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Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim has died at 91

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Stephen Sondheim, died, Sweeny Todd

Stephen Sondheim, one of many legends of Broadway, has died on the age of 91. His lawyer and pal, F. Richard Pappas, introduced Sondheim’s demise earlier in the present day, however a trigger isn’t identified right now. Evidently Sondheim’s passing was sudden as he had celebrated Thanksgiving with a dinner with mates the day earlier than.

Even should you’re not a follower of musical theater, it’s arduous to disregard simply how influential and ground-breaking Stephen Sondheim’s work has been. It’s been stated that Stephen Sondheim “reinvented the American musical” all through his profession, and he’s one of many few main composers who additionally wrote lyrics for his personal scores.

Stephen Sondheim caught the musical theatre bug early on and was lucky sufficient to be mentored by Oscar Hammerstein II, the lyricist behind The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, The King and I, and extra. Throughout an interview with the Academy of Achievement, Sondheim described how Hammerstein II gave him his first actual critique and set him on the trail.

I wrote a present at George College known as By George, and it was all about native campus actions. I used to be 15. I believed it was so terrific I used to be positive that Rodgers and Hammerstein, who had been producers in addition to writers, would need to produce it instantly, and I might be the youngest songwriter on Broadway. I requested him (Oscar Hammerstein) if he would learn it and he stated positive, and so he known as me the following day and I went over, and I stated, “Now, you understand, I need you to essentially deal with this like an expert, as should you didn’t know me, as if it simply crossed your desk.” And he stated, “All proper, in that case it’s the worst factor that ever crossed my desk.” And I used to be shocked, and he knew how disillusioned I used to be, to place it mildly. He stated, “Now I didn’t say it wasn’t gifted,” he stated, “however if you wish to undergo it, I’ll inform you what’s improper with it.” And he began proper from the primary stage course, and he handled me like an grownup. He handled me as if I had been an expert, and by the tip of the afternoon I used to be on my approach to being an expert.

After years of wrestle, Sondheim discovered his first main success writing the lyrics for West Facet Story and Gypsy: A Musical Fable. Sondheim went on to write down and rating A Humorous Factor Occurred on the Solution to the Discussion board, Firm, Follies, A Little Evening Music, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Road, Sunday within the Park with George, Into the Woods, and extra. Over the course of his lengthy profession, Sondheim gained eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and an Academy Award, to not point out numerous different nominations.

Over the a long time, we’ve seen quite a lot of variations of Stephen Sondheim’s work on the massive display, together with the basic 1961 model of West Facet Story directed by Robert Smart and Jerome Robbins. There’s additionally Richard Lester’s A Funny Factor Occurred on the Solution to the Discussion board, Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Road, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, and extra. The most recent adaptation of West Side Story comes courtesy of Steven Spielberg and will probably be hitting theaters subsequent month. Richard Linklater can be engaged on an adaptation of Merrily We Roll Alongside which, much like Boyhood, will shoot each couple of years to replicate the twenty-year span of the musical.

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