e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Celebrities - Sondheim Stephen (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. Art Isn't Easy: The Theater of
2. Stephen Sondheim: A Casebook (Casebooks
3. All Sondheim, Volume 1
4. Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics
5. Four by Sondheim (A Little Night
6. Into the Woods
7. Reading Stephen Sondheim: A Collection
8. Stephen Sondheim: A Life
9. How Sondheim Found His Sound
10. Sunday in the Park with George
11. Sondheim on Music: Minor Details
12. Company : A Musical Comedy (Vocal
13. All Sondheim, Volume 2
14. Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd
15. Road Show
16. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber
17. Getting Away With Murder
18. Company
19. Sondheim & Company
20. Into the Woods (Vocal Score)

1. Art Isn't Easy: The Theater of Stephen Sondheim
by Joanne Gordon
Paperback: 376 Pages (1992-03-22)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$16.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306804689
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Gordon explicates the works of Sondheim to repudiate the common perception of musical theater as mere escapist entertainment, showing how Sondheim tackles real, complex subjects, without fear of introducing pain, trauma, and difficult ideas onto the Broadway stage. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Academic View of the Musicals of Sondheim
Of all the books currently published on Sondheim's musicals, Gordon gives the best academic treatment to his works.Mainly a formal analysis of the shows, she peppers in enough historical and biographical facts to provideany reader with a better understanding of the plays.The chapter on_Sunday_ is particularly good.It does help to be familiar with the showsbefore reading, as Gordon wastes little time on plot synopsis.A must forany Sondheim scholar.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sondheim fan?Wanna become one?
This book takes us musical-by-musical through some of the most famous and artistically valuable of Sondheim's musicals (the latest entry being Assassins).Each chapter looks at the musical with a critical eye (orlistens with a critical ear, as the case may be) and responds to criticismabout the musical in question.This is not a book simply about sellingSondheim - when the author is unimpressed, she lets us know.But Gordanfinds much to admire in Sondheim's musicals, and helps us to appreciatethat.Each chapter outlines in detail the plot, characters, and songs -especially useful for in-depth study.You can't get much more specificwithout actually taking out the libretto or following along in the score! All her arguments are well-founded and supported with examples from thetext.The use of lyrics is especially appropriate.This book isespecially valuable from a literary and theatrical standpoint.Theobservations on the music itself are correct, but not plentiful, asGordan's expertise is in theatre, not music.Accessible to the casualaudience member and the Sondheim groupie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehesive and informative for any Sondheim fan.
Whether you are well versed in all of Sondheim or have just seen a show once this books covers everthing from plot, to technique, to reviews. I used this for my thesis on Sondheim and found it very informative. ... Read more

2. Stephen Sondheim: A Casebook (Casebooks on Modern Dramatists)
Paperback: 272 Pages (1999-11-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$28.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0815335865
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Contents General Editor's Note, Kimball King;Introduction, Joanne Gordon; Chronology; Broadway Babies:Images of Women in the Musicals of Stephen Sondheim LauraHanson; Comedy Tonight!: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way tothe Forum, Lois Kivesto; Company 25 Years Later JohnOlson; Nixon's America and Follies: Reappraising a MusicalTheater Classic,James Fisher; The Last of Sheila:Sondheim as a Master Games-Player, Douglas Braverman; OnPerforming Sondheim (A Little Night Music Revisited), DavidCraig; "More Beautiful than True" or "Never Mind the SmallDisaster": The Art of Illusion in Pacific Overtures, LeonardFleischer; Psychology, Evil and Sweeney Todd or, "Don't IKnow You,Mister?"Judith Schlesinger; Sondheim: The Idealist,Mari Cronin; "Let the Pupil Show the Master" Stephen Sondheimand Oscar Hammerstein II, Andrew Milner; Portrait of theArtist: Sunday in the Park with George and "Revolutionary"Musical Drama, Edward T. Bonahue, Jr.; Assassins andthe Concept Musical, Scott Miller; Passion: Not JustAnother Simple Love Story, Gary Konas; Revisiting Greece: theSondheim Chorus, Barbara Means Fraser; Contributors; Index ... Read more

3. All Sondheim, Volume 1
by Stephen Sondheim
Paperback: 128 Pages (1999-07)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$17.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1576235432
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Titles include: Send in the Clowns * Another Hundred People * Being Alive * You Must Meet My Wife * One More Kiss * Losing My Mind * Could I Leave You? * Pretty Lady * Anyone Can Whistle * The Ballad of Sweeney Todd * By the Sea * Comedy Tonight * I Remember and more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Be Careful -- Make Sure This Is What You Want
I agree with the reviewer that these are the original piano arrangements.But what that means is that for some selections, the arrangement does not include the melody so unless someone is singing you don't "get" the song you might think you would in the piano part.

The following selections include melody: Anyone Can Whistle, Being Alive, Comedy Tonight, Every Day a Little Death, I Never Do Anything Twice, I Remember, Johanna, The Ladies Who Lunch, The Little Things You Do Together, Losing My Mind, Not While I'm Around, One More Kiss, A Parade in Town, Pretty Women, Send in the Clowns, Sorry Grateful, You Must Meet My Wife (but it's missing part of the song).

These selections are purely accompaniment: Another Hundred People, The Ballad of Sweeney Todd, By the Sea, Could I Leave You? Green Finch and Linnet Bird, Pretty Lady, Remember?

The rest are a hybrid, some melody, some accompaniment:Broadway Baby, I'm Still Here, The Miller's Son.

They're all beautiful arrangements -- just as long as you know what you are and are not getting.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not like most vocal scores
Most Piano/Vocal scores from Broadway and/or Hollywood include guitar chords in addition to the piano and vocal lines. Most of the songs within this songbook do NOT have the guitar chords published.For piano 'fakers', the chord designations are a must. This is a serious deficiency in this songbook.

On the positive side, all the great music and songs expected were present, and as far as I can tell, with the original piano arrangements.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book puts it all together
This book and others of the series bring together Sondheim's greatest works. It includes hard to find music like "I Remember" (from Evening Primrose) which makes this book a wonderful addition to any singer's collection. I recommend it to anyone and everyone!

5-0 out of 5 stars Sondheim's Masterpieces
As a fanatical Sondheim lover and singer, this book was awonderful addition to my collection. Among some of his best earlytitles, this book includes songs like "I Remember", "Losing My Mind", and "Another Hundred People". These are wonderfully written pieces which deserve many books like this one. They are a joy to listen to and even more to play, and I hope everyone will enjoy this book as much as I do. ... Read more

4. Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes
by Stephen Sondheim
Hardcover: 480 Pages (2010-10-26)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$20.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679439072
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Stephen Sondheim has won seven Tonys, an Academy Award, seven Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize and the Kennedy Center Honors. His career has spanned more than half a century, his lyrics have become synonymous with musical theater and popular culture, and in Finishing the Hat—titled after perhaps his most autobiographical song, from Sunday in the Park with George—Sondheim has not only collected his lyrics for the first time, he is giving readers a rare personal look into his life as well as his remarkable productions.

