Stephen Sondheim: Musical Analysis

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Stephen Sondheim is a well known composer in the Broadway community. His rare talent of writing both music and lyrics has earned him a “cult following.” His followers adore him due to his sophisticated music, topics, and approaches; however, four musicals made a particular impact toward Sondheim’s life, and affected his songwriting career. These four musicals are West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Sunday in the Park with George.
Stephen Joshua Sondheim was born on March 22, 1930 in New York City, New York, United States. When he was younger, he studied music and enjoyed school. When he was ten years old, Sondheim met and studied under the famous lyricist
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West Side Story’s protagonists are Tony and Maria whom were originally played by Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence respectfully. The reason why the couple is not together is because Tony and Maria’s relatives are in rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. This parallels the feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets, in Romeo and Juliet. The couple falls in love at a dance sponsored by the school, and meet secretly at Maria’s place later on in the night. The main difference between Romeo and Juliet and its modern equivalent West Side Story is that Maria, who represents Juliet, lives after the play’s actions. The other parts of both the play and the musical stay the…show more content…
The solution was to do a similar idea to another show of a typical Sondheim twist, presented in shows such as A Little Night Music and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: the characters’ storylines would eventually intertwine. A major difference between Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the other two musicals is the ending is full of ironies. For example, Sweeney Todd kills Judge Turpin for killing his wife. In reality, right before Todd kills Turpin, Todd kills the beggar wife, who find out was his wife Lucy. Some famous songs from the show are “Not While I’m Around”, “Epiphany”, “A Little Priest”, “God, That’s Good”, “Pretty Women”, and
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