Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany [Hardcover]

Stephen Sondheim
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 50.00
Price: CDN$ 31.35 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: CDN$ 18.65 (37%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Thursday, October 23? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover, Bargain Price CDN $20.00  
Hardcover, Nov. 22 2011 CDN $31.35  
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

Nov. 22 2011
After his acclaimed and best-selling Finishing the Hat (named one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2010), Stephen Sondheim returns with the second volume of his collected lyrics, Look, I Made a Hat, giving us another remarkable glimpse into the brilliant mind of this living legend, and his life’s work.
Picking up where he left off in Finishing the Hat, Sondheim gives us all the lyrics, along with excluded songs and early drafts, of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Assassins and Passion. Here, too, is an in-depth look at the evolution of Wise Guys, which subsequently was transformed into Bounce and eventually became Road Show. Sondheim takes us through his contributions to both television and film, some of which may surprise you, and covers plenty of never-before-seen material from unproduced projects as well. There are abundant anecdotes about his many collaborations, and readers are treated to rare personal material in this volume, as Sondheim includes songs culled from commissions, parodies and personal special occasions over the years—such as a hilarious song for Leonard Bernstein’s seventieth birthday. As he did in the previous volume, Sondheim richly annotates his lyrics with invaluable advice on songwriting, discussions of theater history and the state of the industry today, and exacting dissections of his work, both the successes and the failures.
Filled with even more behind-the-scenes photographs and illustrations from Sondheim’s original manuscripts, Look, I Made a Hat is fascinating, devourable and essential reading for any fan of the theater or this great man’s work.

Frequently Bought Together

Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany + Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes
Price For Both: CDN$ 62.70

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description


“Sondheim is a national treasure, a giant in the world of musical theater who changed the structure and sound of the form in 20th-century masterpieces. Speaking of heaven, though, here's Look, I Made a Hat, the second part of Sondheim's two-volume collection of lyrics, this one spanning 1981-2011, with additional bits and pieces. Talmudically thorough and devilishly diverting with what the author refers to as ‘attendant comments, amplifications, dogmas, harangues, digressions, anecdotes, and miscellany,’ the book is divine. It's also even more magnanimously authoritative than the first book. The handsomely designed book, like the first volume, contains illuminating reproductions of pages from the author's beloved legal pads on which he works out rhyme schemes, as well as annotated scripts and pages of musical notations. And the second volume is brimming — a word Sondheim would probably dismiss as ‘infelicitous’ — with precise, vigorous, instructive, sharp-tongued, and often very funny comments. Look, I Made a Hat, together with Finishing the Hat, makes an enormously satisfying journal by one of the great theatrical minds of our time, a guide and touchstone for who knows how many future great theatrical minds. A” —Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
“While the book technically covers Mr. Sondheim’s output from 1981 to the present, aficionados will delight in all the bits and bobs from early in his career that Mr. Sondheim didn’t make room for in the first volume . . . The extensive miscellany also includes a drawerful of lyrics Mr. Sondheim wrote as birthday gifts for friends like Harold Prince, Mary Rodgers and Leonard Bernstein. One of the choicest pleasures of the first volume was in Mr. Sondheim’s sharp-minded analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of musical theater lyricists from the past. He’s covered most of that territory already, so the new book features essays on ‘Awards and Their Uselessness’ and ‘Critics and Their Uses’ — savory reading.” —Charles Isherwood, New York Times

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4 star
2 star
1 star
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Arrived in bad condition, but a great read April 10 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book, along with its companion, is fantastic and amazingly insightful. I was disappointed, however, to find that they arrived in a fairly beat-up condition, despite having been purchased new. The packaging used was not sturdy enough to handle being shipped, I guess. Still, a great purchase! Sondheim's genius is evident from page 1, and his insights into his own work and the work of others are always incredible.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars And such a fabulous hat, too! Jan. 1 2012
By One singular sensation... TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Most of the work of Stephen Sondheim that I love and deeply admire, is covered in the first splendid volume, "Finishing the Hat". "Follies", "A Little Night Music", "Company", "Sweeney Todd" are all treasures from the theatre that should be revived whenever the times change or something new is seen in them that audiences, not the creators, missed before. Even "Anyone Can Whistle", with major rewriting to create a character, not caricature, for the mayor and remove the last scene from Act One, would stand the test of time. So we come to volume two, which I feared would be a falling off. It is not. There is no fantastic great show to anchor the book, though "Merrily We Roll Along" finally makes complete sense and has harmony, something not even the best production I have seen has been able to bring to life. And "Road Show"? I still don't like it though I have listened to the CD five times now. But at last I understand what different forces were at work here. And though I don't like it, Sondheim has led me to appreciate it.
So the book is a learning experience, and a very necessary one if the theatre-goer wants to truly understand Sondheim and his phenomenal body of work. "Finishing the Hat" leads us into his magic and lets us glimpse him at work; "Look, I Made a Hat", continues the journey, not to any conclusion, but to a myriad of marvellous places, each an insight into ourselves. What more can a book do?
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Art Isn't Easy, Indeed Nov. 29 2011
By AC Willment - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a Sondheim fan (though not as monomaniacally worshipful as some) I have positive but not unmixed feelings about this book, as I did about the previous volume, Finishing the Hat. Overall I'd highly recommend both, in fact think they are invaluable for anyone interested at all in American musical theatre. But to the old expression that children, law, and sausage are three things one should not watch being made, I might add a fourth: art. As with the first book, I sometimes shook my head in dismay and wonderment, asking myself, "was that REALLY what you were thinking when you wrote ...?" I was so disappointed to find that the wittiest line in West Side Story was not an intentional play on words, but a compromise because SS couldn't drop an f-bomb. ("Krup you" is witty. The f-bomb wouldn't even have been funny.) The letdown in this volume was to find that the shooting-gallery setting in Assassins (my favourite of his works) was in the source material, not Sondheim's invention. In sum, if you approach the book believing that Sondheim really is God, and that art springs whole and perfect like Athena from Zeus's brow, expect to be disillusioned. Art is work, and work is often drudgery. (If you have ever even tried to write, though, you'll smile wryly and often laugh out loud.)

