Remembering Stephen Sondheim, Musical Theater Visionary

His death late last month at 91 was a huge loss to modernisation of the American musical.

Sondheim, an apprentice of Oscar Hammerstein II, added nuance and nuanced complexity to the marriage of lyrics and music, elevating the form above the level of simple amusement and into the consciousness of the American mind. “Company,” “Follies,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Sunday in the Park With George,” and “Into the Woods” were among his most known works during the 1970s and 1980s (1987).

It’s currently in previews on Broadway for a “Company” revival with a gender-swapped lead role.

On this week’s Popcast, we discuss Stephen Sondheim’s legacy, his involvement in pop music, the evolution of his musicals, and whether or not the current crop of lyricist-composers can claim to be his actual heirs.

Guests:

Jesse Green, Leading Theatrical Reviewer at The New York Times

Who is Elisabeth Vincentelli? She is a New York Times writer who covers theatre, music, and television.

Popcast is a good place to start. You can join the Popcast community by signing up here: Be a part of the show’s Facebook and Discord groups. Our ears are open for your thoughts and ideas! Send your feedback to [email protected] On Twitter, you can find Jon Caramanica at @joncaramanica.