As someone who grew up loving musical theater, Stephen Sondheim has always been a god to me. Whether through Company or watching as a Georges Seurat painting comes to life on stage in Sunday in the Park With George, there is just something about Sondheim’s work that reaches into you and refuses to let go.
I have often found myself crying to his shows, sitting in silence and thinking of the brilliant artistry that goes into each and every song Sondheim creates. Maybe it’s because of his sad nature when he was younger, or maybe it’s just his ability as a creator, but Stephen Sondheim knows how to reach his audience.
When I saw the closing performance of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Sunday in the Park with George, Stephen Sondheim was there. When he came out the stage door, I was one of the few people who instantly recognized him. All I could do was start clapping, and when he got close enough, I just blabbered about how much his work meant to me. Then, a college student leaned over and asked me who that was, and I about died on the spot, but still, I looked at the man who gave me so much and just sobbed at him.
All that being said, I’m not the only one to have this reaction to Stephen Sondheim. In fact, there are many around the world who hold Sondheim’s work as their bible, and today, on the 89th birthday of the musical genius, many around the globe have taken to sharing their love of Sondheim.
(This tweet says 88th, but it is, in fact, Stephen Sondheim’s 89th birthday)
in my first year of uni i had a framed picture of sondheim next to my bed and people would always be like ‘o is that your grandad?’ and i’d have to be like ‘no it’s eight time tony award winning composer stephen sondheim’ happy 88th birthday mr sondheim
— ash✨ (@ashleysmilne) March 22, 2019
Throughout the day, we’ve all taken to Twitter to share our favorite stories, shows, and more from the famed composer.
“Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.” Happy 89th birthday to Stephen Sondheim, a rare and unrivaled musical genius! pic.twitter.com/v6vsRbIWEX
— Tribeca (@Tribeca) March 22, 2019
stephen sondheim leaving be more chill at intermission is exactly the kind of energy i’m trying to take with me into 2019
— dar (@thederrierefair) March 15, 2019
happy birthday to my father, stephen sondheim https://t.co/ADToKKn1oZ
— laura j. brown (@laurjbrown) March 22, 2019
wow it is stephen sondheim’s birthday today!!! i’ll drink to that etc etc
— ❄️kyle (win)turner❄️ (@TyleKurner) March 22, 2019
Happy Birthday Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Because of this day I was helplessly bitten by “the bug”. Your songs and shows gave a kid trapped inside himself a place to play and I’ll always be grateful.
— josh groban (@joshgroban) March 22, 2019
Happy birthday to Stephen Sondheim, the only thing I like
— Megan Amram (@meganamram) March 22, 2019
Happy birthday to Stephen Sondheim and the time I tried to creep a pic of him but thankfully he didn’t notice pic.twitter.com/2FF7CLd89l
— Marc (@MarcSnetiker) March 22, 2019
Happy birthday, Stephen Sondheim.
Thank you for giving us so much to see. pic.twitter.com/8ICVcfDcph
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 22, 2019
Happy birthday to the man, the legend, Stephen Sondheim. We love you.
(image: Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The New Yorker)
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