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Stephen Sondheim and the Concept-Musical
Concept-musical is a theatre genre that earned a lot of popularity in recent years and is very hard to define. Its focus is on a main theme and often it includes the use of multimedia elements. In these kinds of productions, the main theme drives everything: the narrative, the characters, the dialogue, the music and the dance; every song contributes to the story and its depth, helping the audience better explore certain themes and complex emotions. The concept-musical started taking shape in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until “Company” was released in 1971 when the term “concept” was adopted and included in the description of a musical. The man that perfected this genre was Stephen Sondheim, the most prolific author of concept musicals. He revolutionized modern musical theatre by moving the focus from the story to the concept, bringing big changes to the way of composing the music and the lyrics, to the development of the characters, and also to the nature of the theatrical experience.
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