Legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim is beloved by theatre audiences for the many musicals he’s brought to life including “West Side Story,” “Gypsy” and “Company.”
So for any performer who has sung one of his songs, which is pretty much anyone who’s ever been on a stage, even a high school one, his influence cannot be overstated.
At the premiere of a new HBO documentary that takes an intimate look at the life of the legend, Tony Award winner Nathan Lane talked about his experiences working with the composer.
“You know the thing about him is, you look at him in awe and yet he’s very, very down-to-earth and easy to talk to,” shared the actor at the Nov. 18 event. “It’s always about the work, how do we make this better, how do we tell this story, and he puts you at ease that way. And that’s one of the great things about him.”
Though Nathan claims that his musical days are behind him (no, say it isn’t so!), he would jump at the chance to work with Sondheim again if “he writes something new.”
The 57-year-old wasn’t the only one to gush about the legend. A younger generation of Broadway stars came out in support of Sondheim as well as collaborated on the film by singing some of his most iconic songs.
For “Newsies” star Jeremy Jordan, the decision to participate was a no-brainer. “They called me and said, ‘You want to do it?’ and I said, ‘Yes.’ That’s literally all it took,” he shared. “They told me what it was and I said, ‘Duh.’”
“Glee” star Darren Criss also jumped at the chance. “He has such an unsurpassed specificity to his observation,” said Darren. “Because there are great observers and then there are great interpreters of that observation to turn it into something powerful and accessible. He’s kind of mastered that bridge between those two things.”
The documentary “Six by Sondheim” premieres exclusively on HBO December 9th.
Contributors America Ferrera, Darren Criss, Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan.