Emily Skinner celebrates Sondheim and more

Tony Award-nominee Emily Skinner is becoming a very welcome presence on The City’s performing arts scene. She led a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s seldom performed “Do I Hear a Waltz?” for 42nd Street Moon in 2014 and helped anchor the stellar female ensemble of the composer’s waltz-time “A Little Night Music” last spring at American Conservatory Theater.

She returns Sunday for an afternoon salon at the Venetian Room courtesy of Bay Area Cabaret.

Will there be more Sondheim?

“Of course!” she laughs. “It’s lot of classic Broadway with a little bit of contemporary musical theater as well. I talk about my love of arcane musical theater and my love of Sondheim.”

It should all be fresh in her mind since she just appeared in “Sondheim Unplugged,” her second February gig at Manhattan’s 54 Below, following a reunion concert with Alice Ripley there earlier in the month.

She and Ripley came to prominence and made Tony Awards history by sharing a leading actress in a musical nomination for playing conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton in “Side Show.” They also recorded two albums together.

“We have a really good blend,” she says with only a little irony. “I think we complement each other because we’re very different, as performers and people. Yet when we sing together it’s a, I don’t know, just sort of a special thing.”

Skinner’s other Broadway credits include “Jekyll & Hyde,” “The Full Monty” and “Billy Elliott.”

A regular in both theater and concert venues around the country, Skinner went global last fall with a production of “The Prince of Broadway,” which may land her back in the show’s titular location.

“It was a big adventure. I think it may be the first time a brand new U.S. show aiming for New York has tried out in Japan. I think it was a big deal for them other there, too. The audiences were wonderful and intense.”

The Prince in the title is iconic producer-director Hal Prince, longtime collaborator with a certain previously named composer on eight new shows over 25 years including “Follies” and “Sweeney Todd.”

“I sort of end up being ‘The Sondheim Girl’ in the show,” she says, “so I’m talking about that in this concert and, you know, talking about the moments that I’ve actually worked with Steve.”

While she is keen to return to Broadway in the fall, she adds, “But I’ve done shows regionally that have been more satisfying than things I’ve done on Broadway, frankly, so I really look forward to just whatever is next and is interesting to me.”

Emily Skinner
Presented by Bay Area Cabaret
Where: Venetian Room, Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St., S.F.
When: 5 p.m. March 6
Tickets: $55
Contact: (415) 392-4400, www.bayareacabaret.org

Robert Sokol

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