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Student Blog: Ode to 'Steve'

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Just days ago, the theatrical community lost one of it’s greatest minds and hearts; Stephen Sondheim.

Just days ago, the theatrical community lost one of it's greatest minds and hearts; Stephen Sondheim. His old age did not make his death any less of a shock, and his admirers are feeling the weight of his absence.

Sondheim's work means a great deal to me. West Side Story is a masterpiece; a perfect contrast of love and despair, light and dark - and written in partnership with the great Leonard Bernstein, nonetheless. Into the Woods is a classic, Company is a riotous work of genius, Sunday in The Park With George is magic, and of course - Sweeney Todd, my favorite musical, is as lyrically stimulating as it is musically inspiring, and beautiful as it is haunting.

Sondheim didn't just gift us melodies, he taught us about life. In a single phrase, he could define the true meaning of love, or grief. He taught us to feel bigger. His work will live on forever in the souls of those that loved him.

So, from one of those that loved him, here are my top five favorite Sondheim lyrics.

"Sometimes people leave you halfway through the wood

Do not let it grieve you, no one leaves for good." Into the Woods

"Maria,

Say it loud and there's music playing

Say it soft and it's almost like praying." West Side Story

"Today the world was just an address

A place for me to live in

No better than all right

But here you are and what was just a world is a star tonight" West Side Story

"I was half convinced I'd waken

Satisfied enough to dream you" Sweeney Todd

"Whence comes this melody constantly flowing,

Is it rejoicing or merely hallowing

Are you discussing, or fussing, or simply dreaming?

Are you crowing? Are you screaming?" Sweeney Todd

"Demons'll charm you with a smile, for a while

But in time

Nothing can harm you

Not while I'm around" Sweeney Todd

(Okay, maybe that was six. I love Sweeney - and I love Sondheim.)


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