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‘Putting It Together’: A retrospective of Sondheim’s greatest songs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Stephen Sondheim is one of the most important figures in the history of musical theater.

His credits range from “Sweeney Todd” to “Into the Woods,” and his lyrics are embedded into popular culture.

This is why Landmark Musicals is staging “Putting It Together,” a retrospective review of Sondheim’s greatest songs.

“There are 32 songs,” says Darby Fegan, Landmark music director. “There’s a lot of planning in this one.”

The review draws its title from a song in “Sunday in the Park with George.” It was composed by Sondheim and Julia McKenzie and has had several productions since its premiere in England in 1992.

The 1999 Broadway revival featured Carol Burnett, George Hearn, John Barrowman, Ruthie Henshall and Bronson Pinchot.

“Putting It Together” takes place in a New York penthouse, and it has a seven-member chamber orchestra that is incorporated into the set.

With a bit of imagination, the guests transform the apartment into the stage of an abandoned theater, an estate in Sweden, an island outside Paris, a street off the Roman Forum, the woods of a fairy tale and a mythical town in the Southwest. It is directed by William R. Stafford and choreographed by Louis Giannini.

There are five actors who sing 32 songs in two acts from 10 of his shows.

“Plus, there are four numbers from ‘Dick Tracy,’ ” he says. “There is minimal dialogue.”

The five singers in Landmark’s production are Colin Burdge, Laurie Finnegan, Michael Finnegan, Jenni Goodman and Dan Sparacino.

Fegan says the group has been rehearsing for a couple of months.

“It’s a challenge,” he says of the productions. “I will be conducting from the piano, and each song goes into the other. There’s a fluidity to it all. But I’m loving every minute of it.”