Today is the 80th birthday of Stephen Sondheim, one of the true legends of musical theater. The composer and lyricist is responsible for many of the most acclaimed theatrical productions of the past six decades. He has won the Pulitzer Prize (for Sunday in the Park With George), an Academy Award (for “Sooner or Later” from Dick Tracy), and a record eight (for a composer) Tony Awards. It’s impossible to imagine the landscape of American musical theater without him.

Here are 10 of our favorite Sondheim performances.


The role of Mama Rose in Gypsy is considered the musical theater equivalent of Hamlet, an Olympian role for any female performer. The character was originated in 1959 by Ethel Merman, who was passed over in favor of Rosalind Russell for the 1962 film version. A creative fan has given us the opportunity to imagine what might have been. 

Tags: Theater