December 5, 2022

Stephen Sonheim, American musical titan, has died at the age of 91

More than most songwriters learn in a lifetime, Mr. According to Sonheim’s account, it was an afternoon long training session that taught him a lesson. Hammerstein devised writing exercises for him: turn a good play into a musical instrument; Transforming a defective play into a musical; Turn a story into music from another medium; And, finally, write a music from your own original story. This was done by the young Mr. Sonheim did, a project where he graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, where he completed his theatrical work with intensive compositional research. Under Robert Barrow, Intellectual Strict Expert in Reconciliation, from Mr. Sonheim took the lesson, as he put it, “Art is not inspiration, innovation comes with craftsmanship.” Mr. Sondheim will then study independently Milton Babbitt, Avant-garde composer.

Mr. Sondheim’s first professional show was not in the Business Work Theater; Through an agency representing Hammerstein, he was hired to write for the 1950s television comedy “Dopper,” about a fast-paced banker hunting down a couple of urban ghosts. (Much later, Mr. Sonheim co-wrote the screenplay for the Hoodunid film “The Last of Sheila” with actor Anthony Perkins; it was produced in 1973 and directed by Herbert Rose.) In the 50s he became a fan of word games. And inventor of puzzles, and elaborate games. From 1968 to 1969, he created secret crosswords for the New York Press.

His friend, playwright Anthony Schaefer, acknowledged his involvement in the play’s misdirection and mystery, and in his play “Slut” the somewhat Mr. Based on Sonheim. (The play was once tentatively titled “Who’s Afraid of Stephen Sonheim?”)

Mr. Sondheim was in his early 20s when he wrote his first professional show, a concert called “Saturday Night”, which was directed by Philip G. And Julius J. An adaptation of Epstein’s play “Front Porsche in Flatbush”. After composer Frank Loser rejected it, he got a job writing both words and music. The show was scheduled to air in 1955, but producer Lemuel Ayers died before raising money for it, and production stopped. The show did not run until 1997 by a small company in London; It later appeared in Chicago and finally had its New York premiere in 2000 at the Second Stage Theater on Broadway.

Mr. Sonheim hated to take one of his first Broadway kicks, “West Side Story” and “Gypsy,” because he’s not just a composer, songwriter – “I admit I love writing music more than lyrics.” “Finishing the hat.” But he agreed with both on the advice of Homerstein, who said he would benefit from working with the likes of Bernstein; Since Lawrence, (author of the book) and director Jerome Robbins, wrote for the first episode, and for a star like Ethel Merman in the second, he loved the highly experienced Broadway hand Joule Stein. Composer.