Guettel's music was almost immediately characterized by its complexity and use of various strings. He is perhaps one of the modern musical theater composers most heavily influenced by the work of Stephen Sondheim (for his part, Sondheim has referred to Guettel's work as "dazzling".) Guettel's songs have been recorded by such artists as Audra McDonald and Brian d'Arcy James. After six years working on the project, Guettel's musical The Light in the Piazza opened on Broadway in 2005. The show, which starred Victoria Clark and Kelli O'Hara, was met with critical acclaim, and on June 5, 2005, Adam Guettel won the Tony Award for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre for The Light in the Piazza. He also took home the award for Best Orchestrations for the same show. In 2003, one of Guettel's future projects was said to be "a shockingly ambitious concert piece for Audra McDonald." The composer also spent much of 2006 working on a musical adaptation of The Princess Bride with original screenwriter William Goldman.
As of January 2007, Guettel had completed several songs for the project. An orchestral suite from the score was performed at the Hollywood Bowl in November 2006, and Lincoln Center conducted a workshop of Bride in January 2007. The project was abandoned when Goldman reportedly demanded 75 percent of the author's share, even though Guettel was writing both the music and the lyrics. Read more on Last.fm.
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