As The Blast previously reported, Stephen Sondheim passed away in his home on Friday, November 26, 2021. The death was described as “sudden,” as Sondheim had been celebrating Thanksgiving with his family no more than a day before.
The death came as a shock to many fans and people in the industry that he had worked with. Sondheim was not only a musical theater composure, but he had been credited with reinventing the American musical. He wrote the lyrics for “West Side Story” in 1957 and created 1979’s “Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and 1987’s “Into the Woods.”
Throughout his life, Sondheim was honored with nine Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Oliver Award, and even a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
Many musical theater stars, actors, singers, and fans took to social media in order to express their condolences for the late creator, and celebrate some of his best known works.
There’s a place for us
Somewhere a place for us
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
We’ll find a new way of living
We’ll find a way of forgiving
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there
– Stephen Sondheim https://t.co/BOBD9RcxLd
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 26, 2021
Broadcaster, journalist, and author Keith Boykin took to Twitter to share the lyrics of “Somewhere” from “West Side Story.”
The popular musical “West Side Story” tells the story of two teenagers who are living in New York City, set in the 1950s. The two teenagers fall in love, although they are from two ethnic backgrounds. The play has remained a constant favorite of many throughout the decades and has even been turned into a movie that will debut on December 10, 2021.
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“Sex and the City” actress and activist Cynthia Nixon took to Instagram to share a black-and-white photo of Sondheim. She posted the lyrics to “You’ll Never Get Away From Me” from Sondheim’s 1959 musical “Gypsy.”
The full title “Gypsy: A Musical Fable” is loosely based on the 1957 memories of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee and her mother, Rose, who created the stereotype of the “show business mother.”
The song became a pop culture phenomenon when it was sung by Bette Middler in 1993 for the film adaptation of the musical.
Perhaps not since April 23rd of 1616 has theater lost such a revolutionary voice. Thank you Mr. Sondheim for your Demon Barber, some Night Music, a Sunday in the Park, Company, fun at a Forum, a trip Into the Woods and telling us a West Side Story. RIP. 🙏 https://t.co/jHX7ob9JWv
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) November 26, 2021
“Frozen” voice actor Josh Gad also tweeted out his respects to Sondheim, saying, “Perhaps not since April 23rd of 1616 has theater lost such a revolutionary voice. Thank you Mr. Sondheim for your Demon Barber, some Night Music, a Sunday in the Park, Company, fun at a Forum, a trip Into the Woods and telling us a West Side Story. RIP.”
Future historians: Stephen Sondheim was real. Yes, he wrote Tony & Maria AND Sweeney Todd AND Bobby AND George & Dot AND Fosca AND countless more. Some may theorize Shakespeare’s works were by committee but Steve was real & he was here & he laughed SO loud at shows & we loved him
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 27, 2021
“Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda also took to Twitter as he praised many of Sondheim’s many accomplishments to musical theater.
“Future historians: Stephen Sondheim was real. Yes, he wrote Tony & Maria AND Sweeney Todd AND Bobby AND George & Dot AND Fosca AND countless more. Some may theorize Shakespeare’s works were by committee but Steve was real & he was here & he laughed SO loud at shows & we loved him & last week, when I wrote him to say his ears must be burning from the countless Sondheim kindnesses being shared from the generations of writers he mentored, he wrote this in reply. Steve: you repaid your debt to Oscar 1000 times over. We love you. I love you. THANK YOU. -LMM”