Following the recent death of Stephen Sondheim, a letter he wrote Team America: World Police and South Park co-creator Trey Parker has emerged.
The Broadway legend, who was well known for musical classics such as West Side Story and Sweeney Todd, passed away last month aged 91.
Following the news, the official account for The Book Of Mormon has posted a letter that Sondheim wrote to Parker, revealing he voted for their 2004 comedy Team America for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
“I would have written you sooner, but I’ve had trouble finding your address,” he began. “I hope this reaches you, because it’s another fan letter. I saw Team America and voted for it as the best movie of the year (a fat lot of good it did you).
Inspired by the greatest. pic.twitter.com/vNLymFJwXz
— THE BOOK OF MORMON (@BookofMormon) December 3, 2021
“I gather from friends to whom I’ve burbled on about it that it was treated rottenly by the critics and that you are much discouraged. I can’t blame you, but then again this is the time of discouragement. In any event, congratulations to you and your partner [Matt Stone].”
Sondheim went on to ask whether he would be interested in working together, adding: “Would you ever be interested in writing a stage musical with an old traditionalist, namely me?”
While that collaboration never materialised, Parker did go on to co-write musical hit The Book Of Mormon with Stone and Robert Lopez. He and Stone also referenced Sondheim in South Park episode Broadway Bro Down.
Following the news of Sondheim’s passing, tributes flooded in from the world of entertainment, including from Hugh Jackman, who wrote: “Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest.”
Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda added: “Future historians: Stephen Sondheim was real. Yes, he wrote Tony & Maria AND Sweeney Todd AND Bobby AND George & Dot AND Fosca AND countless more. Some may theorize Shakespeare’s works were by committee but Steve was real & he was here & he laughed SO loud at shows & we loved him.”
Sondheim was largely credited for re-invigorating musical theatre from the mid-to-late 1950s, and was also well known for shows such as Gypsy, Company, Follies and Sunday In The Park With George.