Read Stephen Sondheim's First Playbill Bio, from West Side Story | Playbill

Broadway News Read Stephen Sondheim's First Playbill Bio, from West Side Story

Look back at where it all started for this late, great theatrical trailblazer on what would have been his 92nd birthday.

Stephen Sondheim on the opening night of <i>West Side Story</i>
Stephen Sondheim on the opening night of West Side Story Friedman-Abeles/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

Today, we celebrate what would have been the 92nd birthday of one of the most illustrious and beloved musical theatre artists ever: Stephen Sondheim, the composer-lyricist behind such landmark musicals as Sweeney Todd, Follies, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, and Company.

We're taking a look back at the beginning of the theatrical legend's career and his first-ever Playbill bio. Though Sondheim made his Broadway debut contributing background music to N. Richard Nash's play The Girls of Summer in 1956, his first Playbill bio would come a year later with West Side Story, for which Sondheim penned lyrics. Straight from the Playbill Vault, read this piece of Broadway history below.

Stephen Sondheim's first-ever Playbill bio, as lyricist for <i>West Side Story</i>
Stephen Sondheim's first-ever Playbill bio, as lyricist for West Side Story Playbill

Written with composer Leonard Bernstein and book writer Arthur Laurents, West Side Story, a modern take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, would go on to become a true Broadway classic. A new film adaptation of the piece, directed by Steven Spielberg, is nominated for Best Picture at the 2022 Academy Awards. Mr. Sondheim passed away last year on November 26 at the age of 91.

 
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