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On Sondheim – An Opinionated Guide - Oxford Scholarship Online
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On Sondheim: An Opinionated Guide

Ethan Mordden


Stephen Sondheim’s Company appeared in 1970, and the American musical theatre has never been the same. The adventures of a bachelor and his married friends, Company exploded the musical’s traditional business model of romantic tales with a beginning, middle, and end (in that order) and neatly packaged songs. In Sondheim’s shows, the music flows in and out of the stories, often completely taking over, and romance may be overshadowed by doubt. Moreover, Follies (1971) skips the beginning, Sunday in the Park With George (1984) lacks a middle, and Merrily We Roll Along (1981) has an end, a middle, ... More

Keywords: Stephen Sondheim, Company, Follies, musicals, Sweeny Todd, classical composer, Into the Woods

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199394814
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199394814.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ethan Mordden, author
Freelance writer, New York, NY