Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim

Composer, Lyricist


Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for his immense contributions to musical theater for over 50 years. He was born in New York City in 1930 and in 1942 he moved to Pennsylvania with his mother. He studied piano and organ from a young age and harnessed his songwriting skills while a young student. As a teen, Sondheim met Oscar Hammerstein II and the lyricist soon became Sondheim's mentor.

After majoring in music at college, Sondheim moved back to New York City. In 1956 he met Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins and he subsequently wrote the lyrics for West Side Story, which opened in 1957. This was followed by an opportunity to write the lyrics for Gypsy, opening in 1959 with Ethel Merman in the lead role. This was the beginning of a series of theatrical hits and a hugely successful collaboration with the producer and director, Harold Prince, during the 1970s.

He is the winner of an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer) including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award. Described by Frank Rich of the New York Times as "now the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater", his most famous works include (as composer and lyricist) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods.

In more recent years, his work has seen huge revivals on Broadway and London's West End, including a new, award-winning production of Company (2018) which re envisions the show with a female Bobby. It has also been frequently adapted for film, including Tim Burton's 2007 version of Sweeney Todd and the 2014 film of Into the Woods.

Shows by Stephen Sondheim


Anyone Can Whistle is a musical about political corruption and the vague definition of sanity. The hated mayor Cora Hoover Hooper, has led her small town into bankruptcy. To save the town, she creates a fake "miracle" to a... read more

In this darkly humorous musical review, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman depict nine misfit men and women who attempted to assassinate American Presidents. While every nation has its assassins and would-be assassins, onl... read more

Bounce is the story of men and women in late 19th century America willing to take risks to grab their piece of the American dream. The show specifically focuses on Addison and Wilson Mizner, two brothers who are constantly l... read more

On the night of his 35th birthday, Robert struggles to think of a wish to make as he blows out his birthday candles. The lone bachelor, surrounded by “those good and crazy people” -- his married friends -- Robert is uncertain... read more

After years of struggling as a poor New York secretary, Leona Samish has finally begun her dream vacation to Venice, Italy. While in Italy, she stays at the Pensione Fioria, run by the flirtatious Signora Fioria. At the Pensi... read more

It is 1971, and the iconic Weismann Theater, now a crumbling shell of its former glory, is about to be demolished to provide precious New York City parking space. Broadway impresario Dimitri Weismann arranges a reunion of the... read more

The plot concerns a frog-infested journey by the elderly juvenile, Dionysos, accompanied by his slave, Xanthias, to Hades. The two men are in search of a famous writer who will help them save the world from destruction... read more

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a fast-paced farce that promises to have audiences rolling on the floor. Taking straight from the roots of comedy, Forum combines the ancient comedies of Plautus with a vaudev... read more

Speculated by many to be the greatest of all American musicals, Gypsy tells the story of the dreams and efforts of one hungry, powerhouse of a woman to get her two daughters into show business. Gypsy is loosely based on the... read more

“Be careful what you wish for” seems to be the ongoing theme in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Brothers Grimm inspired musical, Into the Woods. The story follows The Baker and his wife who wish to have a child, Cinderell... read more

In turn of the century Sweden, trysts abound. The lawyer Fredrik Egerman has married the virginal 18-year old Anne, with whom Fredrik’s son, the melancholy academic Henrik, has fallen in love. Desiree Armfeldt, a stage actres... read more

A Broadway review based on characters in Mad Magazine.... read more

Based on George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s 1934 play of the same name, Merrily We Roll Along follows the successful career of Broadway composer turned Hollywood producer Franklin Shepard backward in time. Throughout the cours... read more

Taking place in 19th century Japan, the story concerns the culture clash sparked by America's 1853 mission to open up Japan to the West. Up to this point, Japan had been an island empire living in peace for centuries, undist... read more

Captain Giorgio Bachetti of the Italian military finds himself at a remote base in 1863. He is engaged in a passionate relationship of letters with his beautiful mistress from home, Clara. At the base, however, he catches the... read more

The show is a compilation of songs by Stephen Sondheim, including numbers from Follies, Company, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sweeney Todd, Assassins, Dick Tracy, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park w... read more

‘Side by Side by Sondheim’ is a musical revue focusing on both famous and obscure songs by Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim’s songs bring up themes such as marriage and the meaning of happiness. Cast members use their... read more

Inspired by George Seurat’s magnificent painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s soaring musical is itself an artistic masterpiece. The musical begins with the story o... read more

One of the darkest musicals ever written, Sweeney Todd: A Musical Thriller is the unsettling tale of a Victorian-era barber who returns home to London after fifteen years of exile to take revenge on the corrupt judge who ruin... read more

Inspired by the timeless story of Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story takes Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, and places them in the vibrant battleground of New York City’s West Side in the 1950s. In the midst of the deep-seat... read more

You're Gonna Love Tomorrow is musical revue of the lesser-known songs of Stephen Sondheim and is a follow up to ˜Side By Side By Sondheim'.... read more


Show Categories
Drama, Romance, Dark Comedy, Historical/Biographical, Comedy, Fairy Tale/Fantasy, Farce, Jukebox/Revue, Horror