasingly daring works - Assassins, Passion, and Bounce, and, finally, The Frogs, his foray into ancient Greek comedy.

November 2: "It's the greatest, It's the single, It's the only, It's the perfect, It's the Hi Dreadful Fabulous." In this final session, Mr. Hope will talk about Sondheim’s legacy. As evidence of the inspiration he provided other composers, we will consider Adam Guettel’s Light in the Piazza, Michael John LaChiusa’s The Wild Party, and Jason Robert Brown’s Parade. This may be the most exciting session of all!

Through a special arrangement with the Society for the Performing Arts, Seminar participants enrolled in this series will be able to purchase priority, discounted tickets for the SPA’s presentation of Stephen Sondheim in a rare onstage appearance with New York Times columnist and former chief drama critic Frank Rich, Sunday, October 25, 7:30 P.M., Jones Hall.

Paul Hope is a member of the Alley Theatre’s Company of Actors and has appeared on the Alley stages for fifteen seasons in a wide range of roles, most recently in his highly acclaimed performance as Beverly Carlton (the Noel Coward character) in The Man Who Came to Dinner. He is a veteran of thirty Theater Under the Stars productions and is making his Houston Shakespeare Festival debut this summer as Malvolio in Twelfth Night. He is the founding artistic director of Bayou City Concert Musicals, which for nine years has presented concert stagings of neglected musicals with professional local casts. BCCM has also, under Mr. Hope’s direction, instituted a cabaret series paying tribute to Broadway’s greatest songwriters.

Links to sites outside of The Houston Seminar are not under their control and The Houston Seminar is not responsible for the information or links you may find there.  The presence of the link is not intended to imply The Houston Seminar endorsement.



Upcoming is Spring 2018! 

West Side Story: Leonard Bernstein at 100
Two Wednesdays, March 21 and 28, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Private residence directions to subscribers
A few seats available


Farming Wonders in Richmond, Texas
Saturday, March 24
Details to subscribers
A few seats available


What's on Lisa Falkenberg's Mind
Tuesday, March 27, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, 77004


Gorbachev: His Life and Times
Monday, April 16, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | The Junior League, 1811 Briar Oaks Ln, 77027
Co-sponsored with World Affairs Council of Houston


Behind the Pages: A Conversation with William Middleton 
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:00 P.M.


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.