BritishTheatre

Published on

April 29, 2017

INTERVIEW: Claybourne Elder

By

douglasmayo

Claybourne Elder at Above The Arts

American comedian and musician Claybourn Elder brings his one-man show You and Me and Sondheim to London for one very special performance on April 30, 2017, at 7.30pm at the Arts Theatre London.

Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel award-nominee Claybourne Elder comes to London direct from Sunday in the Park with George on Broadway starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Claybourne shares it all from growing up as a gay Mormon to becoming a modern interpreter of Sondheim. Get intimate with one of New York’s favourite theatre personalities in this hilarious and heartfelt show. Joining Claybourne will be a few, special, surprise guests.

We took a few moments to speak to Claybourne prior to his arrival in London. Book Tickets for Claybourne Elder BT: Tell me a bit about your background? CE: I grew up in Utah as the youngest of 8 children and most of my siblings are psychologists, so I always say that as an actor I chose to study psychology in my own way. I studied acting in Moscow and then got a degree in Dramaturgy before moving to New York where I started my acting career in the premier Sondheim's Roadshow. I got cast off the open chorus call and kept thinking that it was very polite of them to keep calling me back though I thought I would never get the job. Then one day Sondheim was in the room and I thought "whoa, they're serious." During the process of that show, Sondheim was there every day working with us and writing. It was a thrilling time for me and I feel so grateful to Sondheim and John Doyle for taking a chance on me and really jump starting my career. BT: You were recently in Sunday with Jake G, what was that like? CE: Sunday in the Park with George on Broadway was a wonderful time. It started as a one-night concert that extended and then eventually turned into a Broadway run. The cast was a really wonderful group of people and made showing up for work such a joy. Sunday has always been a favourite show of mine and to play it on Broadway and record the cast album really is a dream. I played George in the Helen Hayes award-winning revival at Signature Theatre in 2015 and then again at the Kansas City Rep. So I thought I probably had my chance and I wouldn't get to it again. And then lightning struck a third time! BT: You’re calling your show You and Me and Sondheim – what should audiences expect? CE: Audiences coming to my show should expect some laughing and crying... from me, but I'll try to keep it together as much as possible. The show is a combination of some stand-up that I've done about my life and work and then stories about working with Sondheim at different points in my career. Most of the songs are Sondheim, but there are a few in there that aren't so that my amazing accompanist Annemarie Lewis Thomas can give her fingers a break. It's a tenacious set but I love a challenge. BT: What sort of an impact has Sondheim had of you as a performer? CE: The first musical I remember falling in love with was Into the Woods and the second was Sunday in the Park with George. My first professional job was as Tony in West Side Story and I've had the chance to work on Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park..., Do I Hear A Waltz? Sondheim's writing has always fit on me as an artist. The need to communicate something of necessity is always at the forefront of his work and so, like many singers, I find it to be very satisfying to work on. BT: Do you have a favourite Sondheim song? CE: My current favourite Sondheim song is Isn't He Something from Roadshow. It's a new song in my show and I have loved singing it. I listened to that song every day during Roadshow and suddenly I was listening to the cast album a month or so ago and it jumped out at me and I thought "I have to sing this." That happens a lot with Sondheim I think. BT: Or a favourite Sondheim role you would love to play? CE: I really want to play Bobby in Company. So badly. BT: What is it you are most looking forward to in London? CE: I am really excited to share this show in London. I'm only able to do one performance so it will be full of friends and fans and I will just get to enjoy the one time! Hopefully, I will get the chance to come back and do it again!

BOOK TICKETS FOR CLAYBOURNE ELDER - YOU AND ME AND SONDHEIM

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The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..

ABOUT BRITISHTHEATRE

BritishTheatre.com
Opening Night Media Ltd
3rd Floor, 80 St. Martin’s Lane
Covent Garden
London WC2N 4AA

The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..