Six By Sondheim (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Six By Sondheim (2013)

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"Everybody has problems. Nobody goes through life unscathed, and I think if you write about those things, you're going to touch people," says Stephen Sondheim in SIX BY SONDHEIM, an intimate and candid look at the life and art of the legendary composer-lyricist. Since his Broadway debut at age 27 as the lyricist for "West Side Story," Sondheim has redefined musical theatre over the course of a six-decade career through such groundbreaking works as "Company," "Sweeney Todd" and "Sunday in the Park with George." Directed by Tony Award-winner and frequent Sondheim collaborator James Lapine, SIX BY SONDHEIM is a highly personal profile of a great American artist as revealed through the creation and performance of six of his iconic songs. Told primarily in Sondheim's own words, this feature documentary weaves together dozens of interviews with the composer, rarely seen archival material spanning more than half a century (including newly discovered footage of Ethel Merman performing "Gypsy") and re-stagings of three songs produced especially for the film.

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Critic Reviews for Six By Sondheim

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (7)

Lapine's direction is almost the star of Six by Sondheim. Not only has he used the six songs to illuminate the composer's life, he organizes years and years of interviews as if they are an ongoing conversation - which, in many ways, they are.

December 9, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Six by Sondheim's awareness of its own design is unobtrusively embedded beneath every moment of the film, like a refrain buried so deep in a musical's score that the ear doesn't register it until the final curtain.

December 9, 2013 | Full Review…
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Six is tour of his past, with special emphasis on a half-dozen tunes.

December 9, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Despite the music in James Lapine's documentary, Six By Sondheim, it is archival clips of Mr. Sondheim describing how he writes that make the film a treasure.

December 6, 2013 | Full Review…
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

It's always challenging to capture the essence of such artistry on film, and Lapine comes pretty close.

December 6, 2013 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Riveting, important and lots of fun.

December 6, 2013 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Newsday
Top Critic

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