Stephen Sondheim, known for contributing some of the most beloved musicals of all time to the musical theater canon, is not shy about expressing his dismay with the current Broadway and West End offerings in the UK Times. Of the selections du jour he says: "There is an anodyne homogeneity that governs Broadway musicals, so I don't see many. There's nothing wrong with having a lot of commercial crap as long as you have something else. Unfortunately, nearly everything on Broadway is commercial crap. The same is true of the West End. When I scan what's on, my heart sinks into my boots."
While Sondheim can appreciate hits such as The Book of Mormon as a "fun college show", in response to the idea that this perceived trend could be permanent, Sondheim remarks: "I think so. Commercial theatre will only get more narrow as time goes on. There are so many forms of entertainment, theatre is becoming more marginalised. It's become 'an event': you see Wicked on your anniversary. I don't think commercial theatre can fulfil a function as a constant feeding ground for emotions and thoughts."
For the full report in The Times, click here.
Stephen Sondheim is the winner of one Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer), multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award. His most famous scores include A Little Night Music, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and Assassins. He additionally wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy. Film contributions include contributing the song "Goodbye For Now" to the 1981 Warren Beatty film Reds, and five songs for the 1990 movie Dick Tracy, including Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man), which won the Academy Award for Best Song. He was last represented on Broadway with the revival of Follies.