Finishing the Hat

Hardcover $45.00

Knopf | Oct 26, 2010 | 480 Pages | 8 x 10-7/8 | ISBN 9780679439073

  • Hardcover$45.00

    Knopf | Oct 26, 2010 | 480 Pages | 8 x 10-7/8 | ISBN 9780679439073

Praise

“Finishing the Hat is a show stopper! If you love Stephen Sondheim, hate him, or never even heard of him, you’ll still have a great ride—so take it! This book is filled with humor, controversy, stories about talented and glamorous people and, above all, life. And his lyrics! Everything you’ve ever wanted to know—about anything—is in those lyrics.” —Phyllis Newman
 
 “There is so much to be learned and appreciated from Finishing the Hat. It’s filled with fascinating, entertaining, unique and compelling lessons from a man who encompasses the essence of what is truly great about American Musical Theatre.” —Michael Feinstein
 
“Just as Stephen Sondheim is, without dispute, THE master lyricist for the theater of our generation (not to mention his superb music!), he now has written THE book on the art and craft of lyric writing. It is a book that will enrich and entertain anyone with an interest in music and theater, either as a life’s work or a life’s pleasure. It is like no other writing on the subject. It is Sondheim.” —Alan & Marilyn Bergman
 
“Seeing my first Sondheim musical, Follies, I was like the farm girl brought to the Homes of Tomorrow exhibit; breathless, nose pressed to the glass. This book takes the glass away. It’s a thrill to experience these shows again with Steve as your guide. What a gift to the theatre this book is! For actors, it’s a must. For lyricists, it a primer.” —Joanna Gleason
 
“The book is a masterpiece. There never has been and never will be one like it. It is about the grain of sand that produces the pearl and is indeed as honest and simple as that pearl. If you pay attention to this book you could learn how to write a song, though not a great song. That is forever mysterious as genius will always be. The main lesson is that this particular genius is dead practical. All the hocus pocus attached to art has no meaning in the mind of Sondheim. You must read it to see what does matter to him and you will marvel and read it again. And then again.” —Mike Nichols
 
“Stephen Sondheim’s book can be read for pleasure, information, wisdom, humor or inspiration; all of the pleasures I received. Or because it tells a few secrets about how genius works.” —Stanley Donen

Table Of Contents

Note to the Reader
Cast of Characters
Preface
Introduction
Rhyme and Its Reasons

1. Saturday Night
2. West Side Story
3. Gypsy
4. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
5. Anyone Can Whistle
6. Do I Hear a Waltz?
7. Company
8. Follies
9. A Little Night Music
10. The Frogs
11. Pacific Overtures
12. Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street
13. Merrily We Roll Along

Acknowledgments
Appendix: Original Broadway Productions
Index of Songs
Subject Index

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