Along with the lyrics for all of his musicals from 1954 to 1981—including West Side Story, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd—Sondheim treats us to never-before-published songs from each show, songs that were cut or discarded before seeing the light of day. He discusses his relationship with his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein II, and his collaborations with extraordinary talents such as Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Ethel Merman, Richard Rodgers, Angela Lansbury, Harold Prince and a panoply of others. The anecdotes—filled with history, pointed observations and intimate details—transport us back to a time when theater was a major pillar of American culture. Best of all, Sondheim appraises his work and dissects his lyrics, as well as those of others, offering unparalleled insights into songwriting that will be studied by fans and aspiring songwriters for years to come.

Accompanying Sondheim’s sparkling writing are behind-the-scenes photographs from each production, along with handwritten music and lyrics from the songwriter’s personal collection.

Penetrating and surprising, poignant, funny and sometimes provocative, Finishing the Hat is not only an informative look at the art and craft of lyric writing, it is a history of the theater that belongs on the same literary shelf as Moss Hart’s Act One and Arthur Miller’s Timebends. It is also a book that will leave you humming the final bars of Merrily We Roll Along, while eagerly anticipating the next volume, which begins with the opening lines of Sunday in the Park with George. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars Font too small; could not read to offer review.
I was really interested in the book and did a "look inside" but could not read the very small print. I guess that leaves people with a vision problem out. Regina A.McIntyre

5-0 out of 5 stars Marvelous book
Excellent.I want to order another for a friend - wish you had a quick way to do this without going through whole order form again.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for Musical History Buffs & Scholars
My copy of this wonderful work arrived today (10/26/10) and I immediately began to read it.I couldn't put it down.I even gave up watching "Doctor Who" and, if you know me, that is quite something.After his introduction he launches into his works, with the lyrics and comments on most.As we move through the book, we get an idea of what he thinks of other lyricists including Cole Porter, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein II (his mentor), etc. His insights are to-the-point.He spares no one, including himself.I was especially interested in his comments on "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" as I have played Pseudalous.
I have immediately ordered another copy to give to a Musicologist/Professor friend.I trust that he will use it in one of his future classes.
For anyone with a love of theatre and the Broadway musical in particular you've got to get a copy of this incredible work.Can't wait for the second volume!

5-0 out of 5 stars Culture vultures, prepare to feast!
If you are lucky, you will discover artists whose work speaks to you in a very profound way.For me, it's the paintings of Henri Matisse, the novels of John Irving, the musicals of Stephen Sondheim.I'm an unabashed fan.

Mr. Sondheim's new coffee table book, Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines, and Anecdotes, is a gift to us all.Before you even start reading the text, flip through it and you'll see that this is a gorgeous book.It is chock full of photographs--more than 200--many of them full page blowups.There are pictures and artwork from the productions, candid photos from Mr. Sondheim's personal collection, and images of his hand-written notes, lyrics, and sheet music.This book is richly and beautifully illustrated.The only small disappointment is that all images are black and white, but it is truly a minor complaint.

Once you've feasted your eyes, dive into the text.Almost immediately, you'll see that Mr. Sondheim has written his book with the care and precision with which he writes his songs.There's a slight formality to the tone (with the laying down of copious rules along the way), but at the same time, it's a very candid look at his work, his collaborators, his predecessors, and his life.For musicians or composers, there is much substantive information on his process.And for theater buffs like me, this book is a treasure!Mr. Sondheim's contributions are the apotheosis of musical theater.The shows recounted are theatrical history.Sadly, I'm too young to have seen the original productions of any of these 13 shows, but now I've heard about the drama behind the scenes of Merrily We Roll Along straight from the horse's mouth.I know his two regrets from West Side Story, what he really thinks of theater critics, how he wanted to plot A Little Night Music, and the influence of Hammerstein's Allegro on his career.The truth is, there is just so much packed into this book, it is simply impossible to even begin to summarize the contents.

This book is specifically dedicated to Mr. Sondheim's lyrics, and what a joy it was to sing, er... I mean, read my way through them.To give you an idea of how comprehensive Finishing the Hat is, every lyric of every song from the original production of Follies is included.Nine songs cut from the show are included, along with the reasons behind the changes.A revised lyric for a later London production is included.And altered versions of "I'm Still Here" (for Barbara Streisand and for the film Postcards from the Edge) are included.And always Mr. Sondheim's thoughts, observations, and occasional criticisms are shared, often through the use of extensive footnotes.

The book ends at Merrily, 423 pages in, with a provocative statement and the word INTERMISSION.This is indeed the intermission between the volumes of Mr. Sondheim's collected lyrics/memoir, the second of which will encompass the remainder of his storied career.I can only hope the second book is well into its production.As excited as I was to get my hands on this book, it is truly more than I could have hoped for.In the end, it's a fitting testament to an immense talent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Singing Sondheim
Sondheim, Stephen."Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes", Knopf,2010.

Singing Sondheim

Amos Lassen

Stephen Sondheim is a legend--he has won seven Tonys, an Academy Award, seven Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize and the Kennedy Center Honors. Any one of those would be enough but there is more. The songs he writes are part of the American theater and he has been writing them for fifty years. In this new book, we have the lyrics to Sondheim's songs as well as an in-depth personal look at Sondheim the man.Along with the lyrics for all of his musicals from 1954 to 1981 which include "West Side Story", "Company", "Follies", "A Little Night Music" and "Sweeney Todd" we also have the lyrics of never-before-published songs from each show, those that were cut or discarded before seeing the light of day. Sondheim tells us about his relationship with the man who he considered to be his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein II, and about working with such personalities as Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Ethel Merman, Richard Rodgers, Angela Lansbury, Harold Prince and many others. This book is also a look at the details of Sondheim's life and we return to the time when the musical theater was as American as apple pie and part of our cultural history. What is really the most important thing about the book is Sondheim's appraisals of himself and he gives this to us through his lyrics.
Aside from looking at Sondheim's lyrics, the book is also a history of the theater that is poignant and funny and at times quite provocative.

Sondheim's comments are wonderful as well as instructive and some of the anecdotes let you see a whole new side of the lyricist. There is a lot here and this book will leave you yearning for the next volume that will begin with "Sunday in the Park with George", the show that gives the book its title. ... Read more

5. Four by Sondheim (A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum)
by Hugh Wheeler, James Lapine, Burt Shevelove, Larry Gelbart
Hardcover: 772 Pages (2000-02-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$21.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1557834075
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The complete book and lyrics with set and costume designs, production photos, essays, cast lists and credits, awards for major productions, selected discographies, and much more! Includes the shows A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. A richly illustrated Sondheim treasury! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

If you're involved with musical theater these four titles are a must for your reference library. If you love these shows and want to revisit your favorite moments, this is a great way to do it. And at this price you sure can't beat what you get.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous collection of scripts
This is a fabulous collection of scripts for four of Sondheim's musicals. I especially like the forward for each script explaining how the writers developed each script.Several shows also include songs that were dropped during the development of the show or during rehearsals or tryouts.As a Broadway fan, I tend to think of these musicals as fixed and complete, and it is enlightening to see the writers treating the material as highly modifiable, and treating songs as expendable if they don't properly advance the story or have the desired effect on the audience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Complete
A great book to have. Along with the already excellent scripts fro the four shows, a nice touch is the introduction to each show by someone intimiately involved with it. As an orchestrator, I particularly enjoyed reading Jonathan Tunick's introduction to 'A Little Night Music.'

