What to read to transform your sordid musical into a miracle



Think you know all there is to know about Stephen Sondheim? Think again. Take this ten-part series with our favourite books, articles and tips on creating the perfect musical.

1. The bible of Sondheim: On Adaptations

Even the most avid fan of Sondheim could benefit from this top-to-bottom review of some of the best adaptations of his work, whether it be from a stage or screen.

Sondheim’s an author and screenwriter by trade – his books usually feature on Goodreads’ best-sellers list – but he is much more than an epic storyteller. We’re inclined to believe this for two reasons: 1) From the group of songs that dominate his classic musicals, he only directs one production and 2) He almost never shows his face – the one exception being his final bow as a member of The Company on Broadway in 1971.

The life story of the man behind the songs: Stephen Sondheim Read more

2. New Sondheim: How to Sing All 50 of His Songs

Take a look at the extraordinary quality of every note sung on stage at an extraordinary performance of Tony Award-winning musical Company at Carnegie Hall. We offer you Sondheim’s songs, with a real-time soprano and piano accompaniment (see second video). It’s absolutely magnificent.

3. Family of Friends: Songs, Plays, and Magic

The strength of this collection is rooted in Sondheim’s personal experience as a child. Created by his own old band from New York City – the Sondheim Sings – this collection of speeches, short pieces and music has played a crucial role in Sondheim’s evolution as a composer and performer.

4. Wonderful Lies

This article is a book club episode for our latest series, and the very first title to air in the series, which you can catch up on now. From Steven Sondheim, one of Broadway’s most revered composers, we give you the guide to getting the perfect Sondheim musical in your life.

5. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

So Long! And Thanks for All the Fish has huge possibilities if you’re a Sondheim fan. Take a look at our debut playlist, which you can check out again here.

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