Buy this book especially for the section on Wise Guys/Bounce/Road Show. The Mizners and Sondheim were like Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar: He just couldn't quit them. This lengthy section is a great detailed case study of how a musical gets put together, taken apart, put together again. Theatre is a collaborative art, perhaps the ultimate collaborative art, and collaboration invariably involves compromises, with other artists, with the material, with the audience. (At times reading this section is like being in a car collision: you can see it coming in slow motion, you know what's happening, and yet you can't stop the momentum. Ultimately the mountain laboured and brought forth a mouse: the cast recordings of Road Show and Bounce, like Saturday Night, are for Sondheim completists.)

If you're seriously interested in the art of creating musical theatre, you'd do well to seek out the source material Sondheim helpfully identifies, to gain greater insight into the process of shaping and reshaping a story as it changes media -- what changed, what didn't, how music interacted with the material. (This is especially the case with Passion. Same story, three utterly different takes.)

At the outset, Sondheim promises us that he will not discuss his love life. Thank you, Mr Sondheim: I, for one, am far less interested in sex, which anyone can do, than in Assassins, which only Sondheim could have done.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reaching through the world of the hat Dec 5 2011
By Damien Slattery - Published on Amazon.com
This second (and final) volume sees Sondheim amend some of the omissions in his last book, and of course is a study of his lyrical contributions from SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE to his most recent ROAD SHOW, with a litany of attendant side-notes that enhance and reveal his craft.

Other reviewers had noted that the greater part of this book examines the evolving developments of his WISE GUYS/BOUNCE/ROAD SHOW odyssey and this is devoid of any criticism of collaborators - a noble feat, considering the public spats and litigation that flowered this particular theatrical effort.

The essays in this book are less frequent than before, and his wonderful perceptions of the theatrical lyricists that colored his last endeavor are reduced to two minor articles in brief overview of some of the lesser-known practitioners like John La Touche and Hugh Martin. I could have done with more of these, as Sondheim has a natural facility for criticism. Other essays detail his views of his musical revivals and the tinkering that theatrical directors bring to them. "Critics and Their Uses" is a measured article that is less blasting than expected, considering the barrage of attack that he has been subjected to over the years. As the author is the winner of an Oscar, countless Tony awards and more significant achievements like the Pulitzer Prize, we are presented with a good and balanced article on the merit (or lack thereof) of winning and worth.

Some of the more obscure lyrics that Sondheim has written for friends and aborted projects are documented, and as the accompanying music is unknown, the reader has a chance to guess the tunes dictated by Sondheim's rhythmical meters and hear their own inner music. Also included are a little selection of his earliest (non-professional) work, and these are presented as an incentive to aspiring writers.

The epilogue is a rather moving piece recounting the toll that advancing years has had on his creative powers, and is a personal favorite of mine, as it reveals a little of the man behind one of the great geniuses this modern age has produced.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look, I Made a Hat Dec 29 2011
By Brendan Moody - Published on Amazon.com
In terms of structure this second volume of Stephen Sondheim's collected lyrics is much like his first: after a one-paragraph summary of the show and an introductory note on its development from a concept to a full production, we get the lyrics, including cut songs and alternate versions, surrounded by just enough plot summary that the songs make sense and interspersed with annotations on the logic behind the songs, the stories behind them, the successes and failures (in Sondheim's eyes) of a line, a verse, a whole lyric. Short essays on general musical-theater themes appear in boxouts at intervals throughout. A few photos, all black-and-white, are nice enough but pale in comparison to the other images: reduced pages that show the original handwritten workings for various songs, with alternate readings crowding each other out. They aren't always fully legible, but the general insight into the evolution of a song is invaluable. On a larger level, the annotations and essays reveal aspects of the construction of a musical that even devotees of the form might not have considered. Sondheim's non-fiction voice, incisive, witty, and self-deprecating, is always entertaining.

