Saturday, November 6th

tags: quotes. finishing the hat.
Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim - review | Books | The Guardian

"This is, ultimately, what makes the book so moving: the creative breakthroughs, the sudden understanding of what one is up to, of what the craft requires, the things that transform a show and make it live. It is crammed full of brilliantly etched accounts of such moments, and trenchant character sketches of some of the great monstres sacrés of the theatre, but above all, of course, it is a cornucopia of some of the greatest lyrics of our – of all – time, some familiar, some rescued from oblivion, all given context and history."

Friday, November 5th

11 notes

tags: quotes. finishing the hat. stephen sondheim.
There are only three principles necessary for a lyric writer, all of them familiar truisms… they underlie everything I’ve ever written. In no particular order, and to be written in stone: Content Dictates Form; Less Is More; God is in the Details. All in the service of Clarity, without which nothing else matters.
Stephen Sondheim, Finishing the Hat
Thursday, November 4th
In his review of “Finishing the Hat,” Paul Simon says: “A scene for ‘Gypsy’ originally meant to be choreographed by Jerome Robbins had to be redone when Robbins said he didn’t have time to do it balletically. The plot information would have to come in the form of a song.” Sondheim and Robbins, Simon adds, “worked for three uninterrupted hours and produced what would become the showstopper ‘Rose’s Turn.’” That showstopper, of course, was written for the doyenne of musical comedies. As Sondheim writes, “How Jerry intended to use Ethel Merman in a ballet is something we’ll never know, I’m sorry to say.”
Footlights & Footnotes: The Pleasures of Sondheim’s ‘Finishing the Hat’ -
Wednesday, November 3rd
To believe that ‘Anyone Can Whistle’ is my credo is to believe that I’m the prototypical Repressed Intellectual and that explains everything about me,” Sondheim writes crankily in a book that bristles with a magnificent crankiness. “Perhaps being tagged with a cliche shouldn’t bother me, but it does, and to my chagrin I realize it means that I care more about how I’m perceived than I wish I did. I’d like to think this concern hasn’t affected my work, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it has.
Jeremy Gerard (Sondheim Puzzles Over Popularity of ’Clowns,’ Dissects Himself - Bloomberg)
Sunday, October 31st

11 notes

tags: quotes. finishing the hat. paul simon.
After reading Finishing the Hat, I felt as if I had taken a master class in how to write a musical. A class given by the theater’s finest living songwriter… . Sondheim’s lyrics are deeper, more invisibly intricate and braver in their search for truth than those of any who have preceded him.
Paul Simon (Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim « Knopf Doubleday)
Saturday, October 30th

Stephen Sondheim with [soprano queen] Barbara Cook at the release of Finishing the Hat


Stephen Sondheim with [soprano queen] Barbara Cook at the release of Finishing the Hat

Friday, October 29th
Thursday, October 28th

12 notes

tags: articles. finishing the hat. paul simon.
Wednesday, October 27th

(via bitcaw)

38 notes

tags: pictures. finishing the hat.


A lyric exists in time and unlike poetry you can’t go over it at your own leisure. If an audience don’t like what they hear, fine, but if they don’t understand what they hear, then the author has committed a sin.
Stephen Sondheim
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