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Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes Hardcover – Oct 26 2010


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Hardcover, Oct 26 2010
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Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes + Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (Oct. 26 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679439072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679439073
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 2.9 x 28.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #162,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"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

About the Author

Stephen Sondheim has written award-winning music and lyrics for theater, film and television. He is also the coauthor of the film The Last of Sheila and the play Getting Away with Murder. Sondheim is on the council of the Dramatists Guild of America, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981. He lives in New York City.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Who better to do so? with a lot of extra notes on other composers lyricists writers with explanations of why he thinks so. A real gem in the field of critical analysis of theatre. PLUS some fun gossip!
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By Maxisback TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 30 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a superb book with pictures of the original casts, posters and Mr. Sondheim. He is candid in his writing, and his lyrics are made more wonderful by the music that either he or others wrote. If you love Sondheim, then this book is definitely for you!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By One singular sensation... TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 1 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Finishing the Hat" is a perfect read, except for the title which is from a show not covered in this volume. But it does sum up a great deal of what a brilliant mind like Sondheim's goes through to produce the musical miracles that he does. I loved every moment.The lyrics alone are worth any price, but the insights are so stupendously insightful that they leave one almost breathless as one reads and rereads just to catch a precious glimmer of the struggles and successes that are Sondheim at his best...which he almost always is. That is my one complaint about the book; he is too critical of himself. There are songs that he seems to find little in to praise, but I could listen to them forever. Cynical - "I'm Still Here", "The Ladies Who Lunch" or sentimental - "Send in the Clowns", "So Many People" - this is like discovering Aladdin's treasure; sometimes rediscovering them with so much to cherish. Some of his songs slip into the shadows, but are here lovingly gathered up and brought back into one's mind and heart - "The Road You Didn't Take", "Another Hundred People". I think I'd happily give up a year of my life to spend one hour talking to this unique master of the music of the theatre, and explorer into the very souls of us all.
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By Yannick Vezina on Sept. 8 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great deal fast shiping ! I recommand this seller. Thank you.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sheldon on Dec 29 2010
Format: Hardcover
Reading Mr. Sondheim's insightful and informative prose is very entertaining. I enjoyed the "inside" scoop on his collaborators, peers and other Broadway types. His meticulous attention to detail as he converts character into lyric is fascinating. I wish he had spent more time describing some of his music compositional techniques and how these, wedded with the lyrics, produced the great works he writes about.
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