Towering Musical Theater Master, Broadway's 'West Side Story' Writer, Stephen Sondheim Dies at 91
Nov 27, 2021 2 mins, 59 secs
NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Sondheim, the songwriter who reshaped the American musical theater in the second half of the 20th century with his intelligent, intricately rhymed lyrics, his use of evocative melodies and his willingness to tackle unusual subjects, has died.

Music supervisor, arranger and orchestrator Alex Lacamoire tweeted: “For those of us who love new musical theater: we live in a world that Sondheim built.”.

Sondheim’s music and lyrics gave his shows a dark, dramatic edge, whereas before him, the dominant tone of musicals was frothy and comic.

A Broadway theater was named after him.

A New York magazine cover asked “Is Sondheim God?” The Guardian newspaper once offered this question: “Is Stephen Sondheim the Shakespeare of musical theatre?”.

Taught by no less a genius than Oscar Hammerstein, Sondheim pushed the musical into a darker, richer and more intellectual place.

“If you think of a theater lyric as a short story, as I do, then every line has the weight of a paragraph,” he wrote in his 2010 book, “Finishing the Hat,” the first volume of his collection of lyrics and comments.

Early in his career, Sondheim wrote the lyrics for two shows considered to be classics of the American stage, “West Side Story” (1957) and “Gypsy” (1959).

It was not until 1962 that Sondheim wrote both music and lyrics for a Broadway show, and it turned out to be a smash — the bawdy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” starring Zero Mostel as a wily slave in ancient Rome yearning to be free.

It was “Company,” which opened on Broadway in April 1970, that cemented Sondheim’s reputation.

The show, produced and directed by Hal Prince, won Sondheim his first Tony for best score.

The following year, Sondheim wrote the score for “Follies,” a look at the shattered hopes and disappointed dreams of women who had appeared in lavish Ziegfeld-style revues.

The music and lyrics paid homage to great composers of the past such as Jerome Kern, Cole Porter and the Gershwins.

The musical, also produced and directed by Prince, was not a financial success, but it demonstrated Sondheim’s commitment to offbeat material, filtering its tale of the westernization of Japan through a hybrid American-Kabuki style.

Three years after “Sunday” debuted, Sondheim collaborated again with Lapine, this time on the fairy-tale musical “Into the Woods.” The show starred Peters as a glamorous witch and dealt primarily with the turbulent relationships between parents and children, using such famous fairy-tale characters as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel.

The show received mostly negative reviews in its original incarnation, but many of those critics reversed themselves 13 years later when the show was done on Broadway and won a Tony for best musical revival.

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim in January 1976.

At the same time, Sondheim wrote his first musical, “Saturday Night,” the story of a group of young people in Brooklyn in 1920s.

It was to have opened on Broadway in 1955, but its producer died just as the musical was about to go into production, and the show was scrapped

President Barack Obama presents musical theater master Stephen Sondheim with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on November 24, 2015

Over the years, there have been many Broadway revivals of Sondheim shows, especially “Gypsy,” which had reincarnations starring Angela Lansbury (1974), Tyne Daly (1989) and Peters (2003)

A reimagined “West Side Story” opened on Broadway in 2020 and a scrambled “Company” opened on Broadway in 2021 with the genders of the actors switched

In September 2010, the Henry Miller Theatre was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre

1. COVID-19 Variant: 5 reasons you should not deliberately catch omicron to 'get it over with' - WPVI-TV
Jan 12, 2022 # health 4 secs
2. Selling Sunset star Heather Rae Young steps out for a pampering session at a spa in Newport Beach - Daily Mail
Jan 12, 2022 # entertainment 1 min, 24 secs
3. How Kanye "Ye" West REALLY Feels About New "Muse" Julia Fox - E! Online
Jan 10, 2022 # entertainment 11 secs
4. PlayStation Is Phasing Out PS Now Gift Cards Amid Speculation of Game Pass-style Service - IGN - IGN
Jan 12, 2022 # technology 33 secs
5. China builds 'artificial moon' for gravity experiment -
Jan 14, 2022 # science 1 min, 22 secs
6. China Has Built an ‘Artificial Moon’ on Earth That Can Make Gravity 'Disappear' - News18
Jan 15, 2022 # science 50 secs
7. Martin Luther King III: History will remember Sinema "unkindly"
Jan 14, 2022 # breaking 56 secs
8. 15 Essential Shortcuts to Add to Your Android Home Screen - Gizmodo
Jan 11, 2022 # technology 1 min, 26 secs
9. Washington state borrowers to get $35M in Navient settlement | -
Jan 15, 2022 # politics 1 sec
10. Doctor reveals he suffered irrational panic and feared his son would die after catching the virus - Daily Mail
Jan 10, 2022 # health 1 min, 52 secs
11. Guillain-Barré syndrome: What is it? - Fox News
Jan 12, 2022 # health 54 secs
12. Two people in China die from bird flu with three others in hospital - Daily Mail
Jan 15, 2022 # health 1 min, 42 secs
13. Source - Houston Texans fire coach David Culley after just one season - ESPN
Jan 13, 2022 # politics 45 secs
14. Biden to amp up the pressure on the Senate to change filibuster rules for voting rights during Atlanta speech - CNN
Jan 11, 2022 # politics 3 mins, 14 secs
15. BAFTA Unveils Longlists For 2022 Film Awards: Complete List - Deadline
Jan 12, 2022 # entertainment 1 min, 24 secs
16. Boosters, layered protections remain crucial as COVID numbers rise - New Hanover County
Jan 13, 2022 # health 48 secs


Get monthly updates and free resources.


© Copyright 2022 365NEWSX - All RIGHTS RESERVED