Today’s Groupon offers an upgrade from your biography audio books. For $20, you’ll experience legendary lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s candid confessions at The Society for the Performing Arts on Sunday, October 25, a $42 value. New York Times columnist and former chief drama critic Frank Rich will prompt the esteemed composer to reflect on his career, collaborations, and creative process during the 7:30 p.m. performance at Jones Hall.
Sondheim’s illustrious credits include Gypsy, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, and Sweeney Todd 2: American Ninja, making him one of the most important artists to work in American musical theater over the past 50 years. This unscripted conversation not only examines his personal and professional lives, but also explores the state of theater today. You’ll take in the performance from seats in the rear orchestra and lower balcony section C at the beautiful Jesse H. Jones Hall, a downtown venue that’s dazzled visitors with its slopped travertine marble façade and elegant interior since 1966.
Marathon episodes of VH-1’s Behind the Music have you well-versed in the explicit exploits of '80s hair bands and '90s rappers, but you blank when it comes to the background of harmonious heavyweight Stephen Sondheim. This Groupon will broaden your cultural horizons, help you become a better Trivial Pursuit partner, and provide you with a new appreciation for the stage.
- Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, 79, continues to dominate the genre he has constantly reinvented, first with Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins on West Side Story in 1957, Company (1970), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979) and Sunday in the Park with George (1984). – Carla Power, Time
Sweeney Ted and Other Off-Broadway Hits
Many of Stephen Sondheim’s famous musicals take well-known works or characters (West Side Story = Romeo and Juliet) and update their timeless tales for modern audiences. In this same spirit, off-Broadway writer, lyricist, composer, director, and producer Darren Fingle has re-imagined several of Sondheim’s works. Here are Fingle’s comments about some of his greatest hits:
Gypsies: “Boy, I was pretty sure I was going to get sued for this one. To make the lawyers happy, I added a scene where giant robots fight each other and changed that song to ‘Everything’s Coming Up Robots’.”
A Different West Side Story: “You can’t copyright a part of town! The story is basically the same as the regular West Side Story, but some of the characters in mine are giant robots who have forbidden love.”
Sweeney Ted: “I didn’t change much in this case because the original seems to also be about robots. A huge hit!”
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