Show History



Sondheim on Sondheim is about the life and work of legendary musical theater composer/lyricist, Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim on Sondheim is a revue of Mr. Sondheim's considerable body of work, interspersed with a taped interview of him telling stories. The stories he tells are from his childhood and from his time working on various shows; some of the stories illuminate the method behind his craft and give insight into the origin of iconic musical theater moments.


Sondheim on Sondheim was produced by The Roundabout Theatre Company. Previews began March 19, 2010, and the production opened April 22, 2010, at Studio 54. The production was directed by James Lapine, and the cast featured Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams, Tom Wopat, Norm Lewis, Euan Morton, Matthew Scott, Erin Mackey and Leslie Kritzer.

The show closed June 27, 2010.

Cultural Influence

  • Stephen Sondheim is one of the most highly regarded composer/lyricists in musical theatre history. He was a protégé of Oscar Hammerstein, II, who is often referred to as the father of the modern musical. Along with director/producer, Harold Prince, Sondheim is credited with creating the concept musical, starting with his show, Company. With James Lapine, the conceiver and director of Sondheim on Sondheim, he has written several shows, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sunday in the Park with George.
  • Following the production at the Roundabout Theatre Company, a cast album was released that captures, not only the songs from the show, but also much of the text from the interviews.
  • Also in 2010, Knopf published an anthology of Mr. Sondheim's lyrics, written by Sondheim himself, called Finishing the Hat. A second anthology called Look I Made a Hat was published in 2011. Several of the anecdotes in Sondheim on Sondheim are also included in these books.


  • Stephen Sondheim has won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an Academy Award for Best Song, eight Grammy Awards, and eight Tony Awards.
  • James Lapine conceived a version of this revue in 2008. That version was called Sondheim: Musical Revue, and it was meant to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Alliance Theatre company in Atlanta, Georgia. However, for financial reasons, the production never made it to the stage.
  • Sondheim on Sondheim premiered in 2010, shortly after Stephen Sondheim turned 80 years old.
  • Sondheim has written over fifteen Broadway shows, including lyrics for Gypsy and West Side Story, and music and lyrics for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Assassins.