Broadway greats gathered Sunday on the iconic TKTS red steps of Duffy Square to pay tribute to their inspiration: Stephen Sondheim.
Sondheim passed away Friday at the age of 91.
“To be able to honor him in any way anybody would jump at it,” said Broadway actor Lauren Patten.
Patten won a Tony award for her feature role in “Jagged Little Pill.” The actor joined artists from around the Theater District to celebrate Sondheim’s life.
“We call him the Shakespeare of musical theater and he truly was,” said Broadway actor Bryan Terell Clark.
The powerful lyrics the legendary composer created himself circulated through the heart of New York for the world to revel in.
Actors Teresa Lafferty and Sammi Price were once classmates at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Yeats later, Sondheim’s passing brought them together.
“That’s what Sondheim does: he reunites people, artists, whether you’re an artist or not, we all love him and we will continue to love him,” said Price.
Jake Letts plans to move to the city from Indiana.
The musical theater major says Sondheim helped solidify his passion for music.
“Having a person like that who is so intelligent and able to create beautiful art and collaborate with other people and not feel one way and that is something we should all try to take from Sondheim,” said Letts.
Amateur and veteran performers are equally inspired by Sondheim’s art.
“It inspired us to create a life in theater on or off stage and when the bar is set that high, you are either terrified by or inspired by it and this is a group of people who were inspired by it,” said Broadway actor Erich Bergen.
On West 43rd Street, outside the theater bearing Sondheim’s name, piles of flowers and candles continue to grow.
Those who’ve collaborated with him and complete strangers have come together for a man who’s left his mark on the world of theater.