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Sondheim's Old Friends to transfer to Manhattan Theatre Club in Spring 2025


Manhattan Theatre Club in association with CMI and Daryl Roth presents

Cameron Mackintosh's Production of STEPHEN SONDHEIM'S OLD FRIENDS


Starring Bernadette Peters & Lea Salonga

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Devised by Cameron Mackintosh

Musical Staging and Direction by Matthew Bourne

Side by Side with Julia McKenzie

Choreography by Stephen Mear

Originally Produced in London by Cameron Mackintosh


Previews Begin March 25, 2025

Center Theatre Group will present the North American premiere of Old Friends at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in advance of the Broadway premiere.

Cameron Mackintosh said, “Old Friends was Steve's idea, born during lockdown, when he suggested it was time (and we had plenty of it!) we put together a third review of his work, to follow from the worldwide hit Side by Side By Sondheim in 1976 (my first!) and Putting It Together (which Julia McKenzie directed at the Manhattan Theatre Club starring Julie Andrews in 1993). Though we had started work, very sadly on Thanksgiving 2021 Steve moved on. So, a few weeks later over the Christmas holidays I collated all our notes and, drawing on material from all the other shows Steve, Julia and I had worked on over the years, completed ‘our farewell show’. In May 2022, we staged a star-studded Gala in London’s West End at the Sondheim Theatre (which I had rebuilt and renamed after him) to celebrate Steve’s work and raise funds for his new Foundation. It was a sensational success that sold out within hours, screened simultaneously at the nearby Prince Edward Theatre, and was subsequently broadcast on TV on the BBC. The material held together so brilliantly that I decided to press ahead and give Old Friends the full stage life Steve and I had always planned. The show opened in September 2023 at London’s Gielgud Theatre, directed by Matthew Bourne, side by side with Julia McKenzie, and choreographed by Stephen Mear. Starring Bernadette Peters (making her West End debut at long last!) and Lea Salonga, it received rave reviews and nightly standing ovations during its 16-week run. It is a tremendous joy to now be bringing Old Friends to the Ahmanson in Los Angeles and to be back side by side with Lynne Meadow at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York thanks to Daryl Roth’s support, with a terrific company headed again by my old friends Bernadette and Lea with many other stars to be announced shortly. Audiences are in for a joyous and unforgettable evening featuring some of the greatest songs ever written for the musical theatre in ‘a great big Broadway show’ – just as Steve wanted.”