Cormack and Sondheim: Side by Side

Amelia Cormack’s Erin James talks to Amelia Cormack about Side By Side by Sondheim

“Two Steinway grand pianos, four cast members, some frocks, some stools and an amazing night of Sondheim’s music…”

This, in a nutshell, is how Australian music theatre performer Amelia Cormack (pictured) described the upcoming production of Side By Side by Sondheim, playing at Sydney’s Seymour centre next week. So if seeing two Steinways onstage together isn’t enough to shift your attention away from Conviction Kitchen or Grey’s Anatomy and propel you to the theatre, then see it for the talent on display.

Amelia Cormack, known for her performances in Love Bites and Priscilla, stars in the revue-style show alongside internationally acclaimed singers Margi De Ferranti and Enda Markey. Also included in the cast is television personality Jessica Rowe, taking the role of the narrator. (pictured below).

Speaking to this week, Cormack was evidently thrilled to be a part of this production, and is eagerly anticipating the upcoming April 12 opening night.

“It’s certainly going to be one of the most vocally exciting shows to see” she said. “The design of our show is very minimalistic – so the focus is on the material. It showcases Sondheim’s music so beautifully”.

Originally performed on the West End in 1976 and featuring music from shows like Follies, Company, West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Little Night Music and Gypsy, this sophisticated and clever piece of theatre remains one of Sondheim’s most performed works.

Side by Side Cast“We are rehearsing at the moment, and I must say that sharing duets with Margi De Ferranti is… Amazing!”, Cormack gushes.

“When I was a little girl I always wanted to play Maria in West Side Story, and then I grew up and I realised I never would. So, the first time Margi and I sang “A Boy Like That/I Have A Love” (from West Side Story) the little girl inside me was saying ‘this is incredible!!’”

“I do have a tendency to like the really dramatic numbers… “
(She is singing the coveted song Losing My Mind in this production, and I’d buy my ticket just to see this piece).

“But there are some other pieces I am singing which resonate with me at this moment in my life…”

After this season of Side By Side by Sondheim, Cormack is planning on making the move to the Big Apple, to try her luck in NYC –  the home of music theatre and Broadway. So when asked her favourite songs to sing in this production, she replied:

“It’s a toss up between ‘Another Hundred People’ and ‘Broadway Baby’ at the moment. Being able to sing these two pieces is very apt!”
With staging and choreography by Nathan Wright, accompaniment (on the two Steinway grands) by Lindsay Partridge and Craig Renshaw and designer frocks by George Gross and Harry Who, Side By Side by Sondheim is quite a cocktail affair.

A minimal set and an evening of Sondheim’s sophistication playing at the Seymour Centre Sydney from April 12th – 16th: with such music and such talent on show for 6 performances only, this is not a production to miss.

For Booking Information visit the Side By Side Website, follow them on Facebook and Twitter

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Erin James is's Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin has written 1,546 articles on AussieTheatre | Read more articles by

Follow Erin: @ErinEJames