Stephen Sondheim: Adulation isn't easy
Stately and rumpled, Stephen Sondheim descended from an upper floor of his elegant East Side townhouse and submitted to the interview as though it were a necessary barber shop shave. He’s used to these intrusions — the artist obliged to natter on about his work was one of the themes of “Sunday in the Park with George” — but this year the distractions have gone to a harrying new extreme.
Sondheim turned 80 in March, and he’s been blowing out the candles ever since. There was an all-star birthday concert at Lincoln Center (scheduled to air on PBS on Nov. 24). Broadway paid homage with a musical revue, “Sondheim on Sondheim,” interspersed with video clips of the maestro musing about art and life. And now that he has a new book out, “Finishing the Hat,” he finds himself once again thrust into the spotlight, with a West Coast tour that includes a UCLA Live conversation at Royce Hall on Monday night with KCRW’s “Bookworm” host Michael Silverblatt.
Hey, when’s a guy going to get a spare minute to compose the next “Sweeney Todd”?
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— Charles McNulty
Photo: Stephen Sondheim. Credit: Michael Lionstar.