What I didn't mention is that that production in 2010 was an evening of All Sondheim, done in honor of his 80th birthday.
So, if you enjoyed that one number, I figured why not pass along the whole freaking thing?
It's long -- just over two hours -- though there's a well-placed intermission (sorry, "interval"), so that might be a good play to split things up over a couple of sittings, if you're so inclined
In any event such as things, there will of necessity be choices of what to include and leave out that don't please everyone. I do think it odd to have nothing from West Side Story or Gypsy, though I do understand the decision, since they choice to focus solely on pieces that have both music and lyrics by Sondheim, not just lyrics. Still...he did write them, and they are, I'm sure, proud credentials in his portfolio. A three-minute medley of selections might have fit just fine.
Still, if that's their decision, the evening went wonderfully regardless. Some of it quite magnificent, in particular the sequence of Sweeney Todd in the second half, with Bryn Terfel re-creating his title role, along with Maria Friedman, some very nice material from Sunday in the Park with George, an excellent "Being Alive" from Company, sung by Julian Ovenden, and also Judi Dench, who only performs one number -- except for returning in the finale -- ah, but what a number. She was the original star of the London production of A Little Night Music, and every performance I've seen her give of "Send in..." oh, you know, has been spectacular. What she does this night is no different.
There's a wonderful interval, with behind the scenes footage of the rehearsals, old interviews with Sondheim, and clips of earlier productions and movies. (It's here that there's finally a reference to and clip of West Side Story, though nothing of Gypsy). And it's followed by a pleasant, live interview with Sondheim, who among other things gives (as he always does) full credit to the librettists of the shows he's worked on, saying that all his songs spring from the material and characters they came up with first, "They created something from nothing. I created something from something.")
One oddity is that none of the performers are credited, until the intermission (sorry, "interval") and very end. In addition to the aforementioned people, the remaining two are Jenna Russell and Caroline O'Connor (who I saw a few years ago with my dad in a tremendous production of Follies at the Chicago Shakespeare Festival. She's in a purple dress here).
Here then is the full, wonderful two-hour BBC Proms tribute.
And honestly, even if it wasn't any good, I'd still have posted this, just to be able to use the tile I came up with for this article...