Choosing your favorite Stephen Sondheim song feels like an impossible task, but we like to challenge Broadway performers!
We asked members of the current Sweeney Todd company to tell us their favorite song by their masterful composer/lyricist, and why.
Watch the video below to see what they said – and even hear some small renditions!
Directed by Thomas Kail, the Sweeney Todd revival is nominated for eight Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. It features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, from an adaptation by Christopher Bond.
The current production stars Tony nominee Josh Groban in the title role and Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford as Mrs. Lovett. The cast also features Fisher as Anthony, Miles as Beggar Woman, Gaten Matarazzo as Tobias, Maria Bilbao as Johanna, Jamie Jackson as Judge Turpin, John Rapson as Beadle Bamford, Nicholas Christopher as Pirelli / Standby for Sweeney Todd, and Jeanna de Waal as Standby for Mrs. Lovett and Beggar Woman.
Read why they chose their favorite songs:
Jordan Fisher (Anthony Hope)
“My favorite Sondheim song ever, of all time, is ‘Move On’ from Sunday in the Park With George for many reasons. If I could nutshell it, it’s a specific lyric that Stephen wrote that stuck with me for forever. It’s ‘let others make that decision, they usually do, you keep moving on.’ I love that line for so many reasons – as a recovering perfectionist, as a father, as an artist, as a creative, it’s really important to recognize that you never do any service by holding on to or sinking your teeth into how other’s think and how they feel. You’ve got to keep doing what you do.”
Ruthie Ann Miles (Beggar Woman)
“My favorite Sondheim song currently is ‘I Remember’ from Evening Primrose. I think it’s my favorite song right now because it resonates so deeply with me. It sings about a woman who is trying to find her way home in her mind and find equilibrium and that’s what my character here is also going through. The lyrics are so evocative and descriptive, and it transports me to another place. It’s one of my favorite songs ever, period.”
Jamie Jackson (Judge Turpin)
“Your favorite Sondheim song changes through your life and if you said to me years ago that my favorite Sondheim song would be ‘No One Is Alone’ (from Into the Woods) I would have scoffed because that sentiment when I was younger was very cheesy… It urges us to think about the other side to every argument and how everybody has a different experience of different things. We are advised to be patient with each other and that way we find companionship in the most unlikely places. ‘No One Is Alone’ is a very powerful, helpful, inspiring song.”
John Rapson (Beadle Bamford)
“My favorite Stephen Sondheim song changes at least every two weeks, it’s an impossible question. But for the purposes of this exercise, my favorite Sondheim song currently is ‘Someone in a Tree’ from Pacific Overtures. I love this show and I love this song for the scope and beauty of its storytelling. It takes probably the most dramatic moment of the show and shows it to us from the perspective of people that history won’t remember… it shows how history is written and without someone in a tree we would never know exactly what had happened and those people are just as important as anybody else who is in that room.”
Kyrie Courter (Swing)
“My favorite Sondheim song is ‘I Remember’ from Evening Primrose because it’s so haunting, it’s so beautiful, it’s so optimistic in an unoptimistic situation. Even though you have to look between the lyrics to find that optimism, I do believe it’s still there. Also, as an artist there’s so much room for interpretation. I love any song that gives the artist an opportunity to really express it in their own voice – that’s really all of Sondheim’s music.”
Mia Pinero (Swing/Understudy)
“Although it’s impossibly hard, my favorite Sondheim song is ‘Children Will Listen’ from Into the Woods. I really don’t think there is a truer more powerful lyric than what lies in that song. It’s absolutely stunning.”