Traditionally, musical theatre composers have faded out of relevance around their fiftieth birthday. Stephen Sondheim, the composer-lyricist whose incomparable shows changed the landscape and raised the standards of American musicals, managed to be an exception. How did he do it? By working with James Lapine, a playwright and director nearly 20 years his junior. This thesis examines Lapine and Sondheim's relationship and explores how the young Lapine infused the aging Sondheim and his work with youth, allowing him to stay fresh and avoid running out of steam.
Worsham, Luke. "'You're New, Or Else You're Through': How Collaborating with James Lapine Kept Stephen Sondheim Fresh and Youthful in His Fifties and Sixties." Honors Thesis. Belmont University, 2022.