Broadway has never been the same since its arrival. Musicals have never been the same. Stephen Sondheim, who died at 91, had been one of the theater legends for decades. Composer and lyricist he created musicals that immediately became classics. Just mention West Side Story of which he wrote the words on the music of Leonard Bernstein.
His lawyer made known his death. He died suddenly at his home in Roxbury. Here he had celebrated Thanksgiving with some friends. “Thank God,” he wrote Barbra Streisand, “Sondheim lived to be 91, so he had time to write wonderful music and lyrics. May she rest in peace”.
Active since the 1950s, in addition to the drama inspired by Romeo Juliet and set in a multi-ethnic New York, he wrote, among others: Company with the song Being Alive that Adam Driver sings in The Story of a Marriage, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd e Into the Woods, both of which became films, the first shot by Tim Burton with Johnny Depp as the killer barber. In total he composed both the lyrics and the music for 12 performances of Broadway, has worked on over 20, 5 of which have won a Tony for best musical and 6 for best soundtrack. Sunday in the Park won the Pulitzer Prize.
He also wrote original soundtracks. For Dick Tracy won the Oscar for Best Song of 1991 with the song Sooner or later sung by Madonna. He was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors and the Medal of Freedom by President Obama. A Broadway theater has been named after him since 2010 and there is also one in London’s West End. For her 90th birthday she had virtural wishes from Meryl Streep, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald.
As a child he had fallen in love with the musical. The meeting with one of the greatest and most influential authors of American musical theater was fundamental, Oscar Hammerstein. Until 1999 she had a relationship with playwright Peter Jones. From 2004 he was linked to Jeff Romley whom he married in 2017. “Stephen Sondheim created fantastic worlds and characters, but at the center of every story he told was a boy from New York. And that boy was a legend. One of the brightest lights on Broadway went out tonight. May he rest in peace, ”tweeted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
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