Magazine article The Sondheim Review

Editor's Letter

Magazine article The Sondheim Review

Editor's Letter

Article excerpt

AS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF WEST SIDE STORY HAS DRAWN CLOSER, I've been imagining what kind of coverage The Sondheim Review could offer. In fact, so much material came forward that it will take two issues to share it. In addition to the features in this issue, and there will be more in Winter 2008.

That's as it should be: The show was a watershed in American musical theatre with its energetic amalgamation of music, dance and lyrics - the latter by a very young Stephen Sondheim, just 27 when West Side Story opened. His work with composer Leonard Bernstein, book writer Arthur Laurents and director/choreographer Jerome Robbins resulted in a show that integrated music, acting and dancing.

I was in elementary school in Ohio back then, so I wasn't infected by the show's jazz-inspired melodies for several years, not until the movie came out in 1961. Even more than the movie, however, I remember its soundtrack, the first LP I ever purchased. I was captivated by the Tony's words: "Could it be? Yes, it could - something's coming, something good." His breathless optimism about the future resonated with me in my early teen years. …

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