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Perspective | The best of theater in 2023

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Give me Sondheim, and plenty of him. But better, show me something about Stephen Sondheim’s work that I didn’t grasp before. Director Maria Friedman accomplished exactly that, first at New York Theatre Workshop in the East Village, and then at the Hudson Theatre on Broadway, in a revival of the 1981 musical by the composer-lyricist, with a book by writer George Furth that effectively erases “flawed” from the show’s bio. By infusing it with genuine heart, courtesy of a cast headed by Jonathan Groff, Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez, Friedman told the story (backward, chronologically) of the death of a friendship with irresistible insight, and passion.

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