Stephen Sondheim Saluted By The Entertainment Community For His Giant Footprint On The Arts

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UPDATE: London’s West End theaters have announced they will dim their lights for two minutes at 7 PM tomorrow in Stephen Sondheim’s honor.

Tributes to Sondheim’s genius continue to pour in from the entertainment community.

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Composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber said that he had always been “sort of in awe” of a man he described as “an absolute genius” and a “titan” of musical theater.

“Farewell Steve, the musical theatre giant of our times, an inspiration not just to two but to three generations,” Lloyd Weber tweeted. “Your contribution to theatre will never be equaled.”

EARLIER: The unexpected death today of songwriter Stephen Sondheim at his Connecticut home will no doubt catch many by surprise, given his relatively robust persona, even at age 91.

But while his passing may shock, there is no doubt about the huge contributions he made to the American songbook during his groundbreaking 70-year career as a songwriter, lyricist and general force on worldwide culture.

Steven Spielberg, whose “West Side Story” features Sondheim lyrics, saluted him in a statement.

“Stephen Sondheim was a giganic figure in American culture – one of our country’s greatet songwriters, a lyricist and composer of real genius, and a creator of some of the most glorious musical dramas ever written. Steve and I became friends only recently, but we became good friends, and I was surprised to discover he knew more about movies than almost anyone I’d ever met. When we spoke, I couldn’t wait to listen, awestruck by the originality of his perceptions of art, politics and people — all delivered brilliantly by his mischievous wit and dazzling words. I will miss him very much, but he left a body of work that has taught us, and will keep teaching us, how hard and how absolutely necessary it is to love.”

Some of the online reactions to Sondheim’s passing below.

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