Stephen Sondheim Calls Lady Gaga’s ‘Sound of Music’ Tribute a ‘Travesty’
While the world — Julie Andrews included — was left in awe by Lady Gaga's unbelievable Sound of Music tribute at the 2015 Oscars, legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim thought otherwise, to say the least.
Speaking to the Times of London (quotes via Playbill.com), the famed composer and lyricist was brutally honest about his opinion of Gaga's performance, slandering her number and even going so far as to call it a "travesty." Whoa.
"On the Academy Awards she was a travesty," Sondheim, 84, told the British paper. "It was ridiculous, as it would be from any singer who treats that music in semi-operatic style. She had no relationship to what she was singing. What people liked was her versatility."
Sondheim's close relationship with the late Oscar Hammerstein II (aka one half of Rodgers and Hammerstein, the legendary duo behind the Sound of Music on Broadway) may explain some of the composer's response, as Hammerstein served as his mentor.
And though Sondheim's reaction to Gaga's performance may sting — after all, the man composed such iconic shows as West Side Story, Sweeney Todd and many more — it was Julie Andrews' response that is the biggest (and perhaps, best) takeaway.
"She hit it out of the ballpark," Andrews said. "And then she was gracious enough to hand it to me. So that’s a really wonderful thing to do, too, I think. As they say in Hollywood jargon, 'She rates tall in my book.'"
After all, there's no greater response than praise from the woman who originated the role.
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