Taking a creative journey with Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim showed me the beauty, terror and exquisite pain of being alive, writes Sonya Suares.

What did Stephen Sondheim mean to me? This is an attempt to bring order to the chaos.

My first encounter with his work is a re-run of the 1962 film adaptation of West Side Story (1957). I am about 7 or 8. It has an immediate effect on me – the lyrics and book especially. The translation of the familial divide in Romeo and Juliet to a story exploring social disadvantage, racial tensions and violence. It is thrilling, young as I am.

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