Stephen Sondheim: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josh Groban join Times Square performance in memory of composer

‘In his remembrance, we did what theatre does best. We sang and raised our voices and came together in community,’ said singer Sara Bareilles

Maanya Sachdeva
Monday 29 November 2021 09:48
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Stephen Sondheim, icon of American Musical Theater, dead at 91

Members of the Broadway community gathered at Times Square to celebrate legendary composer Stephen Sondheim’s life and legacy on Sunday (28 November).

The musical theatre icon passed away on Friday (26 November) at his home in Connecticut, aged 91.

Filmmaker Lin-Manuel Miranda and singers Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles were among the mourners that gathered on the red steps of TKTS in Times Square, New York to perform “Sunday” from the Pulitzer Prize winner’s production Sunday in the Park with George.

Speaking with Variety, Bareilles said: “In his remembrance, we did what theatre does best. We sang and raised our voices and came together in community.”

She also shared a photo of Miranda reading from the late composer’s Look, I Made A Hat at Times Square, on Instagram.

Bareilles captioned the post: “Singing the sermon of #sondheim. Together in community, in tears, in time. Lin reading from the book of Stephen, gathering us in, toward the soft ache of loss and reverence and memory and holding how we are all held by the work of this one man.”

“We don’t know what we mean to each other. We can’t possibly. It is everything,” the singer wrote on social media.

Groban commented: “It was beautiful.” with a heart emoji.

The “You Raise Me Up” singer told Variety : “Everybody who’s here has a touchstone for why Sondheim’s music has brought them to this place.”

Explaining the significance of “Sunday” in the wake of Sondheim’s passing, Groban added: “”Sunday” is about capturing moments and holding on to them while we have them, even the ones that might seem ordinary.”

“It’s a song about gratitude, about making sure to hold each other close.”

Sondheim’s friend and lawyer F Richard Pappas announced his passing on Friday, describing his death as “sudden”.

Regarded as one of the foremost artists of the 20th Century, Sondheim reportedly celebrated Thanksgiving a day prior to his death at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut.

Over a broadway career spanning six decades, Sondheim wrote the lyrics for the Broadway classic West Side Story and composed Into The Woods, and co-created show like Sweeney Todd, Company, and Gypsy.

In the wake of Sondheim’s passing, fellow musical theatre star Barbara Streisand tweeted: “Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics! May he Rest In Peace.”

Jake Gyllenhaal, Tick, tick...Boom director Miranda, and Anna Kendrick were among the stars that paid tribute to Sondheim’s genius, and unparalleled contribution to the world of musical theatre.

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