I’m drawing extensively on my own resource, The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia, as I embark on a related project with Stuart Brown, the hardworking guy who founded and maintains Sounds of Broadway, a 24/7 online radio station playing the music of Broadway, Off-Broadway, the London stage and much more. We’re sitting down together (virtually, of course) to talk about Stephen Sondheim’s many shows in a new, ongoing podcast series, “The Complete Stephen Sondheim.” Our first conversation, posted on Nov. 5, focused on West Side Story during a month that marked the 60th anniversary of the show’s 1961 Academy Award-winning movie version. It also seemed like the right moment, since Steven Spielberg’s new contemporary rendition of the story, inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet story, will open in movie theaters on Dec. 10 Please give our exchange a listen for our thoughts, illustrated with songs from the 1961 film’s cast recording. You can listen using the website’s “embed podcast player.”
While you’re tuned in to Sounds of Broadway, check out another recent podcast, “Styles of Stephen Sondheim,” presented by Gail Leondar-Wright, an accomplished and serious amateur scholar of Sondheim’s works that she has elucidated via classes and webinars. She offers insightful comments about a half-dozen Sondheim shows with musical samples that underscore her observations.
Finally: An end-of-the-year gift reminder since I have you on the line. I’m confident you are aware of the Sondheim Encyclopedia. I bet you have a friend or two who are Sondheim fans and who would treasure their own copy of this comprehensive reference volume as a memorable holiday gift, one they’ll use for years. On my website, www.RickPenderWrites.com, there’s a coupon code for a significant 30% discount from my publisher, Rowman and Littlefield.
Thanks again for your continued interest in Sondheim and the Encyclopedia!