Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban and members of almost every current Broadway company honoured Stephen Sondheim with a special performance in New York's Times Square on Sunday (28.11.21)
The legendary composer - who was behind musicals such as 'West Side Story' and 'Gypsy' - died on Friday (26.11.2021) at the age of 91 and stars of the stage, as well as fans, got together to celebrate his life with a touching rendition of his song 'Sunday' from 'Sunday in the Park with George'
1 December 2021
'Waitress' star Sara told Variety: "This felt like church. In his remembrance, we did what theatre does best. We sang and raised our voices and came together in community."
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During the event, Lin-Manuel offered a speech, by reading out from Sondheim's annotated anthology 'Look I Made a Hat', where he detailed the song that would go on to be sung in his memory.
He read: "Once during the writing of each show, I cry at a notion, a word, a chord, a melodic idea, an accompaniment figure.
"In [‘Sunday in the Park with George’], it was the word ‘forever’ in ‘Sunday. I was suddenly moved by the contemplation of what these people would have thought if they’d know they were being immortalised.”
Following his comments, the 'Hamilton' composer and the chorus got to perform the song one final time, joined by actors, directors and crew members from across the Broadway community.
Singer Josh - who starred in the musical 'Chess' - was among the stars quick to pay tribute to Sondheim and explained the meaning behind the song that has been dedicated to his memory.
He said: "Everybody who’s here has a touchstone for why Sondheim’s music has brought them to this place. And whatever part of the entertainment industry we’re in, everybody is here because we were first influenced by Sondheim’s music. To mourn his passing is a crushing blow. 'Sunday,’ is about capturing moments and holding on to them while we have them, even the ones that might seem ordinary. It’s a song about gratitude, about making sure to hold each other close."
During his lifetime, Sondheim - who also composed other hits such as 'Sweeney Todd' and 'Into the Woods' - received nine Tony Awards, eight Grammys and a Pulitzer Prize.