(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/21.)
The lyrics under consideration here, written during a 27-year period, aren’t presented as fixed and sacred paradigms, carefully removed from tissue paper for our reverent inspection. They’re living, evolving, flawed organisms, still being shaped and poked and talked to by the man who created them. That happens to be Mr. Sondheim, the most (some might say only) significant writer of musicals to emerge during the past half-century. If you’re a fan of the genre, how can you not feel privileged to eavesdrop on his dialogue with his own words?
‘Finishing the Hat’ on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finishing-Hat-Collected-1954-1981-Principles/dp/0679439072/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1287755367&sr=1-1
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