Frank Rich Producing Stephen Sondheim Documentary for HBO
By Adam Hetrick
Former New York Times chief theatre critic Frank Rich is producing a new documentary on Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim for HBO.
Rich signed a deal with HBO in 2008 to begin creating content for the cable network. In addition to executive producing the documentary on Sondheim, Rich also created the Washington satire "Veep" for HBO, which stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
A release date for the Sondheim documentary has not been announced.
Frank Rich served as the chief theatre critic for the New York Times from 1980-1993. Prior to his career with the New York Times, he was a film critic for Time Magazine. He has published the books "Hot Seat: Theater Criticism for The New York Times, 1980-1993," "Ghost Light: A Memoir" and "The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina."
In 1971 Rich reviewed Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies during its out-of-town engagement in Boston. That review, titled "The Last Musical," established a relationship between the journalist and Sondheim, which continues to this day. The two have sat down for discussions of Sondheim's work in various public forums in recent years.
Sondheim, who began his Broadway career as a lyricist for West Side Story and Gypsy, made his debut as a composer/lyricist in 1962 with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Along with collaborators including Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, James Goldman, George Furth, James Lapine, John Weidman and Harold Prince, Sondheim revolutionized the face of musical theatre with Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures, Anyone Can Whistle, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Assassins, Into the Woods, Passion and Road Show.
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