The Life and Legacy of Stephen Sondheim

The Daily

By The New York Times

The Life and Legacy of Stephen Sondheim

Friday, 3 December

Stephen Sondheim died last week at his home in Roxbury, Conn. He was 91.

For six decades, Mr. Sondheim, a composer-lyricist whose works include “Sweeney Todd” and “Into the Woods,” transformed musical theater into an art form as rich, complex and contradictory as life itself.

“For me, the loss that we see pouring out of Twitter right now and everywhere you look as people write about their memories of Sondheim is for that person who says yes, devoting yourself to writing or to dancing or to singing or to composing — or whatever it is — is a worthwhile life,” Jesse Green, The Times’s chief theater critic, said in today’s episode. “And there really is no one who says that as strongly in his life and in his work as Sondheim does.”

Today, we chart Mr. Sondheim’s career, influence and legacy. 

Guest: Jesse Green, the chief theater critic for The New York Times.

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Background reading: 

With a childlike sense of discovery, Stephen Sondheim found the language to convey the beauty in harsh complexity.Mr. Sondheim was theater’s most revered and influential composer-lyricist of the last half of the 20th century, and he was the driving force behind some of Broadway’s most beloved and celebrated shows.

For more information on today’s episode, visit Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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