Bookwaves/Artwaves: Stephen Sondheim (1930-2021)

Bookwaves/Artwaves is produced and hosted by Richard Wolinsky.

Links to assorted local theater & book venues


Stephen Sondheim (1930 – November 26, 2021) in conversation with Richard Wolinsky, recorded in San Francisco, November 6, 2010. This interview has not aired since its original broadcast.

Stephen Sondheim died at the age of 91 on November 26, 2021. A titan of American musical theater whose work both transcended and changed the genre itself, Sondheim was responsible for the lyrics for Gypsy and West Side Story — and his own shows, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, all became classics in the field. His lyrics were clever and deep – whether it be the torch song “Losing My Mind” from Follies, the history lesson, “Someone in a Tree” from Pacific Overtures, the gorgeous “Sunday” from Sunday in the Park, “Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd, “Not a Day Goes By” from Merrily We Roll Along, “Send in the Clowns”… the list goes on.

In this interview recorded following the publication of Finishing The Hat, first of his two-volume autobiography/collected lyrics, he discusses elements of musical theater, his view on “Mary Poppins” as a musical, how he crafts lyrics, what’s important in acting in his shows, his experiences writing for the TV show “Topper,” and spending time on the set of “Beat the Devil” with John Huston and Humphrey Bogart, and more. Complete Interview

Stephen Sondheim interview, for Look, I Made a Hat, the second volume of his autobiography/collected lyrics, recorded November 29, 2011 in his townhouse in New York City.


Review: “The Woman in Black” at ACT’s Strand Theater through January 16, 2022.


Book Interview/Events and Theatre Links

Note: Most in-person events require proof of full vaccination for all audience members over 12 and masks. Shows may unexpectedly close early or be postponed due to actors’ positive COVID tests. Club Fugazi‘s new show, Dear San Francisco, is closed until January 7, 2022 due to a breakthrough case in the cast. Check the venue for closures and ticket refunds before arrival. Dates are in-theater performances unless otherwise noted.

Book Stores
Bay Area Book Festival  Bay Area Book Festival, May 7-8, 2022,
Book Passage.  Calendar for December. Mix of on-line and in-store events.
Books Inc.  Mix of on-line and in-store events.
The Booksmith   Calendar for December. On-line events only.
Center for Literary Arts, San Jose. Check website for archived events.
Kepler’s Books  On-line Refresh the Page program listings.

Live Theater Companies
Alter Theatre. Upcoming: Snag by Tara Moses.
American Conservatory Theatre The Woman in Black, original London production, December 15 – January 16, Strand. 2022 season: Freestyle Love Supreme opens January 21, 2022 at the Geary Theater.
Aurora Theatre This Much I Know starts February 4, 2022.
Awesome Theatre Company. On-line now: The Jersey Devil Play, on Vimeo.

Berkeley Rep Swept Away, January 9 – March 22, 2022. Mike Birbiglia, Jan. 4-23. 2022. Fran Lebowitz, Jan. 22-26, 2022.
Brava Theatre Center: See page for updated listings.
BroadwaySF: Touring companies: The Band’s Visit, January 11 – February 6, 2022, Golden Gate.
Broadway San Jose: A Magical Cirque Christmas, Dec. 30, 7:30 pm. The Simon and Garfunkel Story, January 12, 2022, 7:30 pm.
California Shakespeare Theatre (Cal Shakes)  Streaming: Br’er Peach, through January 11, 2022. Romeo y Juliet May 25 – June 19, 2022.
Central Works Audio plays: Bystanders by Patricia Milton, streaming now. The Human Ounce by Nicole Parizeau, streaming now.  2022 season to be announced.
Cinnabar Theatre. Cyrano by Edmond Rostand, begins December 31, 2021.
Contra Costa Civic Theatre See page for upcoming productions.
Curran Theater: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set to resume January 11, 2022 as a single evening play. Taylor Mac videos available on-line.
Custom Made Theatre Season schedule resumes in 2022.
42nd Street Moon. Fun Home, February 3-22. 2022, Gateway Theater.
Landmark Musical Theater. Upcoming schedule to be announced.
Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. Upcoming schedule to be announced.
Magic Theatre. Check website for 2022 season.
Marin Theatre Company On demand through January 3, 2022: Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon.
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts Upcoming Events Page.
New Conservatory Theatre Center Streaming: Hold Me The Forgotten Way, through December, 31, 2021. In Theater: Gently Down the Stream by Martin Sherman, December 3, 2021 – January 9, 2022.
Oakland Theater Project. 2022 season starts with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, February 11 – March 6, 2022, at FLAX art & design, 1501 MLK, Oakland.
Pear Theater. In Theater: Mountaintop by Katori Hall, January 21 – February 13, 2022.
PianoFight. Calendar of shows. Expansion to The Flight Deck in Oakland. SF Sketchfest, January 7-23.
Ray of Light: Upcoming shows to be announced.
San Francisco Playhouse. Twelfth Night, a musical adaptation. Nov. 24 – January 15, in theater. On Demand: December 1 – January 15.
SFBATCO See website for upcoming streaming and in theatre shows.
San Jose Stage Company: Strange Courtesies by L. Peter Callender, scheduled to open in January, has been rescheduled to spring, 2023. Coming next: August: Osage County, March 30 – April 24, 2022.
Shotgun Players. The Cassandra Sessions: Recording the World, Extended through January 2, 2022.
The Breath Project. Streaming archive.
The Marsh: MarshStream updated calendar. Fool, La La: Holiday Tune-up, The Marsh in Berkeley, Dec. 23 – January 2.
Theatre Rhino The 2021 Rhino Holiday Extravaganza, set for December 30th, has been cancelled. Contact the Rhino for refunds. The Rhino Reading Series, see website for dates and times, 4229 18th St., SF. Streaming: Essential Services Project, conceived and performed by John Fisher, all weekly performances now available on demand.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Hershey Felder as Chopin, scheduled to open in January, has been postponed until August 17, 2022.
Word for Word. Wordcast streaming: A Pair of Eyeglasses by by Anna Maria Ortese; Home by George Saunders; two by Toni Cade Bambara, live November 4. Each will be streamed through summer, 2022.

National, Misc:
Chamber Music San Francisco: Live concerts return February, 2022.
Dance Mission Theatre. On stage events calendar.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: New 2022 season announced.

Playbill List of Streaming Theatre: Updated weekly, this is probably the best list you’ll find of national and international streaming plays and musicals. Each week has its own webpage, so scroll down.
National Theatrical Streaming: Upcoming plays from around the country.
Filmed Live Musicals: Searchable database of all filmed live musicals, podcast, blog.

If you’d like to add your bookstore or theater venue to this list, please write [email protected]




Artist Song Album Label
Matthew MontfortAmberGuitar WorksNarada Productions, Inc.
SantanaEuropa (Earth's Cry, Heaven's Smile)Les IndispensablesSony Music Media