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Sad news from The Sondheim Review

The following notice has gone out to subscribers:

The Sondheim Review is
about to take a breather

The Summer 2013 issue of The Sondheim Review (TSR 76) will be mailed to subscribers starting on Monday, March 18. However, it contains an important announcement: The Sondheim Review must take a necessary hiatus following this issue. We anticipate that the next issue will be published and mailed in September 2013. All subscriptions will be extended by one issue. Updates about publication status will be posted at, and we expect to provide occasional news to subscribers via email and TSR’s Twitter feed, @SondheimReview.

Late in 2012, TSR’s publisher, Ray Birks, suffered a debilitating stroke. Since foundingTSR in 1994, Ray has been the “man behind the curtain” for all of the magazine’s business operations. After a period of hospitalization and rehab, he is recovering physically in a very promising way. But he will not be up to the challenges of managing the business end of the magazine for some time. Several members of his family have pitched in since the first of the year to ensure that issue 76 could be printed and mailed. We are working to solve some thorny matters like accessing databases and gaining access to financial accounts. issue 76 includes the aforementioned announcement of this hiatus on pages 2 and 52, with an assurance that subscriptions will be extended by one issue to make up for the gap.

This issue came together thanks to considerable extra effort by TSR’s editorial team — Paul Puccio, Christa Skiles, John Olson and Russ Dembin — plus above-and-beyond efforts by two contributing editors, Mark Eden Horowitz and Eric Grode. Everyone stepped up to do more proofreading and copy-editing than usual; Christa took on the arduous task of assembling and formatting the show listings, a chore Ray has handled since the beginning. We are committed to exploring the best ways to sustain TSR, and that is the other reason we need to take some time off from routine editorial matters to recreate business processes that Ray handled individually.

I believe I have communicated with everyone who had a writing assignment for issue 77, but if you’ve not heard from me directly, please send me an email — I expect to use those materials in the next issue, which (as mentioned) we expect to produce in September. If you have been a recent contributor, your payment will be coming your way — perhaps a bit slower than usual, but rest assured that it is coming.

If you have questions, please ask. It will take time for various issues to be sorted out and solved. We appear to be on the brink of getting access to email addresses for subscribers; in the interim, we’re counting on the announcements posted in the magazine to let people know about the hiatus. We’ll also post information on the TSR Twitter feed — @SondheimReview — which I hope you’ll sign up for if you haven’t done so yet. There will also be updates on the website, and I plan to send information to several musical theater list-serves. (If you have other suggestions regarding how to spread the word, please let me know.)

We are working diligently to get beyond this difficult period. Please keep Ray in your thoughts as he recovers. Thanks to him, TSR has become a cherished fixture in the lives of thousands of subscribers, and we are doing our best to bring it back to life as soon as possible.

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