Judy Collins to Record Her "Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim" For DVD Release

Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Mimi Farina, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Mary Travers are just a few of the great female folk singers to come out of the 60's but Collins didn't stay in the folk tradition. Over the years, she started to mix more styles into her records having hits with the country influenced Someday Soon, the hymn Amazing Grace and the Broadway standard Send in the Clowns.

It was the latter song that will be a centerpiece in Collins special concert, A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim, which she will be performing on Mother's Day at the Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, CO.

That show will be recorded and released later in the year on DVD with Collins offering an advanced copy before its release late in the year through a new Pledge Music campaign. A basic $35 donation will get you a signed limited edition DVD of the show while, on the other end of the scale, $500 will net lunch with Judy while $5,000 brings an original water color by Collins.

The development of the show goes back to late 2014 when Collins developed the cabaret show Finding Sondheim. At that time, there were plans to go on to a CD and a PBS special but they are yet to materialize.

Collins' version of Send in the Clowns from A Little Night Music went to number 36 on the Hot 100 and 8 on the Adult Contemporary charts in 1975 and became the second biggest hit of her career behind Both Sides Now. Sondheim also told Collins it was his one and only charted hit, although that is pushing the truth a bit.

Sondheim's career started with collaborations on two major Broadway hits, West Side Story with Leonard Bernstein and Gypsy with Jule Styne. Johnny Mathis had a minor hit with Maria from West Side Story while Ferrante and Teicher went to number 8 in 1981 with the show's Tonight.

In 1962, Sondheim "went solo", writing the music and lyrics for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He followed with Anyone Can Whistle? and his final collaboration, Do I Hear a Waltz? with Richard Rodgers.

Sondheim is probably best known, as a composer, for his post-1970 shows such as Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sunday in the Park With George and Into the Woods.

Photo: Collins' Pledge Music page

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