Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Stephen Sondheim 1930-2021


Recommended Posts

Sondheim was a master of moving the story of his musicals along with the songs. There are many of his musicals which I have never seen and only listened to on the soundtracks, but I could easily follow the story because of how well the songs interpret the actions of the plays.

My favorite Sondheim song sung by the wonderful Mandy Patinkin:

~RIP, Mr. Sondheim

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The first show I ever saw on Broadway, as a young teen, was A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which was Sondheim's first Broadway musical for which he had written both music and lyrics. It was late in the run, and starred Dick Shawn by then, Zero Mostel having left to get ready for Fiddler.  It was a great thrill for my friends and I -- 15 year olds who came down from the Bronx -- to see that great musical at the Majestic Theatre, our first Broadway show.

When Stephen Sondheim turned 80, the Proms at the Albert Hall, London, presented a tribute to him, featuring many leading British artists. I particularly enjoyed this great quartet singing one of the funniest songs from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid." 

 

 

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 3
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

"..... Few songs have gotten as unfair a deal as "Send In The Clowns." At some point, the combination of the fact that it was a pop hit for Judy Collins and the fact that it has "clowns" in the title started people down the road of thinking it was a corny easy-listening tune, when it's actually — like so much of Sondheim — quietly, memorably devastating. ......

...."Finishing the Hat" is a song that showcases some of his favorite moves, including that little bauble that repeats when George sings "win-dow."

But more than anything, I think of this song as the work of a writer who was incredibly imposing and incredibly exacting, and saw creativity as something wholly absorbing, whether it was the creation of a song or a painting or a hat. ......"

:)

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Swithin said:

Stephen Sondheim wrote "Send in the Clowns" specifically for Glynis Johns, who introduced it on Broadway in the premiere production of A Little Night Music, in February 1973. The show was nominated for twelve Tony Awards, winning six:  Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical (Ms. Johns), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Patricia Elliott), and Best Costume Design.

Yes. .. Absolutely Lovely Bit of Information There.

   Thank You

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MikaelaArsenault said:

Nathan Lane said in an interview that Stephen Sondheim was working on a new musical called Square One, and he along with Bernadette Peters were involved in a reading of the new work.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/VIDEO-Nathan-Lane-Talks-Reading-of-a-New-Sondheim-Musical-With-Bernadette-Peters-20210915

https://variety.com/2021/theater/news/stephen-sondheim-dead-91-tribute-lea-salonga-josh-gad-1235120396/

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite Sondheim song is "The Road You Didn't Take" from Follies, which I have sung in group shows or cabaret settings several times. John McMartin's version in the original cast album is splendid, but the tempo now seems too fast. Laurence Guittard's version is very well sung. But I'm fond of Ron Raines' performance at what seems to me the ideal tempo:

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Swithin said:

The first show I ever saw on Broadway, as a young teen, was A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which was Sondheim's first Broadway musical for which he had written both music and lyrics. It was late in the run, and starred Dick Shawn by then, Zero Mostel having left to get ready for Fiddler.  It was a great thrill for my friends and I -- 15 year olds who came down from the Bronx -- to see that great musical at the Majestic Theatre, our first Broadway show.

When Stephen Sondheim turned 80, the Proms at the Albert Hall, London, presented a tribute to him, featuring many leading British artists. I particularly enjoyed this great quartet singing one of the funniest songs from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid." 

 

 

You.. DEFINITELY Seem to Have a Thoroughbred LOVE Of (Just About) All Things Music. *im a music junkie myself; except for country. **except except for Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, and the Gorgeous Sounding Alison Krauss.

Did You Ever Have Chance/Opportunity to have the Honor and Privilege of Meeting that Amazing, Special, Funny(bone) Forum Cast ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

He was a titan of the industry and deserves to be mentioned, though my expertise in Broadway songwriting is quite limited, and I'm probably not the greatest authority on him or his work. I did recently read most of the new Mike Nichols biography by Mark Harris, and Sondheim is mentioned a number of times as a close acquaintance of Nichols. I forget now if Nichols ever directed any shows with Sondheim numbers on Broadway, but Shirley MacLaine sings Sondheim's "I'm Still Here" in Postcards from the Edge.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

He was a titan of the industry and deserves to be mentioned, though my expertise in Broadway songwriting is quite limited, and I'm probably not the greatest authority on him or his work. I did recently read most of the new Mike Nichols biography by Mark Harris, and Sondheim is mentioned a number of times as a close acquaintance of Nichols. I forget now if Nichols ever directed any shows with Sondheim numbers on Broadway, but Shirley MacLaine sings Sondheim's "I'm Still Here" in Postcards from the Edge.

