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Stephen Sondheim
Photograph: Emilio Madrid-Kuser

A new free exhibit honoring Sondheim just opened at the NYPL

It will stay open through January 14, 2022.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

New York continues to pay tribute to the legacy of late, great Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim. The New York Public Library (NYPL) just announced the opening of a free new exhibit that features objects and letters related to the star, sourced from the archives of his own colleagues and friends. Mounted on the third floor of the Library for the Performing Arts (LPA) at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, the show will stay open until January 14, 2022.

Two sections comprise the exhibition. The first one is dubbed "No One is Alone: The Letters of Stephen Sondheim" and it showcases notes penned by Sondheim to his colleagues, including Richard Rodgers and Peter Stone.

RECOMMENDED: Five ways to mark Stephen Sondheim's passing in NYC

The second portion of the exhibit is titled "Pretty Little Masterpiece!" and it highlights sketches and set models used on musicals that Sondheim wrote with James Lapine—think Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Wood, Passion and more.

The show is organized by Doug Reside, who is actually the curator of the research library's Billy Rose Theater Division. "Any sentimental recounting of my memories of the few times I was lucky enough to interact with Stephen Sondheim would feel, to me, a sort of fraud compared to the memories of his collaborators, friends and family who are grieving a fresh loss in their lives," Reside wrote in a personal essay that he published on the NYPL's own website on November 29, three days after Sondheim's passing at 91 years old. "I admired the man, but I couldn’t say I knew him well. His work, though, remains. That’s durable forever."

Given the magnitude of his fame, it is no surprise that New York—the home of Broadway—continues to mark Sondheim's passing. A few days after his death, Broadway stars headed to Times Square to honor the event by performing the song "Sunday" from Sunday in the Park With George. The touching tribute included the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Raúl Esparza, Sara Bareilles, Stephen Schwartz, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Laura Benanti and Josh Groban. The happening was dubbed #SundayForSondheim on social media.

If you're looking for yet another way to pay your respects, we suggest perhaps snagging tickets to Company, an original Sondheim production that premiered in 1970. The one currently mounted in the Theater District is a revival with a twist (the commitment-averse main character is now a woman!) but it's certainly worth catching if you haven't yet. After all, Broadway is what it is today thanks to Sondheim.

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