24 Stephen Sondheim Shows, Concerts, and Documentaries to Stream | Playbill

Lists 24 Stephen Sondheim Shows, Concerts, and Documentaries to Stream Filmed versions of beloved productions, movie adaptations, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and more videos to remember and celebrate the legendary composer.
Into_the_Woods_Broadway_Production_Photo_1987_Chip Zien, Joanna Gleason and Bernadette Peters_HR.jpg
Chip Zien, Joanna Gleason, and Bernadette Peters Martha Swope/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

With Broadway mourning the loss of groundbreaking composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, Playbill has assembled a list of where audiences can stream his stage and screen works, celebratory concerts, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and more.

On Stage and Screen

Evening Primrose
Written with Follies book writer James Goldman, this short musical was written for and premiered on TV's Stage 67 in 1966. Telling the story of a group of people who live in a Manhattan department store, the score includes such Sondheim favorites as "If You Can Find Me, I'm Here," "I Remember," and "Take Me to the World."

Available to rent on Prime Video.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
After contributing just lyrics to West Side Story and Gypsy, Sondheim made his debut as a composer-lyricist with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, an ancient Rome-set farce written with Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. The 1966 film adaptation, Sondheim's first, features Zero Mostel re-creating his Tony-winning performance as Pseudolous in the original Broadway cast.

Available to stream on Tubi and Pluto.

Imelda Staunton in <i>Gypsy</i>
Imelda Staunton in Gypsy Johan Persson

Gypsy
Sondheim's second Broadway outing, Gypsy pairs Sondheim's lyrics with Jule Styne's music and a book by Arthur Laurents. The work is based on the memoir of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, but it centers on her mother, Madame Rose, which has become perhaps the ultimate role for Broadway leading ladies.

Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood star in the 1962 film adaptation, available to stream on HBO Max. Bette Midler stars in a 1993 made-for-TV film, available to stream on BroadwayHD and Pluto. Imelda Staunton stars in a 2015 filmed stage production from London's West End, available to stream on Tubi.

Into the Woods
Fairy tales collide in this musical about what happens after happily ever after, written with book writer James Lapine.

Watch the original Broadway cast, including Bernadette Peters, in a filmed stage performance available to rent on Prime Video.
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's 2010 revival (that later played Central Park's Delacorte Theatre in New York) was filmed on stage and is available to stream on BroadwayHD. A 2014 film adaptation features an all-star cast, including Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and more, available to stream on Disney+.

Sunday in the Park with George
Written with book writer James Lapine and inspired by the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, Sunday in the Park with George is a musical about making art. The Pulitzer-winning work introduced some of Sondheim's most beloved and thoughtful songs, including "Sunday," "Finishing the Hat," and "Move On." The original production was filmed on stage during its run, capturing Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters' Tony-nominated performances.

Available to buy and rent on AppleTV.

Angela Lansbury and George Hearn in Sweeney Todd
Angela Lansbury and George Hearn in Sweeney Todd Martha Swope

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Even with its dark subject matter—the plot centers on a vengeful barber who murders his customers and then sends their bodies downstairs to his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, who turns them into the main ingredient of her meat pies—Sweeney Todd is one of Sondheim's most sweeping, romantic, and operatic scores, written with book writer Hugh Wheeler.

Watch the original production filmed on stage during its national tour with Angela Lansbury in her Tony-winning performance as Mrs. Lovett opposite George Hearn as Sweeney on Prime Video. Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Laura Michelle Kelly star in director Tim Burton's 2007 film adaptation, which you can watch on Hulu and Paramount+.

West Side Story
Sondheim's first Broadway show, writing lyrics to Leonard Bernstein's music and a book by Arthur Laurents, is also one of his most beloved. Inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story replaces the Capulets and the Montagues with the Sharks and the Jets, rival gangs from New York's Upper West Side. Steven Spielberg's new film adaptation hits movie theatres December 10, but the 1961 film is a cinema classic.

Available to rent on Prime Video.

Concerts and Revues

Celebrating Sondheim
The New York Philharmonic chose to celebrate Sondheim when planning its 2019 New Year's Eve concert, which was broadcast live on PBS. Bernadette Peters hosts the concert, which features The Band's Visit Tony winner and current star of Company on Broadway Katrina Lenk. At the baton leading the orchestra is Alexander Gemignani, who appeared as a performer on Broadway in revivals of Sunday in the Park with George and Sweeney Todd and is the son of Sondheim's most frequent music director, Paul Gemignani.

Available to stream on PBS.

