This Sunday, tune in to On Broadway (Ch. 77) to hear a special full-day tribute to Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim, who passed away last week at the age of 91.During the Sunday is for Sondheim tribute, On Broadway will air music from the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-lyricist’s celebrated and seminal musicals, words from the man himself on a complete play of “Sondheim on Sondheim,” On Broadway host Seth Rudetsky’s cast reunions with stars from several of his beloved shows like Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park and Into the Woods, some of which feature exclusive live performances, and include marquee names like Bernadette Peters, Jason Alexander, Len Cariou and more.
There will be airings of a concert event initially broadcast by XM for Sondheim’s 80th birthday in 2005, Wall-To-Wall Sondheim, presented by Symphony Space in New York City, which includes rare performances of iconic songs from Tony Award winners Neil Patrick Harris, Laura Benanti, Donna Murphy, Michael Cerveris, Judy Kaye and many others.
The tribute will also open the encyclopedia on Sondheim with a 4-part special from host Bill Rudman’s On the Aisle. No other American songwriter has ever been honored with an encyclopedia that would literally document his work from A to Z. In these very special episodes, Rudman chats about the 600-page book with author Rick Pender, and they share dozens of great Sondheim songs along the way.
Much of On Broadway’s tribute content will be available to stream beyond Sunday’s broadcasts with the SiriusXM app.
Sondheim was one of the most influential and revered composers and lyricists of the last half of the 20th century — from his earliest days writing lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy, through his first Tony-winning hit A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and his groundbreaking musicals of the ’80s and ’90s (Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Pacific Overtures, Company, Into the Woods, Passion and Assassins). Overall, he wrote the music and lyrics for a dozen Broadway shows, five of them won Tony awards for best musical, six of them for Best Original Score, and one that took home the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Additionally, Sondheim occasionally wrote music for films, and won an Academy award for “Sooner or Later” from the movie Dick Tracy. He also worked with the best singers on Broadway, such as Elaine Stritch, Angela Lansbury, Barbara Cook, and Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin, Len Cariou, Raul Esparza, Nathan Lane, and many more. Sondheim recently attended two of his shows currently running in New York, the Broadway revival of Company, starring Patti LuPone, and the Off-Broadway musical Assassins at Classic Stage Company.
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