What are the Vocal Ranges/Voice Types in Stephen Sondheim's "Company"?
Robert (Tenor, 35)
Not much, writing-wise. His last Broadway show was "Passion" in 1994. His subsequent major project was "Wise Guys" [renamed "Bounce"] back around 1999-2002, but I believe the furthest it got was a production in Chicago. [The critics were not pleased.]
You have to remember, he's now 77 years old. I've been an enthusiast of his since my teenage years, but I also realize that a composer's creative juices eventually dry up. It's sad, but it's true. Heavens, Leonard Bernstein's last few compositions were just bland compared with his earlier works -- the passion and brilliance [and gift for achingly beautiful melodies] were just gone.
I would presume that Sondheim is not upset that he's not turning out a new show every 2-3 years. He is the most accomplished writer in music theatre history -- more works than any other of the greats [Rodgers, Gershwin, Porter, etc etc], the only theatre writer to win all the major awards [Tony, Oscar, Drama Desk, Grammy, and a little something called the Pulitzer], and the stature of being recognized for being a major influence on the art form's development. That all surely must give him significant satisfaction.
I'm sure he keeps busy with things like seminars and master classes. He's also very vocal in his support of new writers. By the way, he had a sublimely funny cameo on "The Simpsons" this season or last, and appeared in a film called "Camp" a few years ago, playing himself in a cameo scene.
I'd love to have him write something new, but am more concerned that he should be happy in retirement if that's true -- he's certainly earned it! :-)
Is there a video of Stephen Sondheim discussing "Into the Woods"?
For those who want to know, here is the clip being discussed ;
Although I haven't seen it, I suspect this is taken from a longer video that is lent to people who rent the materials provided to stage Into The Woods. I have got a copy of the equivalent video provided by MTI when you stage Assassins. It is called Conversation Piece and is over an hour long. It consists entirely of interviews with Sondheim at the piano going through several songs and also with John Weidman who wrote the book, and the set designer. I remember watching the video before going to see a production of Assassins in Hampstead many years ago. Whilst there I recognised Weidman and said to him "I was watching you speaking last night". He was most surprised as writers are not used to being recognised. I was lucky to have a half an hour chat with him before the show started. And both he and Sondheim were very helpful when we staged the South West premiere of Assassins here in the U.K. Weidman even rang me up from New York to answer my questions.
If you are interested in Sondheim speaking and are in the States, then you can catch him as he tours around the country in his question and answer show, often with Frank Rich. He has been doing this for some years now and is one of the most interesting people to hear speaking. In the U.K. you can join The Sondheim Society at sondheim.org to find out when he appears in this country. In this way, I have seen him speak many times. You can write to him as I have been doing for 25 years, he always replies and is very helpful. Men of his talent and genius tend to be more modest and helpful than lesser individuals. You can get his agent's address from The Sondheim Society.
Sondheim is always being interviewed in documentaries about musicals. He is often at the piano, I remember him explaining Attend the Tale of Sweeney Todd in one documentary. In both the States and the U.K. he is interviewed at intervals of his shows broadcast on television. Another source of his wisdom is on the commentary of the DVDs of Passion and Sunday in the Park With George. If you haven't bought his book of lyrics Finishing The Hat than you may enjoy reading it as half of the book is him explaining all his songs. His second book of lyrics will be called Look, I Made a Hat and should be out in November. He has kindly asked me to contribute suggestions for it, which is a huge honour.
To sum up, I think the video you are seeking is only available from MTI if you stage the show. But you could try searching the internet for copies of the video. Hope this helps.
What's a good biographical book about Stephen Sondheim?
I agree. I just read the Secrest one after finding it at a used bookstore for a buck. It's great--detailed but accessible, juicy but not in a mean way. Lots of fun "name-dropping," as he's worked with so many greats of the American theatre!
Good websites about Stephen Sondheim's influence on musical theater?
Well, there is a website called
There is also The Quotable Stephen Sondheim Page at http://www.sjsondheim.com/
Both have links to other sites.
There is also a British site called the Stephen Sondheim Society at:
That one seems a bit more scholarly.
Anyway, give these sites a try. They all have tons of links to other sites, so even if you don't find what you are looking for right away, you may find a link to what you want eventually.