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Letters from Sondheim: how I got to know the great composer

By Phoebe Rumsey, Senior Lecturer Musical Theatre, University of Portsmouth
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In 2014, I went out on a limb and sent eight-time Tony award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim a letter. I, like many, was (and still am) mesmerised by the 1971 musical Follies.

Having been a dancer in Las Vegas for many years, the story of a troupe of showgirls and stage-door Johnnies (men who are infatuated with the dancers) returning to a soon to be demolished theatre, haunted by their younger selves, hit a frighteningly personal chord. The bittersweet nostalgia I felt…The Conversation

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