Nobody manages to become an icon of popular culture without being on the Simpsons. Sondheim had his tribute in the famous American television series. Probably for having created the best Broadway musicals of all time, which later, for the most part, had a film adaptation. With them, with his soundtracks, he became the great American composer of the last decades.
SStephen Sondheim has died at the age of 91 at his home in Connecticut, after having celebrated the last Thanksgiving, his relatives told the New York Times. Beloved in America, Europe and Spain for having renovated the theater of the second half of the 20th century.
He is responsible for works such as Into the Woods, on tales of the Brothers Grimm, or Sweeney Todd, about London’s most famous killer barber. His big break came in the 1950s when he was asked to write the lyrics for the songs in the musical. West Side Story, a contemporary version by Leonard Bernstein of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” which depicted classism and racism toward the Latino community in New York. The popularity of this text grew when Robert Wise took it to the movies with Rita Moreno. Right now he is returning to the cinema in the hands of another of the greats, Steven Spielberg.
They are also his the fun Golfus of Rome, Taken to the cinema by Richard Lester and also now in Spanish theaters. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, era the English title of this work from the sixties. An adaptation of the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus, for which he wrote both music and lyrics. Company, a musical without a plot in which a single man at the edge of 35 observes the life of his married friends, which is now certainly adapted in Spain by none other than Antonio Banderas.
His lyrics were never catchy, hence the blockbuster connection with the public that was slow to arrive.. “It is very difficult for me to listen to some of those songs,” he said in an interview in the United States. Sondheim was more successful as a lyricist with the musical Gypsy from 1959, about the striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee and her domineering mother, Rose.
With Sondheim, the great standard-bearer of modern American musical theater disappears and leaves a career that includes an Oscar, a Pulitzer, eight Grammy Awards, eight Tony Awards, a recognition from the Kennedy Center and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In addition to his theatrical work, Sondheim wrote occasional music for films, including the score for ‘Stavisky’, Alain Resnais’ 1974 film about a French financier and con man, and his song ‘Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)’ for Warren Beatty’s ‘Dick Tracy’ and played by Madonna won an Academy Award in 1991. Six albums won Grammy Awards, and ‘Send In the Clowns’ won the Grammy for song of the year in 1975.
Born in New York in March 1930, Sondheim saw his first Broadway musical at the age of 9. It was in 2010, the year he turned 80, that a Broadway theater was renamed Sondheim in his honor. She is survived by her husband, Jeffrey Scott Romley, who is nearly 50 years her junior and whom she married in 2017.