Today, we celebrate what would have been the 92nd birthday of one of the most illustrious and beloved musical theatre artists ever: Stephen Sondheim, the composer-lyricist behind such landmark musicals as Sweeney Todd, Follies, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, and Company.
We're taking a look back at the beginning of the theatrical legend's career and his first-ever Playbill bio. Though Sondheim made his Broadway debut contributing background music to N. Richard Nash's play The Girls of Summer in 1956, his first Playbill bio would come a year later with West Side Story, for which Sondheim penned lyrics. Straight from the Playbill Vault, read this piece of Broadway history below.
Written with composer Leonard Bernstein and book writer Arthur Laurents, West Side Story, a modern take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, would go on to become a true Broadway classic. A new film adaptation of the piece, directed by Steven Spielberg, is nominated for Best Picture at the 2022 Academy Awards. Mr. Sondheim passed away last year on November 26 at the age of 91.