The red stairs above TKTS in New York City's Times Square were packed with mourners, including stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles, who honored the late Sondheim with a rendition of "Sunday" from the Tony Award winner's production Sunday in the Park with George.
Video shared on social media captured the emotional tribute to the beloved and groundbreaking composer.
Bareilles, 41, told Variety of the performance, "This felt like church. In his remembrance, we did what theater does best. We sang and raised our voices and came together in community."
A moving tribute to Stephen Sondheim today on the Red Steps in Times Square. Broadway sang ‘Sunday’ on Sunday from ‘Sunday in the Park with George.’ He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/9GiiLVGGtR
— Times Square (@TimesSquareNYC) November 28, 2021
She captioned the snapshot, "Singing the sermon of #sondheim. Together in community, in tears, in time. Lin reading from the book of Stephen, gathering us in, toward the soft ache of loss and reverence and memory and holding how we are all held by the work of this one man."
Bareilles added, "We don't know what we mean to each other. We can't possibly. It is everything.I am thankful for this warm, kind, musical heart made of theater going, loving, leading souls that is beating on this not so ordinary Sunday."
Groban, 40, commented on the post, "It was beautiful. ❤️"
The "You Raise Me Up" singer also told Variety, "Everybody who's here has a touchstone for why Sondheim's music has brought them to this place. And whatever part of the entertainment industry we're in, everybody is here because we were first influenced by Sondheim's music. To mourn his passing is a crushing blow."
Sondheim's attorney and friend F. Richard Pappas announced his passing on Friday, per the New York Times. The beloved lyricist celebrated Thanksgiving a day prior.
Early on in his career, Sondheim wrote the lyrics to the classic musicals West Side Story, which premiered in 1957, and Gypsy two years later.
Sondheim is also the musical mastermind behind A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, along with Company, Follies, A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Into the Woods, to name a few.
He is survived by his husband Jeffrey Romley.