Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Sondheim - Finishing the Hat

Stephen Sondheim has written a book.  It's A BIG, TALL GIANT of a book, but of course it would be.  And it only covers his writing career from 1954 and 1981.  A second volume will be released "in a year" so he says.  I love it, except that it's too big to carry around everywhere like I want to.   It's not really an autobiography but he does take the time to tell his side on his creation of musical works written for the stage, including Saturday Night, West Side Story, GypsyA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Do I Hear a Waltz?, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Merrily We Roll Along.   All of the lyrics are included, with his commentary, plus production and rehearsal photographs.  It's brilliant.  

Sondheim was interviewed on the radio twice last week - once for WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show and once for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.   (And during her introduction, Terry mistakenly says, "There's a revival on Broaday of his 1971 show 'Follies.'  The revival stars Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch."   Oh if that's isn't a hopeful Freudian slip, I don't know what is.  Maybe its prophesy.) 

They are required listening.


Gil said...

I found this waiting for me in the lobby when I went to work this morning, so I unboxed it and put it in my work bag. I expected it to be a lot smaller--Hammerstein's lyric book was a YA novel size!

Sarah B. Roberts said...

Gil, You're going to need a chiropractor if you carry it around in your backpack.