THEATER: Miserably Ever After

Stephen Sondheim's new musical is unremittingly grim

It says something about Stephen Sondheim that being in love for the first time in his 64 years -- as he recently acknowledged he is -- has evoked the darkest, most depressing show of his career. Passion, the only memorable musical of the Broadway season, portrays the romantic obsession of a penniless, ugly and dying woman for a kind, handsome and accomplished soldier. By the end, she is dead, he has been driven insane, the man who introduced ; them has been gravely wounded, and a doctor who fostered the relationship has been burdened with guilt that will last a lifetime....

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