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Stephen Sondheim In Negotiations for Film Adaptations of FOLLIES, 'WOODS'

Nine time Tony Award winner Stephen Sondheim will hold an onstage discussion about his life and works at Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas.

At the Long Center, his interview partner will be Austin Chronicle arts editor Robert Faires.

In celebration of Sondheim's imminent visit to Austin, Statesman scribe Michael Barnes writes a compelling article about the music master's work and career. One part that jumped out to us was the information that Sondheim was in talks for more movie versions of his classic musicals;

"Although he was pleased with the movie version of "Sweeney Todd" - and he's in negotiations for films of "Follies" and "Into the Woods" - he's not ready to make generalizations about the return of the movie musical, or the success of youth-oriented shows like "Glee" and the "High School Musical" movies."

"Mine are not that kind of musical," he says. "They are not as freewheeling, when the stories are just excuses for the numbers."

To read the entire article, including comment from Sondheim himself, click here.

In one of only a few invitations accepted this year, Stephen Sondheim shares a most personal and engaging view of his work. As one of the most important artist in the American musical theater over the past half-century, Sondheim has collaborated on more than a dozen landmark shows, written countless standard songs, and been the single most influential force in bringing the Broadway musical into the modern age.

During this rare unscripted conversation, you'll learn about Sondheim's career and, in a very personal series of reflections, his own creative process on works ranging from Gypsy and West Side Story to Company, Follies, and Sweeney Todd.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Bounce (2003), Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971, revised in London, 1987), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear A Waltz? (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me A Little (1981), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), and Putting It Together (1992) are anthologies of this work as a composer and lyricist.

For films, he composed the scores of Stavisky (1974) and Reds (1981) and songs for Dick Tracy (1990), for which he won an Academy Award. He also wrote songs for the television production "Evening Primrose" (1966), co-authored the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and the play Getting Away With Murder (1996), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls of Summer (1956), Invitation to a March (1961), and Twigs (1971).

He won Tony Awards for Best Score for a Musical for Passion, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Follies, and Company. All of these shows won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, as did Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George , the latter also receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1985).

Mr. Sondheim was born in 1930 and raised in New York City. He graduated from Williams College, winning the Hutchinson Prize for Music Composition, after which he studied theory and composition with Milton Babbitt. He is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, the national association of playwrights, composers, and lyricists, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981, and in 1983 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1990 he was appointed the first Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University and in 1993 was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.

A rare look into the mind of the most important artist to work in American musical theater over the past half-century. In a live, unscripted conversation with the Austin Chronicle's Robert Faires, Sondheim will share behind-the curtain moments and reflect on the creative process.

A Conversation with Stephen Sondheim, When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Where: Long Center for the Performing Arts, Information: 474-5664, thelongcenter.org

 


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