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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Road Show marked the acknowledgement of a gay sensibility in Sondheim’s work: not only do the homosexual couple, Addison Mizner and Hollis Bessemer, represent the show’s only functional relationship, the lovers sing its one duet, “The Best Thing that Ever Has Happened.” How do the queer instances that have always permeated Sondheim’s work resonate for gay audiences? While some critics attest that Sondheim must be read as a closeted writer, this is true only if you read his work superficially, focusing on questions regarding the relationships in his works: from Bobby’s chosen isolation in Company through Sweeney’s villainous rampage in Sweeney Todd (1979) to Fosca’s destructive behavior patterns in Passion (1994). The chapter reveals how, in dismantling the heteronormative structure of the traditional musical, Sondheim “queered” the form in a variety of ways.

Keywords: queer, gay, homosexual, heteronormative, Company, The Last of Sheila, Merrily We Roll Along, Road Show

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