In the history of musical theatre, there are names that have become legend. Rodgers and Hammerstein usually ring bells for even the casual audience member. Stephen Sondheim was a student of Hammerstein and learning at the hands of a master helped turn Sondheim into one of the most complex musical theatre composers ever. His shows test the usual constraints of what many are used to seeing and hearing in musicals. Let’s take a look at five of his best musicals.
5. “Sunday in the Park with George” (1984) Inspired by a painting, this complex musical follows an artist as he works on his masterpiece. Sondheim served as both lyricist and composer.
4. “Assassins” (1990) Always toying with edgy characters, Sondheim turned many famous assassins throughout history into a musical. Sondheim both composed the music and wrote the lyrics.
3. “Company” (1970) A concept musical, “Company,” really showed Sondheim’s willingness to take chances. It bounces around in time and follows a guy named Bobby as he balances wives and girlfriends and friends. Sondheim wrote the lyrics and composed the music.
2. “Sweeney Todd” (1979) A complex, operatic musical, “Sweeney Todd” soars in a terrifying way. It follows a demon barber who seeks revenge. Sondheim wrote both the music and lyrics.
1. “Into the Woods” (1987) Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics to this beloved musicals that turns well known fairy tales on their head and shows what happens after happily ever after ends.
Stephen Sondheim has many incredible shows not on this list, but I think this is his top five best shows that he created both musically and lyrically. Definitely, check out these amazing shows!.