What sets Look, I Made a Hat apart from volume one, Finishing the Hat, is that the included content is a little different. Where the earlier book featured thirteen full shows, including early classics like Gypsy and the extraordinary successes of the 1970s, this one covers only five. The reason it's nonetheless the same approximate length as the first book is that (1) one show (known variously as Wise Guys, Bounce, and Road Show) is presented in four versions and (2) there's a large selection of additional lyrics: pieces from unproduced shows, contributions to shows by others, songs from movies, songs for television, and a miscellany of commissioned songs, occasional songs, and early songs. The boxouts in this volume are a little different too: in volume one they dealt most with his judgments of other lyricists, while here they expand to cover general topics such as revivals, awards, and critics (about whom Sondheim writes thoughtfully, with the sensitive ambivalence one often sees in artists confronting those who are at once allies and enemies). The annotations seems less frequent and a little less intriguing than in volume one, though that might be just my impression.

Although the shows here are fewer and less familiar than those in the first volume (and one, Passion, is, as Sondheim points out, especially difficult to appreciate without the music), there are compensations. The evolution of Wise Guys/Bounce/Road Show offers an especially powerful glimpse into the complexities of shaping a musical at both micro and macro levels; readers familiar with the music from one or another version of the show can observe how it appears and reappears in different contexts over time. The sections on other musicals, movies, and television give Sondheim fans who know only his basic discography the chance to discover songs they've missed and seek out recordings to get the full effect, and the final chapter is a treasure trove of curiosities, like birthday songs for Hal Prince and Arthur Laurents that expertly parody their collaborations with Sondheim. The selection of early lyrics is fascinating, though one wonders if the aspiring lyricists Sondheim hopes to encourage with this juvenilia will instead be overwhelmed by the basic competence of songs written in his teens and early twenties.

A book of collected lyrics is, of course, not an investment for the most casual fans. Many cast recordings include lyrics in their booklets, and despite their occasional inaccuracies, websites can clarify the odd imperfectly-heard line. But for the enthusiast, nothing can equal a continuous format that allows you to read (or sing) along with familiar tunes and appreciate the flow of lyrics that, freed from the music, reveal the elegant simplicity of their craft better than ever before. These beautifully-designed books, enriched by the lyricist's memories and his opinions on the history and the art of musical theater, are the ideal presentation of the legacy of one of the twentieth century's major lyricists.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The saga continues..... March 11 2014
By Allen Smalling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Despite the air of finality in the title of Stephen Sondheim's 2010 FINISHING THE HAT, in 2011 he gave us the equally impressive, art-book-sized LOOK, I MADE A HAT. These are his collected lyrics from 1981 to 2011, and more besides. At the beginning of this period Sondheim was still reeling from the spiteful critical reaction he received to his MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, the last show with lyrics in the preceding volume. But then Sondheim met producer/librettist James Lapine and in the Eighties and Nineties out came SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, INTO THE WOODS, ASSASSINS (with John Weidman), and PASSION, all of which have their lyrics here. Further work ensues, some more successful than others, including what Sondheim calls "A Saga In Four Acts," the play variously shaped into WISE GUYS, BOUNCE and ROAD SHOW, which never quite knew success. The story of the evolution of this show: lyrics in, lyrics out, characters intoduced and dropped, out-of-town trials, is indeed much the saga Sondheim suggests.

But that isn't all: Sondheim also has a few words to say about composers who are better known as pop musicians but who made contributions to Broadway as well, such as Johnny Mercer, Meredith Willson and Carolyn Leigh. To me, some of the most enjoyable parts in LOOK, I MADE A HAT are the "little" works, the early efforts, stillbirths, songs of occasion such as the one he wrote for Harold Prince's 80th birthday, and television works such as EVENING PRIMROSE, a pocket musical commissioned by and shown on ABC in 1966, which includes the delightfully delicate concluding song "Take Me to the World."

If you decide you want both FINISHING THE HAT and LOOK, I MADE A HAT together, significant savings can be found by ordering the boxed set of both: HAT BOX.

Evening Primrose
Hat Box: The Collected Lyrics of Stephen Sondheim
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sondheim Dec 29 2011
By Nil admirari - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Sondheim is the Shakespeare of American musical theater. Nothing human escapes his insight, understanding, and grasp. And his LOOK, I MADE A HAT and its companion volume, FINISHING THE HAT, tell us how he did it, something Shakespeare didn't have time or occasion or audience interested enough to ask: the idea; the choices open to him; the necessity of collaboration and of cut-and-paste; the necessary economies of scale, of time. In short, the do-ableness of a show.
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category