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THE SCOOP | Toronto Dims Marquee Lights For Stephen Sondheim

By Michael Vincent on November 29, 2021

Stephen_Sondheim

With the passing of theatre legend Stephen Sondheim at age 91 this past Friday, Mirvish theatres have confirmed they will dim their lights in his honour on November 30 at 8 p.m.

Since 1965, a total of nine touring productions of musicals by Sondheim were produced in Toronto — most appearing on stages in Toronto’s musical-friendly entertainment district.

The Royal Alexandra Theatre

  • 1965 Gypsy starring June Wilson & Arlene Meadows
  • 1971 Company starring George Chakiris & Elaine Stritch
  • 1973 Twigs, by George Furth, with incidental music by Sondheim, starring Sada Thompson
  • 1974 Gypsy starring Angela Lansbury
  • 1974 A Little Night Music starring Jean Simmons
  • 1977 Side by Side by Sondheim starring Georgia Brown
  • 1982 Sweeney Todd starring Ross Petty & June Havoc

The Princess of Wales Theatre

  • 2007 Sweeney Todd starring Alexander Gemignani & Judy Kaye
  • 2010 An Evening with Stephen Sondheim

The CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre

  • 2010 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum starring Sean Cullen & Bruce Dow

“Sondheim was and will always remain a titan of theatre,” said David Mirvish. “He wrote songs the way Shakespeare wrote plays, the way Picasso painted pictures, the way Beethoven and Mozart composed symphonies, the way Tolstoy wrote novels. Although he always acknowledged his collaborators and spoke passionately about how the theatre was a collective creation, he himself was a singular artist, the likes of which has never been seen before and may never be seen again. The world is poorer with his passing, but what a body of work he has given us.”

Sondheim last appeared in Toronto on December 10, 2010, for An Evening with Stephen Sondheim. The event was a celebration of his 80th birthday. It included a rare live interview from the stage with critic Robert Cushman.

Highest Honours

The tradition of dimming marquee lights at the standard 8 p.m. curtain time originated in the Broadway Theatre in New York City. It signifies a symbolic tribute to a celebrated artist who has passed. It serves as the greatest honour the theatre world can bestow upon an artist.

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Michael Vincent
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