5-0 out of 5 stars Sondheim: Perfect in Every Way
The scrips are just like what you would get if you cot just one. more than 600 pages of pure script. I love it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Hooray for Sondheim!!!
This book is amazing. It has almost everything that you could want in a book like this. What does it include do you ask? WELL! It includes the scripts to A Funny Thing happened on the way to the Forum, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Tood, and Sunday in the Park With George. In addition to that it also has Original Hirschfeld drawings, Lyrics to cut songs and where they would go in the script, Costume Designs, Production Photos, Cast Lists from Original, Touring and Revival Casts, and also the discography for each of the shows. My only question... Where is volume two??? I would like to see the following shows put into a collaborative edition like this: Into the Woods, Assassins, Company and Follies. WOOO Amazing and entertaining. Recommend this to all musical lovers everywhere! ... Read more

6. Into the Woods
by Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine
Paperback: 96 Pages (2002-02-26)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$8.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743232909
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The Tony Award-winning musical,
now adapted into a lavishly illustrated book

Into the Woods is the imaginative account of what happens when the lives of new and old fairy-tale characters dramatically and humorously come together. Cinderella, Jack (of bean-stalk fame), Little Red Ridinghood, and the Baker and his Wife set out for the forest on a quest to find "happily ever after." Along the way they meet Rapunzel, a Wicked Witch, a lascivious Wolf, vengeful Giants, a couple of charming Princes, and their own destiny. With wit and wisdom, the authors have given us a parable about the loss of innocence, the joys and sorrows of adulthood, and the price paid for getting the things you really want. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best stories EVER produced
I'm totally biased.I absolutely love this story.Sure, the music is what makes this musical so fun, but the storyline is actually REALLY GREAT.Quite a bit of the story is left out of the music.

If you're not a HUGE fan of the musical, this is NOT the book for you.But if you think the music is pretty terrific, you really ought to read this book!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Into the Woods
My daughter needed it for a play she is doing. Perfect order in perfect shape.

5-0 out of 5 stars Into the WOODS
Not only is the musical great, but the read is quick and easy. This book is great to purchase if you're thinking about performing the musical because it covers everything, but didn't cost very much.
I love Sondheim and this is one of my favorite shows. Would recommend this book with the cast recording featuring Bernadette Peters.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my top 10 favorite musicals of all time!!
When I heard one of the songs on Broadway Revisited, I never thought that Stephen Sondhiem would ever make something like this. It takes me back to my childhood and never gets old no matter how much you watch it. The book is well done and I even sing some of the parts XD. Into The Woods hands down is creepy, dark humor, and light hearted all at once!

5-0 out of 5 stars Into the Woods- The best script I've ever read!
I recieved the book as a gift from my aunt. It is so descriptive, so great. Sondheim's lyrics paint the picture that Lapine creates. I would recommend this to anyone! ... Read more

7. Reading Stephen Sondheim: A Collection of Critical Essays (Studies in Modern Drama)
Paperback: 300 Pages (1999-12-01)
list price: US$31.95 -- used & new: US$27.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081533768X
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Stephen Sondheim is arguably the most important writer for the American musical stage today, the equivalent in his field of Miller, Albee, O'Neill, and Williams. Yet he has rarely been treated seriously within the academy. Reading Stephen Sondheim: A Collection of Critical Essays is an attempt to remedy that situation. Bringing together scholars and critics from a wide variety of literary and theoretical perspectives, this book undertakes to examine all of Sondheim's major productions and themes. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars not really worth getting
not bad, but not as entertaining as sondheim: a casebook. some of the analyses were quite obtuse (e.g. the lacanian analysis of sweeney todd and the argument that passion is about sondheim's relationship with his mother). i thought one of the more interesting essays was the first one about passion, but there weren't many others that were particularly relevant or insightful.

3-0 out of 5 stars "INTO THE WORDS"
Being but another worshipper at the alter of Stephen Sondheim, I was eager to read anything about him which went beyond your typical stage review.

This book was given to me as a gift and I eagerly opened ithoping to find hidden treasure about Sondheim and his work.

The book wasnot quite what I expected and at the same time EXACTLY what I expected.What Goodhart promises in the introduction, he delivers - a serious delvinginto the works of Sondheim, treating his musicals as literature. What Ididn't expect was just how thoroughly the writers (Goodhart employs severalessayists) would analyze character and plot.

One essay that comes to mindis one written on "Sweeney Todd." I really thought I knew as muchas there was to know about this masterwork - WRONG. The essayist givesgreat detail into the psychological make-up of these characters...much moreinformation that a layman or actor like myself can begin to understand. Attimes the analysis was clinical I had to back up and re-read the passage toget a grasp on what was being explored.

I've decided that the book willprovide a wonderful reference to keep on my shelf for my own work onSondheim musicals, but for simple pleasure reading, this book may not beappropriate unless you have your PHD. ... Read more

