Metro

Stephen Sondheim fans honor late Broadway legend outside namesake NYC theater

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Fans mourning the loss of Stephen Sondheim paid tribute to the legendary composer and lyricist outside of his namesake theater in Midtown Friday night.

Broadway lovers made a makeshift memorial in front of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on West 43rd Street, leaving bouquets of flowers, notes and a black and white photo of the smiling icon, who died Friday at the age of 91.

“He was so kind, so sweet,” said house manager Molly McQuilkin, 36, who met Sondheim a few times.

“He definitely changed what musicals were and the stories they can tell,” she told The Post. “For me, it’s a segment of musical theater that the book will be closed on.”

Formerly known as Henry Miller’s Theatre, the playhouse was renamed after Sondheim in 2010 to honor his 80th birthday.

“It’s a great loss to all of us,” said theatergoer William Marvin as he headed inside.

Andy Kosovych, a New Jersey resident waiting in line to see “Mrs. Doubtfire,” which is playing at the theatre, said it was “a sad day.”

“It’s weird that we are going to the theater on the day he passed,” the 72-year-old noted.

Stephen Sondheim
Sondheim racked up eight Tony Awards throughout his career, as well as seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize and a Laurence Oliver Award.
Shutterstock

Theatre lover and Manhattan resident Brian Cummings, who was snapping photos of the memorial, called Sondheim a “titan” of the industry.

“He’s up there with the greats, and it makes me smile to see this,” Cummings said.

“He sort of created a whole genre if you will,” the theater enthusiast added. “He’s the Elvis Presley of the American stage. He’s the Converse of rock ‘n’ roll music.”

Actor Adam Chanler-Berat, who plays John Hinckley, Jr. in the revived Sondheim show “Assasins,” said he was both “proud and sad” following Friday night’s performance at off-Broadway’s Classic Stage Company on East 13th Street.

Stephen Sondheim
The composer and lyricist died suddenly at 91.
Courtesy Everett Collection

“He’s the reason why so many of us do this,” Chanler-Berat told The Post.

“We’re just overwhelmed right now and it’s a real honor to be able to be a part of this amazing production, and to be part of the legacy of his amazing body of work,” the actor added.

“I’m feeling really proud and sad. He’s a titan and it just happened so it’s hard to process it all.”

Massachusetts resident Carissa Barry-Moilanen, who saw “Assassins” for her 21st birthday, said it was “devastating” to hear about Sondheim’s death.

“He was the theatre giant. He was like Shakespeare,” she said.

The legendary “West Side Story” lyricist’s death was announced by his lawyer and friend, F. Richard Pappas, who told The New York Times that it was sudden, but did not provide details. Pappas said Sondheim had celebrated Thanksgiving the day prior.

Considered the greatest composer and lyricist of the 20th century, Sondheim is best known for iconic musicals including “Company,” “Gypsy,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Into the Woods.”

Sondheim earned seven Tony Awards, more than any other composer, over his extensive career, along with an Academy Award, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and a Laurence Olivier Award.

In addition to “Assassins,” another revived Sondheim show, “Company,” is playing at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on West 45th Street.

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