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date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

While ardent fans of musicals by Stephen Sondheim understandably find themselves awed again and again by his brilliantly erudite lyrics and his breathtaking music, most likely few come away from a production extolling what the show looked like, assuming that any praise devoted to the visual elements would somehow diminish Sondheim’s contributions as lyricist and composer. Yet to neglect the mise en scène of a Sondheim musical (at least in its original incarnation) is to deny the significant planning and thought that Sondheim devotes to the visual–kinetic realization of his work. In close collaboration with his directors, choreographers, and designers, Sondheim helped to revolutionize not only what the late twentieth-century musical sounded like, but also how it looked.

Keywords: Stephen Sondheim, Harold Prince, James Lapine, Michael Bennett, Boris Aronson, design, choreography

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