The lights in London’s West End went out in a two-minute tribute to legendary American composer and songwriter Stephen Sondheim.
The composer and lyricist, best known for creating the musical Sweeney Todd, died on Friday at the age of 91.
The lights were turned off at 19:00 GMT, in honor of the man described as one of the “greatest geniuses of the theater”.
The National Theater was among those that blacked out, as it performed an illuminated tribute on its roof.
The sign read: “Tonight we turn off the lights in memory of the legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim (1930-2021)”.
Tonight we turn off the lights in memory of the legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim (1930-2021) pic.twitter.com/lWJVYCI4IL
– National Theater (@ National Theater) November 29, 2021
The Sondheim Theater, renamed in honor of the composer by Sir Cameron Mackintosh in 2019, has also turned off the lights.
Sir Cameron, who claimed the world has “lost one of its greatest and most original writers,” opened a condolence book in the theater lobby.
Bunches of flowers piled up around the venue, formerly known as the Queen’s Theater, and crowds gathered outside to capture the moment.
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Julian Bird, managing director of the Society of London Theater and UK Theater, said his legacy will live on.
“The world of theater is a smaller place after Stephen Sondheim’s death,” he said.
“His legacy of extraordinary performances and songs will live on for many generations to come, but now we pay tribute to his outstanding contribution to our theaters and celebrate his talent.”
During his illustrious career, he wrote the soundtracks for some of Broadway’s most popular shows, including Company, Follies and A Little Night Music. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story.
His ballad Send in the Clowns – from the 1973 musical A Little Night Music – has been recorded hundreds of times, including by Frank Sinatra and Judy Collins.
Six of Sondheim’s musicals have won Tony Awards and he has also received a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, five Olivier Awards and was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor.
- West End Theater
- Musical theater
Obituary: Stephen Sondheim
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Musical theater icon Stephen Sondheim dies at 91
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