 

 

This is the song that made Alexis Smith a star in middle age on Broadway. She won a Tony for "Follies".

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't recommend more strongly the documentary about the Broadway cast recording sessions of "Company."

I bought it on VHS and watched it repeatedly.  Fortunately, it was later released on DVD.  A new version was released this summer with additional Sondheim commentary.

Elaine Stritch attempting to perfect "The Ladies Who Lunch" over and over and over under Sondheim's meticulous scrutiny and direction is almost heartbreaking. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, King Rat said:

My favorite Sondheim song is "The Road You Didn't Take" from Follies, which I have sung in group shows or cabaret settings several times.

I find performing a song a wholly different experience from listening to it. When you perform it, you discover all the nuances that are part of the individual art. Sondheim was a gifted composer who traveled far outside the realm of the simple 2/4 verse/chorus/verse/chorus trope.

This unique-ness usually doesn't elicit mindless "tune humming" when leaving the theater, but instead impacts you deeper, once followed & learned.

6 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

He was a titan of the industry and deserves to be mentioned, though my expertise in Broadway songwriting is quite limited, and I'm probably not the greatest authority on him or his work.

Me too, I'm just catching up with many of his musicals. But hearing of his passing last night, I still recognised our great loss. Thank goodness he was productive all the way to the end!

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was fortunate enough to have seen the final performance of "Merrily We Roll Along", which was 40 years ago tomorrow. 

It opened to pretty negative reviews, and I agree that the production and story were flawed, but much of the music remains sublime.

I revisit the cast recording frequently,  particularly "Not a Day Goes By" and "Our Time."

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Sondheim and the actor Anthony Perkins wrote the screenplay for "The Last of Sheila," the stylish and witty 1973 murder mystery directed by Herbert Ross ("The Goodbye Girl," "The Turning Point").
 
The story revolved around a millionaire movie producer named Clinton Green (James Coburn) whose gossip columnist wife (Yvonne Romain) was killed in a hit-and-run accident after a party in Southern California. A year later, with the homicide still unsolved, Green decided to ferret out the culprit himself. He invited six of the partygoers -- Hollywood insiders -- to a yachting trip in the south of France, where he hosted a very special parlor game.

 The players/suspects were a director (James Mason), a high-powered agent (Dyan Cannon), an actress and her husband (Raquel Welch, Ian McShane) and a screenwriter and his wife (Richard Benjamin, Joan Hackett).

Related image

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music for one of my favorite films: Warren Beatty's Reds (1981). Although much of the film's music consisted of old standards from the early 20th Century, Sondheim's original musical contributions are lovely:

 

  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, another one I thought was already long gone.

I'm not that familiar with musicals and their histories and who wrote what except for a few.  And his song "Send In The Clowns" never once upon hearing the title made me imagine an "easy listening" tune. Have NO idea anyone was smoking when they made that claim.   Anyway......

A familiar name connected to music for many years(as I recall) And no denying his exceptional flair for melody and lyric,  it was a blessing he was with us, and will indeed be remembered fondly.

Rest In Peace,  Stephan.

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jakeem said:

Sondheim and the actor Anthony Perkins wrote the screenplay for "The Last of Sheila," the stylish and witty 1973 murder mystery directed by Herbert Ross ("The Goodbye Girl," "The Turning Point").

I watched this recently when on a Dyan Cannon kick. Loved it. Sondheim knew how to entertain people.

I heard a news story yesterday that stated he was Hammerstein's protegé. I did not know that. Young, insightful talent given incredible opportunity to learn from a master's experience...add a lot of dedication and hard work....what a legacy.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...