Today’s crossword: meet the man who wrote the songs that can’t get out of your head

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American composer Stephen Sondheim in New York, United States, in 1972.
Image Credit: US Library of Congress / Bernard Gotfryd

He has composed and written 16 stunning musicals. He has theaters named after him on Broadway in New York and in London’s West End. He is considered the greatest songwriter of his generation.

Click Start to play today’s crossword puzzle, where you can learn about the long and illustrious career and life of American musical theater legend Stephen Sondheim.

When he passed away at the age of 91 on November 26 of this year, the lights went out in several cinemas in the UK and US, in tribute to a man who left a huge legacy in the ‘industry. Sondheim is known for invigorating Broadway shows, for his versatile and sophisticated songwriting skills and witty puns.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Oscar winner’s massive impact, here are some of Sondheim’s best shows that deserve a watch:

1. History of the west side

West Side Story

The musical West Side Story at the Norwegian Theater in Oslo, Norway, in 1965.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A contemporary account of Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet, the romantic tragedy moves from Verona, Italy, to the streets of New York, the United States. Reimagined as a turf war between a white American street gang and Puerto Rican immigrants, the show premiered in 1957 and was Sondheim’s big break. With hit songs like “I Feel Pretty” and “Maria”, the story is one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals.

2. Sweeney Todd

sweeney todd

A photo from Sweeney Todd’s 2007 film adaptation.
Image Credit: IMDB

Perhaps Sondheim’s best-known musical, the show is inspired by the grim character of the dreadful Victorian penny, Sweeney Todd: The Barber Demon of Fleet Street. Created in 1979, the show set played a role that resembled a classical Greek choir – they would reflect on Sweeney Todd’s gruesome revenge action throughout the musical without acting on it, until the end, where the drama hits the roof.

3. In the woods

in the woods

A photo from the 2014 film adaptation of Into The Woods.
Image Credit: IMDB

A musical inspired by four beloved fairy tales – Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Rapunzel – this 1987 production incorporates the original stories of a baker and his wife, and the witch’s curse that keeps them from having children.

Have you seen any Sondheim musicals, or watched their film adaptations? Play today’s crossword puzzle and let us know at [email protected]

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