On This Gay Day: Composer Stephen Sondheim was born

Stephen Sondheim was born on this day in 1930

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim was born in New York on this day in 1930.

Sondheim’s Broadway career kicked off in 1957 when he provided the lyrics for West Side Story, while Leonard Bernstein composed the musical score.

Sondheim would go on to write many successful Broadway shows where he was responsible for both the music and lyrics, these include A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Company, Gypsy, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Into the Woods, Assassins, Sunday in the Park With George and Passion. 

Described as a ‘giant of musical theatre’, many of Sondheim’s works have been made into feature films. He also contributed several songs to the 1990 Warren Beatty film Dick Tracy which were performed by Madonna and Mandy Patinkin.

His music has been recorded by a diverse range of artists including Pet Shop Boys, Liza Minnelli, Phil Collins, The Supremes,  Gloria Estefan, Gloria Gaynor, Shirley Bassey and Frank Sinatra. While The Ladies Who Lunch has been a popular number for countless drag performers over the years.

On New Year’s Eve 2017 Sondheim married his partner Jeffrey Scott Romley. Sondheim passed away in November 2021, aged 91.

To celebrate Sondheim’s 91st birthday in 2021, Broadway World highlighted 91 great tunes he wrote.

OIP Staff, This post was originally published in 2020, and subsequently updated.  

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