The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia

The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia is a wonderfully detailed and comprehensive reference devoted to musical theater’s most prolific and admired composer and lyricist.


Entries cover Sondheim’s numerous collaborator from composers and directors to designers and orchestrators; key songs, such as “Send in the Clowns” and his Academy Award-winner “Sooner or Later” (Dick Tracy); and major works, including Assassins, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and West Side Story. The encyclopedia contains information about Sondheim’s mentoring by Oscar Hammerstein II and his early collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, as well as profiles of numerous actors who originated roles and sang Sondheim’s songs for the first time — a Broadway hall of fame including Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Mandy Patinkin, and Bernadette Peters.

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About Rick Pender

It’s been a life full of words. He’s still at it, writing about theater and the arts — and lending his editing expertise to other writers in need of proofreading and copyediting.

For most of his life, Rick Pender has been all about writing. He began reading at age 4 and within a few years created and published a newsletter for his family’s neighbors, using a kid’s tiny offset press. At 11, he began a seven-year stint delivering a morning newspaper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer. He read the “PD” voraciously, especially arts and sports coverage.

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“Anyone who’s been touched by Stephen Sondheim’s extraordinary body of work will be grateful for this bottomless well of facts, figures, anecdotes and insights. A remarkable and entertaining resource.”

John Weidman, librettist for Pacific Overtures, Assassins, and Road Show

“This encyclopedia is a remarkable achievement, essential for all students of Sondheim and all lovers of the American musical. I will devour it for years to come.”

John Doyle, director, of Tony Award-winning Broadway revivals of Sweeney Todd and Company

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More Books by Rick Pender


Oldest Cincinnati

Rick Pender

Late in the 18th-century, people began to head west in America in search of new frontiers and new lives. Many of them found their way down the Ohio River to Cincinnati, the “Queen City of the West.”

In Oldest Cincinnati, I tell the story of a ferry that enabled early settlers to cross the river at Augusta, Kentucky, in 1798; it’s still in business today. Likewise, an inn that provided shelter for early stagecoach travelers opened in 1803 in Lebanon, Ohio, and continues welcoming guests to this day. As one of the first settlements in the Northwest Territory — originally called “Losantiville” before it was dubbed Cincinnati— the city is full of firsts and oldests.

100 Things to Do in Cincinnati before You Die

Rick Pender

Cincinnati has intrigued adventurers since its founding in 1788 as the gateway to America’s western frontier. With a beautiful river valley reminiscent of Germany’s picturesque Bavaria and centuries-old entrepreneurial spirit, Cincinnati offers a startling variety of attractions, history, and dining.

100 Things to Do in Cincinnati Before You Die explores dozens of them. It digs into the city’s German heritage of food, drink, and language from an authentic tavern from 1803 to the best places to find a genuine Belgian waffle. There’s a history of the beautifully restored Cincinnati Music Hall from 1878 as well as its intimate next-door neighbor, Memorial Hall (1908), venues that today anchor the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

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