Members of nearly every Broadway company and many others whose roots run deep in theater stood on the red steps in Times Square to honor the incomparable life and legacy of the lyricist and composer, who died on Friday at age 91.
Together, the large assembly of mourners and fans — which included Broadway icons including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Laura Patton, Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban and many more — performed one of Sondheim’s most revered creations, “Sunday” from his acclaimed Sundays in the Park With George.
The musical earned Sondheim the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the original production went on to earn two Tony Awards. The song itself is considered to be one of his most powerful musical creations.
After the tribute event, Bareilles told Variety that the performance “felt like church.”
“In his remembrance, we did what theater does best. We sang and raised our voices and came together in community,” Bareilles shared.
The Broadway legend behind shows like Into the Woods, Company and many more died on Friday morning at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. He was 91.
One of the most lauded and central figures in 20th century American theater, Sondheim, who was born in New York City in 1930, was the composer and lyricist best known for Broadway hits A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), and Into the Woods (1987). He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959).
Sondheim was awarded nine Tony Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 2008), an Academy Award, eight GRAMMY Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award, and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is survived by his husband, Jeffrey Romley, and a half brother, Walter Sondheim.