Stephen Sondheim and Frank Rich to Speak at TU April 19

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and New York Times columnist Frank Rich will appear together on stage for a conversation about the musical arts.

Sondheim and Rich will speak at 7:30 p.m., April 19 in the Reynolds Center at TU. The event is free and open to the public.

Sondheim is considered the most important artist to work in the American musical theater over the past half-century. He has not only collaborated on more than a dozen landmark shows and written countless standard songs but has also been the single most influential force in bringing the Broadway musical into the modern age. His early work included contributed the lyrics to two classic collaborations with the playwright Arthur Laurents and the director-choreographer Jerome Robbins, for “West Side Story” and “Gypsy,” which are now are universally seen as twin pinnacles of the post-war Broadway musical.

Rich serves as an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. His weekly 1,500-word essay helped inaugurate the expanded opinion pages that the paper introduced in the Sunday Week in Review section in April 2005. Before writing his column, Mr. Rich served as The Times’s chief drama critic beginning in 1980, the year he joined The Times. From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Rich was the front-page columnist for the Sunday Arts & Leisure section as part of that section’s redesign and expansion. He also served in an advisory role in the revamping of The Times’s daily and Sunday cultural report during that time.

The lecture series is presented by the Darcy O’Brien Endowed Chair, which was established to honor the memory of the late TU professor. A Pulitzer Prize-nominated author, scholar and critic, O’Brien was a member of the TU English faculty from 1978 until 1996. O’Brien died in 1998 at the age of 58, and the Darcy O’Brien Endowed Chair was established in 2001.

David Hamby