Stephen Sondheim (b. 1930) is a composer and lyricist of Broadway musicals. Among the many honors bestowed upon him include an Academy Award, multiple Tony and Grammy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Kennedy Center Honor.
Oscar Hammerstein II became a surrogate father to the young man, becoming a significant influence on the future composer and lyricist.
A prolific composer, his credits include the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy, as well as the music and lyrics for Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Anyone Can Whistle, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Assassins, Passion, and Bounce among others. These shows have also featured many stars of the stage, including Ethel Merman, Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters, Whoopi Goldberg, Mandy Patinkin, Louise Gold and B. D. Wong.
His show Into the Woods was optioned for film by the Jim Henson Company, but that version never came to fruition. Stage adaptations that have appeared on the big screen include A Little Night Music (with Elizabeth Taylor), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (with Zero Mostel), and Tim Burton's version of Sweeney Todd (with Helena Bonham Carter).
His songs have also been the subject of several compilation revues, the first of which, Side By Side By Sondheim, is credited with starting the trend of composer compilation revues. His song "Send in the Clowns" became a top 40 hit for singer Judy Collins, and his "Everything's Coming Up Roses" is a perennial favorite of The Tournament of Roses Parade.
Songs Performed by the Muppets
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Music by Jule Styne
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
- from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
- from Company
- from Follies
- from A Little Night Music
- His musical A Little Night Music was spoofed in the title of the Grouch song "A Little Grouch Music."
- In the "Elmo the Musical" segment, "Repair Monster the Musical," a hammer sings a parody of "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.