Magazine article The Sondheim Review

Editor's Letter

Magazine article The Sondheim Review

Editor's Letter

Article excerpt

WRITER WENDY SMITH OPENS HER EXTENDED ASSESSMENT OF STEPHEN SONDHEIM by noting that, when he made his Broadway debut - as the lyricist for West Side Story in 1957 - "only one critic even bothered to mention his name." But in the intervening half-century, Sondheim overcame that deficit. Smith's essay, "Good Thing Going: Stephen Sondheim only looks better with time," was first published in the Autumn 2007 issue of The American Scholar, the quarterly magazine of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. We are pleased to reprint her analysis in this issue of TSR.

Smith surveys the sweep of Sondheim's works and topics - "A musical about marriage? About the death of the musical? About imperialism? About cannibalism? Why not?" - and concludes that (picking up a lyric from a Sondheim song that Ted Chapin adopted for his Follies memoir) "everything was possible."

Sondheim's creativity and invention (he insists on sharing the honors with his book writers, as he did in the remarks he asked Mandy Patinkin to read on his behalf at the Tony Awards in June 2008) have not only entertained audiences for 50 years, they have also provided an endless supply of subject matter for TSR. …

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