Putting It Together
A sequel of sorts to the revue Side by Side by Sondheim, Putting It Together starred Julie Andrews in its first Off-Broadway production in 1993. In 1999, a new production came to Broadway starring Carol Burnett, Ruthie Henshall, John Barrowman, George Hearn, and Bronson Pinchot, which was filmed on stage. The songlist includes a host of Sondheim's best loved tunes along with some deep cuts, like "My Husband the Pig" and "Bang!," both cut from A Little Night Music.

Available to stream on BroadwayHD.

Documentaries

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened
This documentary focuses on Merrily We Roll Along, which famously ended Sondheim and Prince's decade-long artistic domination of Broadway with a disappointing run of just 16 performances. The production starred a remarkably young cast, many of whom would go on to illustrious careers on film and stage, including Jason Alexander, Liz Callaway, David Loud, Tonya Pinkins, Lonny Price, Daisy Prince, and Jim Walton. Price directs the documentary, which premiered in 2016.

Available to stream on Netflix.

Blu-ray cover for Criterion's <i>Original Cast Album: Company</i>
Blu-ray cover for Criterion's Original Cast Album: Company The Criterion Collection

Original Cast Album: Company
This documentary from D.A. Pennebaker captures the studio sessions for the original Broadway cast recording of Sondheim and George Furth's Company, the show that would firmly establish Sondheim as a Broadway powerhouse. Watch as Hal Prince, Dean Jones, Elaine Stritch, Barbara Barrie, Donna McKechnie, and more work into the early morning recording this landmark album.

Available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

Poetry in America, "Finishing the Hat"
The man himself may have balked at being called a poet, but the PBS series Poetry in America nevertheless found much to explore in the lyrics to this raw and inside look at the sacrifices of making art, written for Sunday in the Park with George.

Available to stream on PBS Passport.

Six By Sondheim
Director (and Sondheim collaborator) James Lapine gives us the closest we've currently got to a feature length documentary on Sondheim with Six By Sondheim, a film that focuses on Sondheim the writer through archival interviews with the man himself. As the title implies, the documentary focuses on six songs from Sondheim's canon: "Something's Coming" from West Side Story, "Being Alive" from Company, "I'm Still Here" from Follies, "Send in the Clowns" from A Little Night Music, "Opening Doors" from Merrily We Roll Along, and "Sunday" from Sunday in the Park with George. While some songs are featured primarily through filmed performances from the shows' original casts, Lapine commissioned new filmed versions of "Send in the Clowns" sung by Audra McDonald; "Opening Doors" performed by America Ferrera, Jeremy Jordan, Darren Criss, and Sondheim himself; and "I'm Still Here" sung by Jarvis Cocker.

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Sondheim Miscellany

The Birdcage
This modern film adaptation of the same source material that Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein turned into the musical La Cage Aux Folles stars Nathan Lane and Robin Williams. It also features an original song penned by Sondheim, "Little Dream."

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim

Dick Tracy
Warren Beatty stars as the titular detective in this film based on the 1930s comic strip. Also in the cast are Madonna and Mandy Patinkin, giving the film a good excuse to include five original songs penned by Sondheim: "Sooner or Later" (which earned him an Oscar), "More," "Live Alone and Like It," "Back in Business," and "What Can You Lose?"

Available to rent on Prime Video.

The Last of Sheila
While of course best known as a composer and lyricist, Sondheim also wrote some plays and movies, including The Last of Sheila, penned in collaboration with Sondheim's friend (and original Evening Primrose star) Anthony Perkins. James Coburn, James Mason, and Raquel Welch star as passengers on a Mediterranean pleasure cruise who unwittingly become participants in a game that sees them trying to discover the secrets of their fellow passengers while protecting their own.

Available to rent on Prime Video.

Reds
This historical drama co-written, produced, directed, and starring Warren Beatty features an original score by Sondheim. The film follows the life and career of John Reed, a writer who covered the Russian Revolution in his novel Ten Days That Shook the World.

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Stavisky
This 1974 film centers on financier (and embezzler) Alexandre Stavisky, specifically his trial for fraud and eventual mysterious death. Sondheim provided the film's score, some of which comprises tunes written for and discarded from Follies, and an unfinished television musical The Jet-Propelled Couch.

Available to stream on Kanopy.

Topper
Before West Side Story and his long career on Broadway, Sondheim briefly joined the writing staff for Topper, a sitcom based on the 1937 film of the same name about a vice president of a bank living in Los Angeles whose house is haunted by its former inhabitants, a young couple and their St. Bernard. Not all of the episodes credited to Sondheim are available to watch online, but Tubi has "Decorating," "Trip to Lisbon," and "George's Old Flame," all written by Sondheim as the Broadway legend's professional writing debut.

Available to stream on Tubi.

15 Photos Celebrating Stephen Sondheim's Birthday

 
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