Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finishing the Hat

My friend Cheryl Davis gave me a copy of "Finishing the Hat" a few months ago. I started reading it last Saturday, and was up until 2AM. It's wonderful. How Sondheim writes about the writing process, looking a multiple drafts of lyrics, lyricists he admires and why (he's much bigger on Frank Loesser than Oscar Hammerstein, as am I). I am in the middle of the Anyone Can Whistle chapter.
Sondheim did not answer my abiding question about Do I Hear a Waltz? (which may well be a Richard Rodgers questions, but he's not around anymore). Why would you set a musical that's all waltzes in Venice? What is Venetian about a waltz?
The link above is to Paul Simon's review in the New York Times.