Your Life Has Made You Beautiful
RIP Stephen Sondheim 😢...plus links to some Oldsterish content to peruse this holiday weekend...
I tend to read, watch, and listen to an awful lot of Oldsterish content. Now and then I’ll pass some of it along to you.
What makes something qualify as Oldsterish? It either highlights or calls into question what it means to be a particular age. Or, it’s nostalgic for any age group’s heyday.
“There was little indication that Mr. Sondheim, one of the greatest songwriters in the history of musical theater, was unwell…” Musical theater giant, genius, icon Stephen Sondheim has died at 91. Days before his sudden passing, he sat for his final major interview with Michael Paulson for the New York Times.
“His own work remains omnipresent: A production of his 1990 musical Assassins is currently running at Classic Stage Company, the third Broadway revival of his 1970 musical Company is in previews at the Jacobs Theatre, and on Monday, Steven Spielberg’s film of West Side Story will have its premiere at Lincoln Center.” At Vulture, Mark Harris pays tribute to Sondheim, who remained incredibly relevant, into his 90s.
“I am allowed one last question. ‘The title of your next film is “How Do You Live?,”’ I say. ‘Will you give us the answer?’…The smile comes only after he speaks: ‘I am making this movie because I do not have the answer.’” At T Style magazine, Ligaya Mishan profiles Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki, who has come out of retirement at 80, to make one more film.
“In the course of researching [Julia] Child and other high achievers for a book about the timetable of genius, I discovered a welcome truth: Midlife may be the gateway to the most satisfying, productive, and even successful decades of our lives.” At the Boston Globe, Claudia Kalb offers hope for those of us late-bloomers who don’t begin to really hit our strides until mid-life.
“My once-relaxing path had become an obstacle course. When you’re in the Medicare zone, falls are serious business.” After injuring herself too many times on Manhattan’s Hudson River Bikeway, septuagenarian New York Times columnist Joyce Wadler hires a 57-year-old bike coach.
“I saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show and everything changed. The world tilted. Formatively, that was my time and place. It shaped me.” At the Guardian, Sean O’Hagan interviews 74-year-old Patti Smith Band guitarist Lenny Kaye, who recalls seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and deciding to be a musician.
Speaking of The Beatles, are you watching Get Back, Peter Jackson’s obsessive three-part documentary on the making of Let it Be, the record (as opposed to Let it Be, the other Beatles documentary, covering the same time period)? My husband and I are obsessed. Ty Burr writes about this lengthy but fascinating nostalgia trip in his newsletter.
“When my time comes, he won’t have all these decisions to make by himself when he knows it would be hard for him. Right now, we can talk about it, we can plan it together…” At WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Roundtable host Sarah LaDuke interviews her mother, Carolyn—who’s living with terminal breast cancer—about achieving her goal of living to 80 this year, and actively planning for the end of her life.