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Broadway Legend Stephen Sondheim Dead at 91

Stephen Sondheim
by Dave Allocca/Startraksphoto.com


Updated: 11/26/2021
11/26/21 "(CNN) Stephen Sondheim, the renowned composer of "Into the Woods," "Sweeney Todd," "Gypsy," "Sunday in the Park with George" and other essential works of musical theater, died early Friday morning at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, according to the New York Times. He was 91. He died suddenly, the Times reported, citing his lawyer and friend F. Richard Pappas. Sondheim had just celebrated Thanksgiving with a dinner and friends the day before, Pappas told the Times. Rick Miramontez, who is a publicist for Sondheim's current Broadway production "Company," confirmed the death to the Washington Post. As lyricist, songwriter, conceptual artist and creative force, Sondheim was perhaps without par in the modern American theater. His works encompassed astonishing range: the updated "Romeo and Juliet" romance of "West Side Story" (for which he wrote the lyrics), the travails of a modern group of friends and lovers in "Company," even the woes of presidential murderers (and attempted murderers) in "Assassins." Over the course of his career, he won an Oscar, a Pulitzer, eight Grammy Awards, eight Tony Awards, a Kennedy Center honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Stephen Sondheim Theater in Manhattan's Theater District is named for him. His song lyrics, in particular, were the gold standard of the theater art, whether defiant ("Rose's Turn"), sad ("Send in the Clowns"), ominous ("Children Will Listen") or simply clever ("Ah, but Underneath"). They were sometimes tricky -- filled with clever rhymes and challenging meters, perhaps natural for a man who once described himself as "a mathematician by nature." But they rarely failed to get to the heart of a character."



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