As the house lights went down the other week on the first performance of “Company” since the COVID shutdown, an old man, wearing a ratty sweater, slipped into the theater from a side entrance.
If he hoped to be unobtrusive, he failed. The audience recognized him immediately – Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the show’s score. The crowd leapt up, its thunderous cheering causing a minor seismic shock in Times Square.
You couldn’t see Sondheim’s face – masking is strictly enforced on Broadway – but I have no doubt it flashed that sly grin that always seemed to say (to me at least), “Thanks for the recognition, but let’s not get carried away.”
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