Some of them rushed to the Theater District without tickets to pay tribute to the legend.READ MORE: The Show Must Go On, And Nobody Knows That Better Than Swings, Understudies And Ensemble Members Like Chelsea Lee Williams
“Cast, musicians, crew dedicate tonight’s and going forward for our entire run to Stephen Sondheim,” actress Patti LuPone said.
Before Friday’s production of “Company,” LuPone, the show’s star, was joined by the entire cast to pay tribute to Sondheim, who wrote the music and lyrics for the show.
Director Marianne Elliott said the performance was a celebration of the joy Sondheim brought to audiences.
“Well, he’s like Shakespeare, isn’t he? I mean, his work will live forever because he’s such a genius and because it always has something so relevant to say,” Elliott said.
“I feel like he raised me,” Sondheim fan Amelia Walker added.
Outside the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on West 45th Street, fans of every generation of theater lovers stood heartbroken.READ MORE: Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright Lynn Nottage Celebrates Having 3 Shows Running In NYC At The Same Time
“I think he’s up there with the legends. We were saying, he’s one of those people who you just feel like will live forever. So it was just kind of a big shock,” Walker said.
“We’ve lost the last of the great giants. This was him. Of the Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Kander and Ebb, he was the last,” fan Danny Ramirez said.
“It’s a genuinely sad night. He’ll live down in history for years and years in the future. I mean, his work speaks for itself,” Tyler Mell added.
Sondheim was in attendance for the first preview when “Company” returned to Broadway less than two weeks ago.
He was reportedly very happy with the results.
Many fans Caloway spoke with said they fell in love with theater because of Sondheim’s music, so there was a genuine sadness in the air Friday as the news of his death spread.MORE NEWS: 'Running A Show On Broadway Is A Challenge In The Best Of Circumstances': 'Girl From The North Country' Producer Discusses Decision To Close Acclaimed New Musical
CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.