Industrial musicals were like Broadway shows, only written and performed for corporate sales meetings or conventions. And as ridiculous as the songs were -- "My bathroom, my bathroom is a private kind of place" -- they were often delivered by very talented people.
The New York Times calls Stephen Sondheim the "greatest and perhaps best-known artists in American musical theater." Sondheim composed the music and lyrics for, among others, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Company. In 2010 he joined Fresh Air to discuss his career in musical theater.
HBO's new TV special is part biography, part music-appreciation lesson and part performance piece. Critic David Bianculli says it's a superbly compiled work, overseen by two of the people most intimately familiar with the composer himself.