Rethinking Sondheim

“Stephen Sondheim has always been ready for his close-up. There’s a reason his songs are picked up so quickly by cabaret performers who keep their hearts parked in their throats. But because he writes for Broadway, the original incarnations of his shows have tended to be big in ways that brought out the glitter in his intricate lyrics and scores but often kept audiences at an amused, admiring remove. Now a new generation of Sondheim interpreters are revealing just how directly this composer speaks to them.”