8. Stephen Sondheim: A Life
by Meryle Secrest
Paperback: 480 Pages (1999-06-08)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$55.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385334125
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Secrest chronicles in full detail Sondheim's ascent to the peaks of the Broadway musical, from his first success as co-lyricist on "West Side Story" to his 20-year collaboration with producer and director Harold Prince. Online feature.Amazon.com Review
America's foremost musical-theater composer also proves to bea fascinatingly complex and conflicted human being in this meticulousbiography by the always-capable Meryle Secrest (Being BernardBerenson, etc.). Stephen Sondheim himself was interviewed for thebook, as were many of his closest friends, and the author makesperceptive use of this material.Born in 1930, Sondheim was asuccessful Broadway lyricist (West Side Story and Gypsy)before he was 30. But the scars from a miserable childhood remained:he was inclined to be distant, hypercritical of those less intelligentthan he, and terrified of serious emotional commitment. Criticssometimes found those qualities in the series of groundbreakingmusicals he created with director Hal Prince--Company,Follies, A Little Night Music, and Sweeney Todd,to name four--but they agreed that he brought new intellectualambition and artistic adventurousness to the musical theater. Secrestdoes a fine job of delineating Sondheim's career in terms of what ittells us about the state of American theater, as when he shifted to apartnership with writer-director James Lapine and worked in thenonprofit sector for such musicals as Sunday in the Park withGeorge and Assassins.She also does well in selectingrevealing quotes to depict the composer's struggle to accept hishomosexuality and a rage at his overbearing mother so deep that hedidn't even attend her funeral. Sondheim the man and Sondheim thevisionary artist get nearly equal time in an intriguing portrait. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Biography
The person is at last revealed.I don't understand most of the criticism of the book.If someone wants insights into the process of Sondheim's compositions, read the excellent "Everything Was Possible" by Ted Chapin.If you want to know about the composer as a person, which very little has been written about, this is the book to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sly, wry, cool or coy or candid
One of the best things about Meryl Secrest's biography of Stephen Sondheim is that you finish it with a strong sense of knowing its subject fairly intimately--a tough thing with someone as enigmatic as Stephen Sondheim, who has been famous for his reticence and elusiveness. Having worked with him before for her biography of Leonard Bernstein, however, Secrest lobbied Sondheim hard to be allowed unprecedented access to him so she could write a work about his life, and she succeeded. Although some theater fans have complained that the book isn't juicy enough, it's hard to expect how it could have been more lurid given Sondheim's unstinting cooperation with the author, and he is exceptionally forthcoming about his difficult relations with his mother, his marijuana use, his health problems, his loneliness for much of his life... and most of all about his opinions of his work. Often his own toughest critic, Sondheim is remarkably candid about which of his shows and songs he thinks work well and which don't; I often found myself agreeing with his assessments (and amazed at his humility despite his indisputible brilliance). While it is true Secrest doesn't give as much attention to interpreting his shows or his songs as a more scholarly biographer might have done, you do come out of this book with a strong sense of the arc of Sondheim's life: his simultanoeusly privileged and unhappy upbringing; his early successes as the lyricist for WEST SIDE STORY and GYPSY; his trouble getting more people to take him seriously as a composer as well as a writer in the Sixties; his amazing series of critical (but not popular) triumphs in the Seventies; the dispiriting disaster he encountered with the Broadway production of MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG; and his subsequent comeback as the Grand Old Man of the musical theater. You also get a strong sense of his most important relationships in his life: with his awful mother, his kindly mentor Oscar Hammerstein II, Hal Prince, Arthur Laurents, Lee Remick, James Lapine, Anthony Perkins, and his stunning assortment of leading ladies (from Ethel Merman and Angela Lansbury to Alexis Smith and Donna Murphy). And above all the man himself also emerges from the text: wry, sardonic, sensitive, elusive, and remarkably interested in helping young people interested in theater and music. This is not the last word that will be published on Sondheim's life, but this is undoubtedly the most authoritative and clear-sighted work we will have during his lifetime.

5-0 out of 5 stars He loved this book!
I bought this for my boyfriend, a huge Stephen Sondheim fan, who has already read planty about Sondheim's works and life. He could not put this book down. I have not read it myself, but when he can't put a book down, I know I picked out something good!

3-0 out of 5 stars A mess, but for now it's the only mess we have
If you want to learn about Sondheim's life in detail, this is the most thorough account. Although there are books that are mostly about his work in which you can also find biographical information, this is the first and (thus far) only biography. That's the only reason why I'm giving three stars to this generally shoddy book.

What's wrong? First, there is an astounding number of factual errors.

In addition to the outright errors, Secrest also makes many misleading, imprecise, or incomplete statements. Loose ends and chronological confusions abound.

Some of the people Secrest quotes also make statements that are factually incorrect, and neither she nor her editors (who must take a good share of the blame) caught these mistakes. All of this suggests that she knows little about musical theatre in general or Sondheim's work in particular. She actually gets major plot details of Sondheim's shows wrong. Unbelievable.

There are also numerous places where she makes statements that contradict what she writes elsewhere.

All these problems seriously call into question how much of the material here that isn't public knowledge can be trusted. You end up wondering how someone who is so clearly unqualified persuaded the people at Knopf to give her this assignment, much less how she got Sondheim to cooperate. She must talk well, but she certainly doesn't write well.

Which brings us to the final problem: She isn't a very good writer.

Still, if you want a Sondheim bio, this is it. Since Secrest had access to Sondheim and to many of his friends and associates, I'm sure that some of what she writes is accurate. But if you read this, you should just realize that a good deal of what is here is unquestionably wrong.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay, but the definitive book on SS has yet to be written
Secrest has written a book on Sondheim that skims the surface and gives a broad overview. It rarely has insights, however, except a few "anaylses" of the musicals themselves that often border on the ludicrous (such as how many references to S&M there are in his works). There are misspellings of people's names, wrong dates, and some confused plot descriptions as well. But most of all, she seems too polite and distanced from her subject, offering facts but not insight or exploration. I'm not asking for National Enquirer-style dirt, but there is more on the inner-workings and intrigue of such works as "Merrily" in Craig Zadan's "Sondheim & Company," which unfortuantely is out of print, I believe. Furthermore, Secrest is often a confusing writer. She switches pronouns without always making it clear who is now doing the talking, or includes an out-of-context quote without explaining its meaning or context. She also repeats herself in several spots, making me think she revised one segment while forgetting what she had written just a page later or earlier. In short, this book needed an editor, as well as a more probing and insightful author. Most biographies suffer from excessive speculation. This one has just the opposite flaw. ... Read more

9. How Sondheim Found His Sound
by Prof. Steve Swayne
Paperback: 336 Pages (2007-05-08)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$15.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0472032291
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

“Steve Swayne’s How Sondheim Found His Sound is a fascinating treatment and remarkable analysis of America’s greatest playwright in song. His marvelous text goes a long way toward placing Stephen Sondheim among the towering artists of the late twentieth century!”

—Cornel West, Princeton University


“Sondheim’s career and music have never been so skillfully dissected, examined, and put in context. With its focus on his work as composer, this book is surprising and welcome.”

—Theodore S. Chapin, President and Executive Director, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization


“. . . an intriguing ‘biography’ of the songwriter’s style. . . . Swayne is to be congratulated for taking the study of this unique composer/lyricist into hitherto unnavigated waters.”

—Stage Directions


“The research is voluminous, as are the artistry and perceptiveness. Swayne has lived richly within the world of Sondheim’s music.”

—Richard Crawford, author of America’s Musical Life: A History


“Amid the ever-more-crowded bookshelf of writings on Sondheim, Swayne’s analysis of Sondheim’s development as a composer stands up as a unique and worthy study. . . . For the Sondheim aficionados, there are new ideas and new information, and for others, Swayne’s How Sondheim Found His Sound will provide an intriguing introduction into the mind of arguably the greatest and most influential living Broadway composer.”



“What a fascinating book, full of insights large and small. An impressive analysis and summary of Sondheim’s many sources of inspiration. All fans of the composer and lovers of Broadway in general will treasure and frequently refer to Swayne’s work.”

—Tom Riis, Joseph Negler Professor of Musicology and Director of the American Music Research Center, University of Colorado


Stephen Sondheim has made it clear that he considers himself a “playwright in song.” How he arrived at this unique appellation is the subject of How Sondheim Found His Sound—an absorbing study of the multitudinous influences on Sondheim’s work.


Taking Sondheim’s own comments and music as a starting point, author Steve Swayne offers a biography of the artist’s style, pulling aside the curtain on Sondheim’s creative universe to reveal the many influences—from classical music to theater to film—that have established Sondheim as one of the greatest dramatic composers of the twentieth century.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars Never delivered, complaint ignored.
I've been waiting a long time to read this but the supplier never sent it.
My complaints were ignored. That never happened before, but now I know how little anyone cares about reliability.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great
This book got off to a good start, analyzing Sondheim's favorite classical composers and how they show up in his own musical language.The next chapter is devoted to Sondheim's broadway influences, and gives a good examination of these as well.

The second half of the book is devoted to Sondheim's theatrical and cinematic influences.It is here that Swayne goes off track.Though he makes some interesting connections between film technique and musical composition, it seems to me that this is where his thesis falls short, and could have been developed much more cogently.Also, one would think that Swayne would devote more attention to actual film scores.

My main complaint is that in a book called "How Sondheim Found His Sound", one would expect to find at least a mention of the orchestration in Sondheim's shows.Perhaps this is just my own personal bent, as I have always wondered just how Sondheim works with his orchestrators and to what extent he thinks in orchestral terms.

In terms of the writing, this book (especially in the later chapters) all too often reads like an undergraduate music paper.All this being said, there's enough in here to warrant purchase by real Sondheim junkies.

3-0 out of 5 stars A severely flawed look at pieces of the craft.
To the writer:For whom was this book written?Who was the intended audience?What's with the "thesaurus" words peppering the text?Why all the conjecture?Why not just ask the composer?This is a treatise I'd hand back to the student for major rewriting.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading
"How Sondheim Found his Sound" is a book full of very interesting information, although my reasoning for allocating only 4-stars is because I feel that more musical examples could have been used.
That having been said, it is a very thouroughly researched book, and I would recommend it to Sondheim fans, myself included.
One last note would be that having the vocal scores in question along side this book would allow a person to garner more of an understanding of the analyses (due to the general lack of musical examples).

5-0 out of 5 stars Great primer on Sondheim
This is a great book on how Sondheim "found his sound."I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Sondheim's card system and it gave me greater insight into a person who knew Leonard Bernstein. ... Read more

10. Sunday in the Park with George (Applause Musical Library)
Paperback: 224 Pages (2000-05-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$3.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1557830681
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Book by James Lapine

Introduction by André Bishop

Winner of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize! "Sunday is itself a modernist creation, perhaps the first truly modernist work of musical theatre that Broadway has produced ... a watershed event that demands nothing less than a retrospective, even revisionist, look at the development of the serious Broadway musical."- Frank Rich, The New York Times Magazine ... Read more

11. Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions
by Mark Eden Horowitz
Hardcover: 416 Pages (2002-11-25)
list price: US$49.45 -- used & new: US$50.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810844370
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Sondheim on Music compiles a series of interviews the author conducted with Stephen Sondheim as they pored over Sondheim's manuscripts and sketches and discussed the creative process. Focusing primarily on six shows, Passion, Assassins, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, and Pacific Overtures, Sondheim talks about his approaches to musicalizing characters and dramatic moments; how motifs and thematic material are created and used; how musical components like harmony, melody, and rhythm reflect character; the structuring of a score; the use of pastiche; and the practical aspects of collaboration. In addition, the book includes Sondheim's list of 'Songs I wish I'd Written,' his reasons behind some of those choices, and the messages he received from composers and lyricists whose songs were included on the list. An exhaustive Songlisting and a Discography follow, cataloging commercial recordings of Sondheim songs, vocal ranges, and publishing information for his songs and scores. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Mark Horowitz!
Mark Horowitz is a genius of one kind, writing about a genius of another kind....
We have had the privilege of working with Mark at his home base at the Library of Congress - he is beyond well-versed in all things Sondheim and you can tell when you're reading this terrific book.A true pleasure for all fans of Mr. Sondheim and American Musical Theater.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Treasure Trove
If you write music or are curious about how music is written, buy this book. Period. Not only are the interviews excellent and the printed excerpts of Sondheim's scores priceless, but the extra step of including excerpts of even Sondheim's drafts of songs is an unmatched idea. To have two different versions of 'The Worst Pies In London' and then have the composer explain why he picked one over the other...well, it would be harder to get much closer to reading a composer's mind than that. As with other reviewers, I can wish for a chapter each on 'Follies,' 'Merrily,' and 'Company' (at least), but it's hard to complain when there is so much invaluable material here. One note: you may also want to get a hold of a Classical Harmony book, since Sondheim uses figured bass to indicate chords (which sent me digging for my college Tonal Harmony textbook).

4-0 out of 5 stars Into The Goods
This is a great collection of transcripts of a long form interview with Stephen Sondheim.It starts with "Passion" his most recent work at the time of writing, and works backward chronologically.While quite musically deep, there is still something for everyone...not just the musicologist.Well worth the read!

4-0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of knowledge if you have music theory background
I have a strong love of Sondheim's work. The genius lyrics, the engaging music, but most of all his attention to detail made me fall for him from "Attend the tale..." As someone who is exploring the world of composition I have looked to his works for encouragement and inspiration. When I heard that there was a book that housed interviews with the man himself I immediately put it on the top of my reading list. When I finally found it I was not dissapointed.

Mark Eden Horowitz has presented a series of interviews that delve into the mind of Broadway's leading composer. The insight that Mr. Horowitz has into Sondheim's works is clearly evident as he helps us see the creative process that went into masterworks such as Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George. The discussion is broken up into a chapter for each show with each giving a focus on what concept was best exhibited in that musical. Certain works such as "A Little Night Music" and "The Frogs" are not discussed as their own chapter, but some of the works that weren't given their own chapter come up in conversation.

I should take this time to point out that if you don't have an understanding of music theory some of this book will be much harder to decipher. With a year of college theory under my belt I still had to consult my professor on a few passages. Mr. Horowitz assists the reader by printing the musical examples pertaining to the topic, but it still requires a certain level of theoretical knowledge. Most of this book delves into concepts of writing and therefore manages to stay accesible, but be warned that parts of the books will need to be read over a few times for full academic digestion.

My sole gripe with this book comes from the fact that it is a 401 page book and only 168 of these pages are devoted to the interview. The rest are filled with a list of songs that Sondheim wishes he had written (and the reply from the composers chosen) and a full discography. When I saw the size of the book initially I was overjoyed to think that every one of the pages was slathered with musical knowledge. When I read the interviews and found them stopping half way through the book I was crushed. With this I felt the need to shave a star off the rating of this book.

Whether you are an avid fan, an aspiring writer or someone who is interested in learning something new about music I would suggest investing in this book. It sheds a light on how this amazing writer brings order to his musical universe.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight, but couldn't there have been more?
This is a great book for the Sondheim aficionado.I learned a lot about the technical aspects of his style.My only complaint is that Merrily We Roll Along is mentioned only briefly in the book.I consider Merrily to be one of Sondheim's three best scores, and its absence made very little sense.Further, all Sondheim musicals pre-Overtures are also absent (perhaps more understandable because I suppose Sondheim remembers those less and there was little time in the interviews).Nevertheless, for the hefty price I would have expected more info.Perhaps a second volume? ... Read more

12. Company : A Musical Comedy (Vocal Score)
Paperback: 200 Pages (1983-10-01)
list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$36.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0881889644
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
16 vocal selections from the Broadway musical, including: Another Hundred People * Company * Getting Married Today * Have I Got a Girl for You * The Ladies Who Lunch * The Little Things You Do Together * Side by Side by Side * Sorry - Grateful * Tick Tock * and more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Company vocal score
The score features three staves, piano and vocal with an added bonus of crucial instrument parts which are even labelled in separate font to help instrument recognition for the complete music of company down to the scene change and underscore music!
The musical notation and lyrics are clear to read in PC print format, none of that hand printed stuff. The only down side is the score does not have TAB or chord labels above the staves, just pure notation which in some cases not ideal for the modern musician. With the Music being Sondheim orientated most songs could be classed as grade 6 or 7. Very tricky rythms but the best complete Company score book on the market. If you have trouble reading though an easy play version would be advisable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sondheim's Signature
I own a copy of both the vocal score and the complete libretto and I should say it is worth owning both.The vocal score when played on piano gives lively music to make anyone dance to the beat.It never loses its Broadway touch.The notes when played by a skilled pianist would make it sound more like the orchestra accompaniment.I would highly recommend those of you who love Sondhei'm style to own one of these.This would definitely be a smash hit for your school or community theater.

5-0 out of 5 stars The greatest musical comedy ever written
I love Sondheim, and this show is the best of his works in my opinion. Full of challenging songs, and complex arrangements, it will surely please the pianist or singer who is looking for something a little outside therealm of Roger's and Hammerstein to sing. Go into your nest audition with"another Hundred People", or "Getting Married Today"and blow your director away! This book contains a lot of material that isnot readily available in other volumes and it is definately worth theinvestment. songs of note "Being Alive" "Company","Barcelona", "the little things you do togrther" andthe immortal "Ladies Who Lunch" ... Read more

13. All Sondheim, Volume 2
by Stephen Sondheim
Paperback: 144 Pages (1997-11)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0769200419
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Titles include: All Things Bright and Beautiful (Marry Me a Lttle) * Fear No More (The Frogs) * The Glamorous Life (A Little Night Music) * Good Thing Going (Merrily We Roll Along) * Isn't It (You're Gonna Love Tomorrow) * Sunday (Sunday in the Park with George) and many more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Complete list of songs in this book
Here is a complete list of the songs in this book.

All Things Bright and Beautiful (Marry Me a Little)
Fear No More (The Frogs)
Finishing the Hat (Sunday in the Park with George)
The Girls of Summer (Marry Me a Little)
The Glamorous Life (A Little Night Music)
Good Thing Going (Merrily We Roll Along)
I Do Like You (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum)
Invocation and Instructions to the Audience (The Frogs)
Isn't It? (You're Gonna Love Tomorrow)
Little White House/Who Could Be Blue? (Marry Me a Little)
Marry Me a Little (Marry Me a Little)
Not a Day Goes By (Merrily We Roll Along)
Old Friends (Merrily We Roll Along)
Silly People (Marry Me a Little)
So Many People (Marry Me a Little)
Sunday (Sunday in the Park with George)
Take Me to the World (Evening Primrose)
Uptown, Downtown (Marry Me a Little)
What More Do I Need? (Marry Me a Little)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Sondheim Collector must!
This volume contains some of the best of Sondheim.If you have volume one you have to get number two.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT thing going
This is Volume 2 in a 4-Volume set of the songs of Stephen Sondheim.I have all four volumes and, as a pianist, I am grateful to Warner Bros. Publications for making these masterpieces available to the general public.Some of Sondheim's finest inspirations are contained in this volume:
"Good Thing Going", "Take Me To The World," "Not A Day Goes By,"
and "Sunday" from the Act I finale to "Sunday in the Park With George".Also included are some numbers from the obscure, (but very funny) "The Frogs," a 1974 production performed in the Yale University swimming pool, and a dozen other songs.For Sondheim fans, and soloists in particular, this volume and its companions are treasures. ... Read more

14. Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber: The New Musical (The Great Songwriters)
by Stephen Citron
Hardcover: 464 Pages (2001-09-13)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$16.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195096010
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The New York Times called Stephen Sondheim "the greatest and perhaps best known artist in the American musical theater," while two months earlier, the same paper referred to his contemporary, Andrew Lloyd-Webber as "the most commercially successful composer in history." Whatever their individual achievements might be, it is agreed by most critics that these two colossi have dominated world musical theater for the last quarter century and hold the key to the direction the musical stage will take in the future.
Here in the third volume of Stephen Citron's distinguished series The Great Songwriters--in depth studies that illuminated the musical contributions, careers, and lives of Noel Coward and Cole Porter (Noel & Cole: The Sophisticates), and Oscar Hammerstein 2nd and Alan Jay Lerner, (The Wordsmiths)--this eminent musicologist has taken on our two leading contemporary contributors to the lyric stage. His aim has not been to compare or judge one's merits over the other, but to make the reader discover through their works and those of their contemporaries, the changes and path of that glorious artform we call Musical Theater.
In his quest, Citron offers unique insight into each artist's working methods, analyzing their scores--including their early works and works-in-progress. As in Citron's previously critically acclaimed books in this series, great significance is given to the impact their youthful training and private lives have had upon their amazing creative output. Beginning with Sondheim's lyrics-only works, West Side Story, Gypsy, Do I Hear A Waltz? through his scores for Saturday Night, Company, Anyone Can Whistle, Follies, Pacific Overtures, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday In the Park, Into the Woods, Assassins, and Passion, all these milestones of musical theater have been explored. Lloyd-Webber's musical contribution from his early works, The Likes of Us and Joseph to Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love, By Jeeves, The Phantom of the Opera, Song & Dance, Mass, Sunset Boulevard to Whistle Down the Wind are also thoroughly analyzed.
The works of these two splendid artists are clarified for the casual or professional reader in context with their contemporaries. Complete with a quadruple chronology (Sondheim, Lloyd-Webber, US Theater, British Theater), copious quotations from their works, and many never before published illustrations, the future of the artform that is the crowning achievement of the 20th century is made eminently clear in this book. Sondheim & Lloyd-Webber is a must-read for anyone interested in the contemporary theater. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Wasted Opportunity
This could have been a really interesting comparison, and there are some nice touches in this book, but ultimately the author skirts the most interesting questions in favor of some tired cliches.

Other reviewers on this page have carped about Lloyd Webber's name. If they're referring to the hyphen, they should have read a little more carefully. He explains his use of the hyphen in a footnote on the bottom of page 49.

On the positive side, Citron solves the task of the dual biography pretty well. One of the big problems in writing a book comparing two composers born 18 years apart is the use of time. Obviously, you have to tell the stories chronologically, you can't spend too much time on one of them without switching to the other, and then at some point, the issue of what each of them is working on simultaneously becomes interesting, so a constant 18 year delay would be off-putting. Somehow Citron manages to bring their narratives together around Harold Prince, and chronologically ties the two stories around the time when Prince went from Sondheim's Sweeney to Lloyd Webber's Evita. Before that, we're hearing about the shows on a weird time warp, and after that, it's fairly chronological. This is a neat touch, and Hal Prince is actually the main thing the two have in common.

I found a pretty egregious example of plagiarism in the book, around a topic that gets short shrift in the book; musical analysis. On page 360, Citron cribs an 88 word passage from Joseph Swain's book The Broadway Musical, A Critical And Musical Survey (Oxford, 1990) Incredibly, even though the book he's borrowing from is by the same publisher, Citron doesn't credit the idea to its originator, nor does Swain's book even appear in the Bibliography. It's an unlikely and original idea he's stealing; comparing Lloyd Webber's dramatically random repeats of melody to Renaissance Contrafacta, which he wrongly pluralizes contrafactums later in the chapter. It doesn't call into question Citron's research, which appears to be fairly exhaustive, but it makes one wonder whether the book isn't just a collection of anecdotes, ideas and stories from other sources, hepfully cobbled into a collection for the curious.

Theatre fans have often put these two giants of music theatre against one another, a position neither has publicly taken. The conventional wisdom about the two is that Lloyd Webber is the consummate melodist, and that his detractors really only envy his popularity from the comfort of their ivory towers, and that Sondheim is an abstruse intellectual whose music is mired in boring repetitive structures that are incomprehensible to the public, but which are feted and admired by pointy heads who want to feel smart. Citron falls into these old cliches time and time again, missing the far more interesting issues to be probed.

For example, the portrait Citron paints of Lloyd Webber is one of a man utterly at the mercy of his lyricists and librettists for what happens on the stage, and there are a number of swipes (deservedly) taken at Sir Andrew's compositional technique, his supposed plagiarism (which is ironic, considering the source), and his orchestrational deficiencies. Any examination of Lloyd Webber's work must ask questions of how these qualities play into his work as a whole. The best Citron can come up with is to compare him to Richard Rodgers, which is an attractive thought until one remembers that Rodgers was not at the mercy of any lyricist or librettist, although he could usually command the best. In fact, Rodgers wrote music and lyrics for No Strings. And Rodgers knew harmony, melody, and the power of a reprise to do dramatic work, not just to sell a tune. It would be foolish to say that Lloyd Webber doesn't know what he's doing, but a full picture needs to address his foibles as craft issues, not merely as the carping of the intellectuals. Can you be a great musical theatre composer without caring which lyrics your tune gets assigned to? Maybe so.

Sondheim doesn't fare much better. Citron says at the end of the book that Sondheim started in the Hammerstein "heart-on-the-sleeve tradition", then abandoned it for the "honesty of ambivalence" I'm not sure what he means by "heart-on-the-sleeve" Is he referring to West Side? or Gypsy? or Saturday Night? None of those seem sentimental. (except for lyrics that Lenny probably wrote) What Sondheim got from Hammerstein was not treacly Americana, but the integration of material and story, and he learned it so well that he wrote what the story and his methodology demanded, whether the audience liked it or not. This question of whether the structural and dramatic integrity is enough to make a masterpiece without popularity is an important issue Citron isn't bothering with.

This reader would like to see somebody tackle the Sondheim/Lloyd Webber duality along more serious lines, because the answer to the questions these men pose writes the next 25 years of musical theatre. Sadly, we won't find it here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
The book helped me greatly with a paper I had to write. Very interesting insight into the two great's minds!

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for any fan
I found the book fascinating, as it is filled with interesting details and tidbits about these two men and their shows. It is especially useful because it focuses on the music, often showing musical examples and shedding light on things like melodic teeming and form. The other two reviews stated that Lloyd Webber's name was misspelled. Apparently, they didn't read carefully enough because it explains the reasoning for this deliberate decision is because when Lloyd Webber was knighted he chose to hyphenate his name. The book tends to favor Sondheim, but is full of interesting information about both of them and each of their shows. I can't promise that is 100% free of factual errors, but it is still a must have for anyone looking for in-depth information on these two great men.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible and embarrassing
What a terrible book this is. As with Citron's other books, this is LOADED with factual errors and misunderstandings of the shows he discusses. The first big clue is that he misspells Andrew Lloyd Webber's name throughout the entire book -- where were his editors? And he says that the period between the 1920s and 1960s was "a time when plot was secondary" in musicals. Oh really? Like in Carousel, West Side Story, Show Boat, Pal Joey, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Camelot, Gypsy, The King and I...? I feel sorry for anyone who wastes their money on this the way I did. Stay away from books by this guy -- there are so many GOOD books on muiscal theatre out there...

1-0 out of 5 stars Irresponsible Research
Citron's book is an embarrassment to any serious student of musical theater. Many of Citron's facts are erroneous (beginning with Lloyd Webber's last name which is NOT hyphenated, but appears hyphenated in every instance throughout this book). His approach to this material is very condescending. For example, he implies that A Little Night Music and Passion only won Tony Awards because there were no other decent shows that opened those years, thereby dismissing other good shows and offering backhanded compliments to Sondheim. Rumors are that the Really Useful Group is extremely embarrassed by the Lloyd Webber sections. Wait for the forthcoming Yale series on Broadway composers. ... Read more

15. Road Show
by Stephen Sondheim, John Weidman
Paperback: 112 Pages (2010-02-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 155936341X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

“Addison Mizner and Wilson Mizner were brothers who, although they played only a minor role in the cultural history of this country, might well be seen to represent two divergent aspects of American energy: the builder and the squanderer.”—Stephen Sondheim

“The score is full of delights, intelligence and tension . . . with a tight, funny book.”—New York Daily News

Road Show, Stephen Sondheim’s first musical since his 1994 Tony Award–winner Passion, is making its highly anticipated New York premiere this season at the Public Theater. The show—with the book by John Weidman, Sondheim’s collaborator from Pacific Overtures and Assassins—has been in development for several years with productions in Chicago and Washington, DC, and grew from an idea that germinated in Sondheim’s mind some fifty years ago. The show dramatizes the real-life Mizner brothers, following their fortunes from the 1890s Alaskan gold rush to the 1920s Florida land boom: Addison as an architect and Wilson as a con man, each brother seeking his own American dream.

Stephen Sondheim’s career spans from his work as lyricist for West Side Story and Gypsy, to composer/lyricist on such masterpieces as Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Sunday in the Park with George.

John Weidman wrote the books for Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures and Assassins, and he co-authored the books for America’s Sweetheart and the revival of Anything Goes. He also co-created, with Susan Stroman, the Tony Award–winning Contact.

... Read more

16. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Applause Musical Library)
Paperback: 240 Pages (2000-05-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1557830665
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Book by Hugh Wheeler

Introduction by Christopher Bond

"Mr. Sondheim fearlessly explores psychic caverns where civilized people are not dying to go ... A naked Sweeney Todd stands revealed as a musical of naked rage, chewing up everyone in its path as it spits out blood and tears." - Frank Rich, The New York Times ¥ "A work of such scope and such daring that it dwarfs every other Broadway musical that even attempts to invite comparison." - Rex Reed, New York Daily News ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars The original is always best
The $100 price tag is well worth the money to obtain this score for the original Broadway production. Although the movie version will stand alone on it's own merits, and the last New York revival went to some strange lengths to rework the staging for it's own ends, it is always best to see the original form. Having performed the role of Sweeney twice, myself, it is great to be able to own my own version of the score!

5-0 out of 5 stars Love it!
This is the script of the play by Christopher Bond, which the Sondheim musical is based on. I enjoyed reading it quite a bit, as a theater enthusiast. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves the musical and would like to read a slightly different vision of the story. To me, Todd's character seems very different in the play than in the musical. An entertaining read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Wrong Item!
I received the wrong item from Amazon, though I was billed for this one. Instead of the all-inclusive book ($100), I received the 30 page "musical selections" book ($12). It seems that the wrong label was affixed to the item. Even though Amazon took it back, be careful. Try to make sure that you are going to receive the correct item.

5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVE IT!!!!
I became upsessed with this show when I saw the DVD with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn. Now I am so happy to have the enire show in my lap. It arrived today, and it already has an honored spot in my script library (right next to Hairspray)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweeney Todd
Great collection, with the right keys and all music for show. Including the cut 'judge's song.'
... Read more

17. Getting Away With Murder
by Stephen Sondheim
 Paperback: 90 Pages (1997-10)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$6.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0822215659
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Sondheim and Furth's non-musical comedy thriller.
Amazon.com Review
From the creators of the musicals Company andMerrily We Roll Along comes this non-musical murder mysterythat played briefly in San Diego and New York in 1995-96. In additionto his many Tony- (and even Pulitzer-) winning musicals, StephenSondheim is known as a devotee of intricate puzzles. George Furth isknown for bitingly witty dialog. The play tells what happens whenmembers of a group therapy circle arrive to find their therapistmurdered and evidence that one of them did it. They must work throughtheir neuroses and discover the killer before, one by one, all of themare bumped off. Even the secondary efforts of the greats are worthanalyzing, and now readers will have a chance to do what fewtheatergoers got to. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Too far behind as usually Sondheim is. ¡Bravo Maestro!
Sondheim is "the one" clasic composer in musical theater. Like a dramatist with his pal George he recreate the genre, playing with the clasical "who done it" putting the answer before the act I curtain. The second act is a complicity game with the audience or the reader, are the authors capable to mantain our atention? are still surprises?. Yes they can and yes there are many surprises. I feel that this is is a lovable work. Is well written and superbly structured. adding new touches to this genre. A must read.

3-0 out of 5 stars mediocre play from one of broadway's greatest
i'm a huge fan of sondheim's musicals and i quite like his and furth's collaboration on -company-. w/ that said, this play was quite disappointing. the play has the same type of new york characters as in -company-, but here they're much, much more like stereotypes and caricatures. as for the plot, i was expecting it to be a mystery which is quite untrue as the murderer is revealed before the act 1 curtain. the actual subtitle is "a comedy thriller" and although there are indeed some funny moments as well as some "horror" elements, there's just not enough of either. there are some attempts at social comedy, but those don't really go anywhere either. i'd recommend it only if you're a sondheim completist like i am.

5-0 out of 5 stars A witty and gripping script . . .
This is a very good, well-made play.A social commentary in one sense, and Sondheim's stab at the seven deadly sins.It is very funny to read all of the bitchy quips being tossed back and forth by each of the patients.Adark atmosphere, keeping you on the edge of your seat, and you are alwayskept guessing.Finding out who the killer is at the end of the first actis a very daring device, and you are left to wonder what would possiblyhappen in the second act.It is hard for me to say anything more that theother reviewers haven't said, so I just suggest that all intellectuals outthere buy this book and prepare to enjoy yourself.(You might even need acigarette when you're done with this book, if you know what I mean . . . )

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved "Getting Away With Murder"
"Getting Away With Murder" is great, I enjoyed reading it very much. Not only for the mystery, but the plot, the thrill, the way it was written. I'm not big on Murder mystery's, although I do enjoy reading some.When I read the script I thought, WoW! This is really a great story. I would have loved to have watched it on Broadway.I adore it, the storyline is great from begining to end. For those who haven't read the book, read it! For those who have read it, read it again!

5-0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it!
I picked up a copy of "Getting Away With Murder" because I enjoy theatrical works that Terrence Mann has been in,and I figured this would be yet another that I liked. I'm really glad that I decided to get it.

Besides being a theatre fan,I love a good mystery. I couldn't put it down once I picked it up. Sondheim and Furth do such a wonderful job of establishing the setting and characters that I could vividly imagine what the staging of the play may have looked like. Each character clearly has dimension,and you really feel like you understand their motives and convictions.

"GAWM" is also filled with little plot quirks and devices that enhance the story. While it has a dark mood,there are some light comedic moments and caustic remarks that loosen things up. It is also interesting to see the slight difference in the alternate ending.

All in all,I recommend it. I'm not overly familiar with Sondheim's work,but I've found that his cerebral approach is a nice escape. As a closing note,I suggest paying attention to the names of the characters - you might learn something about them! ... Read more

18. Company
by Stephen Sondheim, George Furth
Paperback: 128 Pages (1995-10-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559361085
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Sondheim's breakthrough play.
Amazon.com Review
Here at last is Furth's libretto to the convention-shattering1970 musical (revived on Broadway in 1995) that launched composerSondheim's most fertile period--and his cult. Originally a series ofone-act plays about marriage, the musical adds a linking character,Robert, who is the only one without a spouse. In visiting each of ahalf dozen couples who are his friends, Robert seeks to learn"what do you get" from being married. The answer is far fromHallmark, but visceral. The text includes Furth's witty, cuttingdialogue and Sondheim's brilliant lyrics--especially to "AnotherHundred People," "Have I Got a Girl for You" and"Being Alive." A portrait of urban angst that is nonethelesshilarious. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Product just what I wanted
Product was exactly what I wanted and got here right on time for the show to start so that I could have my lines memorized

5-0 out of 5 stars darker than what I remember, but still great
I'm giving this five stars, with the explanation that I love Sondheim, and "Company" is my favorite work of his.
With that said, I saw a touring production of Company in 1972, and fell in love with it.Listening to the original cast LP and CD over the years, I found it to be a light, fun, bouncy musical, even though some serious topics areaddressed.
Now, reading the book, I realize (and remember) that "Company" is much darker than it seems on the surface.This comes through in the scenes and dialogue, not so much in the songs.For instance - Harry and Sarah's sparring, Harry's drinking, Peter's propositioning Bobby, Joanne's propositioning Bobby.This certainly doesn't detract, but rather adds a new dimenstion, and it makes for a different listening of the soundtrack.
Also, it's nice to have all the lyrics in one spot.For the most part, the songs are understandable.But for those several songs when characters are singing different lines at the same time, it's nice to have a reference and be able to pick out the words.
Bottom line - a must for "Company" fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars side by side by side by side by side
What can I say?

This is a great musical, a great book, a great everything.

Love the songs for a long time and read the book only increase my admiration for this work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy the DVD!
I have the book and the DVD which I watch over and over again (great to do the dishes by.)

This is a must have for home libraries of all musical theater lovers and Sondheim admirers.

5-0 out of 5 stars ...wow.. just.. oh my god...it's wonderful!
When Mr. Sondheim and and Mr. Furth wrote the show they wanted to have something that would make the audience laugh all night and then stay awake the rest of the night thinking about it.And that is EXACTLY what theydid!Mr. