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The Musicals of Stephen Sondheim: An Insider's Look at His Hits and Misses

Sean Hartley – Kaufman Music Center

The composer and/or lyricist of 18 major musicals, Stephen Sondheim is undeniably the most influential musical theater writer of his generation. But despite his success with critics and his shelves full of awards, most of his musicals lost money, and he has almost as many detractors as fans.

This lecture will focus on Sondheim’s 3 major phases (the "lyrics only" phase, the Hal Prince years and the James Lapine collaborations) to determine not only which shows hit or miss, but also how his writing has changed the way we think about musical theater. Kaufman Music Center Director Sean Hartley will perform a few essential songs to illustrate points.