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Decomposing Charles Strouse

  • Max Cantor, Director
  • Edward Schmit & Max Cantor, Producer

About the Project

Charles Strouse has created some of the most celebrated songs in American history, but at age 83, he is still fighting for validation, and trying to understand the complicated world that lives deep beneath his happy music. DECOMPOSING CHARLES STROUSE is the first and only documentary on the legendary Broadway composer, the brilliant talent behind for some of the most recognized and beloved songs in musical theatre history. As a young man, Strouse tried desperately to ease his mother's mental illness through his upbeat, joyful tunes. Later, as a father, he was distant, sometimes even cold, but the emotions and honesty of his songs told his children much of what he never said to them directly. Now, with most of his life behind him, he opens up to the camera with candor and humor.

In the eyes of the New York theatrical community, Strouse is a giant, a master at the top of his field. Still he can't shake the notion that he still has something to prove, never having achieved the name recognition of many of his contemporaries. Everyone knows the tunes "Tomorrow," "Hard Knock Life," and "Put On a Happy Face," but few people know the man who wrote them.