She Made It Beautiful

Barbara Bryne in Into the Woods

The Hollywood Reporter:

Barbara Bryne, the British actress who portrayed mothers in the original Broadway productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George and Into the Woods, has died. She was 94.

She played George’s mom alongside Mandy Patinkin in Sunday in the Park With George in 1984-85 — they sang the wistful “Beautiful” together — and was Jack’s mom opposite Ben Wright and Bernadette Peters in Into the Woods, which premiered in 1987.

And at the Kennedy Center in 2002, she was another Sondheim matriarch, Madame Armfeldt, in A Little Night Music.

Here she is in my favorite Sondheim show, Sunday in the Park with George*, singing one of the highlights of that score, a duet with Mandy Patinkin as the painter George Seurat while she plays his somewhat addled mother:

* My favorite Sondheim show varies from time to time. Suffice it to say that at various times it might be Sweeney or Sunday or even Assassins. Or Merrily or Passion or … 

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