One year later, Steve’s still here

SINGER SONGWRITER ELERI WARD (Playbill.com)

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost a year since Stephen Sondheim passed away on Nov. 26, 2021 — unexpectedly to be sure, but without suffering, just not waking up on the day after a pleasant Thanksgiving following a week of theater attendance. We should all be so lucky.

While it’s still painful to imagine a world without him, he left such an expansive legacy that I expect his inspiration will continue for generations. Singer Eleri Ward is a perfect example: She’s released a pair of recordings of his songs, distilled and away from their original placement in a show. Her guitar and solo renditions are entrancing, and reveal Sondheim’s mastery in a wholly new way. For a taste, here’s a link to a video performance of her “mashup medley” of songs from Into the Woods.  

DISCOUNT NEWS: If you’re seeking a musical theater-themed holiday gift for a friend or family member, especially one who’s passionate about Sondheim’s shows. My publisher Rowman & Littlefield has launched a holiday sale (applicable through Jan. 6, 2023) means considerable savings: Go to the Sondheim Encyclopedia to place your order. Use this code, 22JOYSALE, for a 35 percent discount. That reduces the Encyclopedia’s price to $87.75.

I hope you and yours have had a musical 2022: It’s so satisfying to continue to see Sondheim’s shows getting new and successful Broadway revivals. It’s a good sign for the future.

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