Within the early night of Friday, November 26, legendary musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim died. I used to be at dwelling on the brink of exit to dinner and see a Broadway present with a pal after I heard the information. I used to be staying with my godmother for the vacations and he or she’s the one who advised me he simply died after getting a information notification on her telephone. My coronary heart sank and so did hers as we’re each big theater individuals (she works for Broadway) and we comforted one another whereas crying. After the present I noticed was over, it was such a pleasant shock to have one of many actors honor Sondheim with a couple of type phrases and a second of silence, one thing that was performed throughout Broadway that evening and a second I am going to always remember. It has been a couple of days now and I needed to mirror on my favourite present written by Stephen Sondheim.
In 2008 after I was seven years previous, on one among our household journeys to Paris, my dad and mom took me and my sister to a park for an out of doors free film exhibiting of West Facet Story. I knew nothing of the present or film so I did not know what to anticipate. I sat via the entire film with no complaints which confirmed to my dad and mom that I appreciated it. I used to be captured by all the things, the music, the superb dance numbers, the nice singing… In direction of the tip, it began raining however my dad and mom made us keep till the ultimate credit and I am very glad for that as a result of it was the primary Golden Age musical and first musical by Stephen Sondheim that I noticed with out figuring out he labored on it.
My subsequent encounter with West Facet Story was when my dad and mom took me and my sister to see the Broadway revival in 2009 after I was eight years previous. I do not keep in mind a lot of that day. What I do keep in mind is that I in contrast sure moments to the film like how the quantity “America” was carried out by women and men within the film and solely by ladies on stage, I used to be as soon as once more in awe of the entire present and I appreciated the inclusion of Spanish that I used to be in a position to perceive since I’m Mexican-American and know fluent Spanish.
Since these two moments in my life, I’ve rediscovered West Facet Story in my late teenagers and my love for the musical grew increasingly. I watched the film many extra occasions which is now my favourite film musical. I’ve seen the latest Broadway revival in 2019 which I assumed was an fascinating adaptation. I’ve just lately seen recordings of different stage productions for faculty assignments and I realized extra concerning the present and everybody that created it like Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. Despite the fact that the story is hard, the dancing, appearing, songs, music and themes are all superb. I hearken to the film soundtrack and revival solid album on a regular basis so I always have these songs caught in my head. I am unable to consider Sondheim was solely twenty seven when he wrote these nice lyrics which have been sung since and are nonetheless quoted right this moment. He was a genius lyricist early on in his life and did not even comprehend it on the time.
West Facet Story is a really particular musical for me, not solely due to the music and dance, but in addition due to the theme of Latin American immigrants. A few of my members of the family are just like the characters within the present since they immigrated to New York Metropolis from Mexico. It’s so nice watching this musical and listening to my mother’s native language, Spanish, being spoken and sung and seeing individuals onstage who appear to be me. It makes me completely happy and proud to be Latin American and reveals to our group that we will do something and be whoever we need to be.
Now that Sondheim is gone, I’m very grateful for his huge contribution to musical theater and Broadway, particularly to one among my favourite musicals. I’ll proceed to honor him by listening to the West Facet Story solid album increasingly like I did on the day he handed and I’ll keep in mind him fondly because the historic determine he now could be.