Saturday, April 24

Sondheim on South Bank Show Revisited this Sunday

Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday which was on 22nd March will be celebrated in a special edition of the The South Bank Show Revisited due to be broadcast on Sunday 25th April at 10.15 pm. Melvyn Bragg travelled to Stephen Sondheim’s home in Manhattan and carried out the interview on the eve of his 80th birthday.

Sondheim talks movingly about his childhood, his parents’ divorce and Oscar Hammerstein becoming "like a surrogate father". He describes his big break which was writing the lyrics for West Side Story (something he wasn't over keen to do but was advised by Hammerstein that it might be good experience for him to work with Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins!)  Sondheim also talks in depth about the construction of his music.

This will be the third time that Stephen Sondheim has been the subject of The South Bank Show: the first was in 1980 when working on Sweeney Todd: the second in 1984 when The South Bank Show invited him to take a master class with students of the Guildhall School Of Performing Arts and the third time he was interviewed on their profile of Broadway Hal Prince who is Sondheim’s long-term collaborator. (Hal Prince is currently co-directing a brand new musical: Paradise Found which is due to open at the Menier Chocolate Factory on 19th May).

The South Bank Show Revisited includes clips from the current Broadway productions of A Little Night Music starring Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta Jones and West Side Story.

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