When Stephen Sondheim was ten, his parents separated. He was left to live with his mother, who was basically nuts. She used Stephen as a proxy for her departed husband. We're not sure how far that extended, but... not good. Not good.
So where is a young boy to turn? Well, musical theater of course! With all is revelry, pageantry, and pizazz, with a chance to escape from the clingy fingers of an obsessive woman, into the hands of, well, men, but also all of Broadway.
So Stephen Sondheim became quite possibly the greatest composer in Broadway history. He has more Tony awards to his name than any other composer, and has scored musicals that even we, theater neophytes, have heard of. And we ask, would any of that be possible without his fucked up mother?
Even if it wouldn't, we'd be careful, Jewish mothers. Sometimes your child's success is just not worth the horror.