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Sunday, August 7, 2022
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    Entertainment Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim dies at 91

    Sondheim was born on March 22, 1930, in New York City. Lyricist Stephen Sondheim, helped American musical theater evolve beyond pure entertainment and reach new artistic heights with works such as “West Side Story” “Into the Woods” and “Sweeney Todd,” died early Friday at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, at the age of 91. Sondheim whose eight lifetime Tony Awards surpassed the total of any other composer started early, learning the art of musical theater when he was just a teenager from “The Sound of Music” lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. In a tweet Friday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said of Sondheim: “One of the brightest lights of Broadway is dark tonight. May he rest in peace.”
    Actor and singer Anna Kendrick called Sondheim’s death “a devastating loss.” “Performing his work has been among the greatest privileges of my career,” Kendrick added in a tweet.
    “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who was mentored by Sondheim, has called him musical theater’s greatest lyricist.
    Sondheim’s most successful musicals included “Into the Woods,” which opened on Broadway in 1987 and used children’s fairy tales to untangle adult obsessions, the 1979 thriller “Sweeney Todd” about a murderous barber in London whose victims are served as meat pies, and 1962’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” a vaudeville-style comedy set in ancient Rome.
    I love theater as much as I love music and the whole idea of getting across to an audience and making them laugh making them cry just making them feel is paramount to me,”
    He also developed new methods for presenting a play. Instead of telling a story from beginning to end, he would jump backward and forward in time to explore a single theme. It was called the “concept musical.”
    Broadway audiences were introduced to Sondheim with “West Side Story” in 1957. The story about a love affair between a Puerto Rican girl, Maria, and a white boy, Tony, in working-class Manhattan was turned into an Oscar-winning film in 1961. The central characters expressed their infatuation in the songs “Maria,” “Somewhere” and “Tonight.”

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