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'My Favorite Sondheim' Showcased at New Rochelle Library

Eric Jennings gives a closer look into the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim.

The Musical Genius. Credit: Roberto Cutino Jr.
The Musical Genius. Credit: Roberto Cutino Jr.

The New Rochelle Public Library Sunday was the setting for a presentation of the music of Stephen Sondheim.

The Ossie Davis Theater was nearly filled to capacity as Eric Jennings displayed his passion for the work of Sondheim.

Jennings, who has degrees in musicology and opera, is no stranger to the New Rochelle Public Library, having presented there for the past five years.

“I still get nervous,” said Jennings.

Jennings stressed the importance of preparation; he was asked to present My Favorite Sondheim earlier in the year but decided he wanted to “take my time.”

He said he wanted to deliver the most personal, and intriguing presentation that the audience could connect with.

Barbara Davis, the library's community relations coordinator, spoke of the significance of having Jennings as the speaker at an event.

She said that Jennings keeps everyone “captivated” and acknowledged his preparedness.

“He puts in so much time and effort,” Davis said.

Bina Raskin from Larchmont said that she was “touched” by the presentation.

“It was a mixture of intellectual, emotional and passionate expressions,” she said.

Raskin also pointed out that the experience “made you understand Sondheim better.”

An audience member who did not know much about Sondheim’s work prior to the presentation was Gabriel Soriano from the Bronx. He calls himself a “lover of art.”

The experience sparked an interest that will motivate him to dig deeper into Sondheim’s on his own.

“I didn't know Sondheim before,” Soriano said. “I will now.”

There will be another performance of My Favorite Sondheim at the library Sunday, November 24.

The program was made possible by the Friends of the New Public Library. 

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