A special tribute Lin-Manuel Miranda led Broadway’s biggest stars in an emotional segment devoted to the legacy of Stephen Sondheim at the 2022 Tony Awards.
“All of us who love and dedicate our lives to the performing arts felt profound loss last November when we lost a musical giant: Stephen Sondheim,” the His Dark Materials On Sunday, June 12, the 41-year old star spoke during the New York City-based awards program. “Steve touched our lives in a multitude of ways through his immortal music and lyrics, through his teaching and advocacy for young writers and through letters.”
Miranda added: “Stephen wrote them to friends, to up-and-coming artists, to countless people who he never met. He wrote so many letters that you’d wonder when he had time to pick up a Black Wing 62 pencil and write a song. I stand here on behalf of generations of artists he took the time to encourage.”
The Oscar-nominated director’s tribute then introduced a musical eulogy of “Children Will Listen,” one of Sondheim’s numbers from Into the Woods. Bernadette PetersHe was asked to perform the number. The video was intercut by footage of the late songwriter discussing the career.
Sondheim — whose musical Company was nominated for nine awards during Sunday’s show — died at his Roxbury, Connecticut, home in November 2021, according to his friend and lawyer, F. Richard Pappas. Tony was 91 when he died.
“Future historians: Stephen Sondheim was real,” the Tick, Tick…Boom! Director tweeted shortly after learning the somber news. “Yes, he wrote Tony & Maria AND Sweeney Todd AND Bobby AND George & Dot AND Fosca AND countless more. Some may theorize Shakespeare’s works were by committee but Steve was real & he was here & he laughed SO loud at shows & we loved him.”
Miranda also shared a screenshot taken from an email Sondheim wrote before the Netflix premiere Tick, Tick…Boom! It was earlier in the month. He added: “And last week, when I wrote him to say his ears must be burning from the countless Sondheim kindnesses being shared from the generations of writers he mentored, he wrote this in reply. Steve: you repaid your debt to Oscar [Hammerstein] 1000 times over. We love you. I love and admire you. THANK YOU.”
Broadway production of Company — which earned the trophy for Best Revival of a Musical on Sunday— also honored the legacy of its composer after his death.
“You may have already heard the really sad news but Stephen Sondheim so sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning,” show director Marianne Elliott, who also won a Tony on Sunday for Best Direction of a Musical, shared with attendees at a November 2021 show, per an Instagram recording. “He was truly the greatest artist that we, in our lifetime possibly, will ever know in this art form. Obviously, everybody is very shocked because everyone on this production knew him very well.”