The word is out that the new HBO series, The Miraculous Year, is based on Stephen Sondheim ’50, and the gossip pages are buzzing.

According to the New York Post’s Michael Riedel, Sondheim is “furious” and was “blind-sided” by the similarities between himself and the show’s fictional Terry Segal:

Terry Segal lives in an elegant townhouse; Sondheim has a gorgeous brownstone in Turtle Bay.

Terry’s gay, as is Sondheim.

Terry writes sophisticated shows that please the critics but fail at the box office.

“Follies” anyone? “Sweeney Todd”? “Sunday in the Park With George”? “Passion”??

Terry drinks a lot; Sondheim once told the Times, “I have a large capacity for alcohol.” A few years ago, I saw him polish off a bottle of Chardonnay — Kistler, if I remember correctly — during the intermission of “Follies” at City Center. His young boyfriend gently guided him across the street for the second act.

Terry also does cocaine, as did Sondheim in the ’70s, which he told his biographer, Meryle Secrest.

And at the end of the pilot, Terry, who’s 44, has a heart attack. So did Sondheim, in 1979, when he was 49.

Read the whole thing for details about Sondheim’s demands for changes in the script.

Sondheim isn’t commenting publicly, however.┬áIn London’s Daily Telegraph, Sondheim’s spokesman declined comment, stating only that “Steve is a very private person . . . [t]he closest he will ever come to revealing his own personal history is in the form of the book he is publishing with Random House in October called Finishing the Hat, and even that is in lyric form.”

The Miraculous Year is being directed by Kathryn Bigelow and will reportedly star Susan Sarandon and Frank Langella. HBO expects it to be released sometime next year.

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