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Happy Birthday to My Favorite Sad Composer, Stephen Sondheim!


Stephen Sondheim being Stephen Sondheim

As someone who grew up loving musical theater, Stephen Sondheim has always been a god to me. Whether through Company or watching as a Georges Seurat painting comes to life on stage in Sunday in the Park With George, there is just something about Sondheim’s work that reaches into you and refuses to let go.

I have often found myself crying to his shows, sitting in silence and thinking of the brilliant artistry that goes into each and every song Sondheim creates. Maybe it’s because of his sad nature when he was younger, or maybe it’s just his ability as a creator, but Stephen Sondheim knows how to reach his audience.

When I saw the closing performance of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Sunday in the Park with George, Stephen Sondheim was there. When he came out the stage door, I was one of the few people who instantly recognized him. All I could do was start clapping, and when he got close enough, I just blabbered about how much his work meant to me. Then, a college student leaned over and asked me who that was, and I about died on the spot, but still, I looked at the man who gave me so much and just sobbed at him.

All that being said, I’m not the only one to have this reaction to Stephen Sondheim. In fact, there are many around the world who hold Sondheim’s work as their bible, and today, on the 89th birthday of the musical genius, many around the globe have taken to sharing their love of Sondheim.

(This tweet says 88th, but it is, in fact, Stephen Sondheim’s 89th birthday)

Throughout the day, we’ve all taken to Twitter to share our favorite stories, shows, and more from the famed composer.

Happy birthday to the man, the legend, Stephen Sondheim. We love you.

(image: Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

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Rachel (she/her) is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album, and would sell her soul for Pedro Pascal as Kraven the Hunter. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. Secretly Grogu's mom and Lizzie Olsen's best friend.