12.01.2021 (53 days ago)

Will Sondheim Rest in Peace?

Will Sondheim Rest in Peace?
53 days ago 11 comments Categories: Entertainment Blogs Tags:

Stephen Sondheim died last week at the age of 91.  His incredible career spanned six decades. He shook up Broadway by breaking the mold of the ‘Happy Ending Musical”.  Sondheim was a believer that great art should explore characters and culture in a deeper way.  He was never satisfied with his work and always looked at each revival of his many shows as a chance to make the productions and the songs better.  I agree with his designation as an artistic genius!


Sondheim even criticized some of his landmark work in the 1957 musical, West Side Story, as featuring some unintelligible lyrics.  He longed to depict characters with completeness.  Critics feel that in his 1970 Company, Sondheim found the formula that would make his next 40 years of writing more satisfying for him. He depicted characters who face life’s challenges of marriage and mortality.  I saw Send in the Clowns on Broadway in 1973.  Who would think that the Sondheim song, Send in the Clowns would be a hit for Frank Sinatra, Judy Collins, and Barbara Streisand.  Every time, I listen to the song, the mystery of the song resonates for me.  Each can be interpreted from so many perspectives.  Sondheim’s music has that quality of holding a personal message.  And, after seeing many of his shows multiple times they seem fresh and wondrous. Even, after seeing Sweeney Todd three times and Sunday in the Park five times, I always felt that there was more to appreciate from each song.


Sondheim had 20 major productions including: Follies, Into the Woods, and Passion.  I think that he would want his work to be analyzed and reconfigured for the ages.  Someone who lived and created with fury into his nineties and even went to see two Broadway shows on the Wednesday before his death is someone we can look up to as not only a genius but also as an amazing role model.


Do you have a favorite Sondheim show or song?  My favorite show is Sunday in The Park and  my favorite song is Move On from “Sunday”.


What is your favorite Sondheim show and/or song?

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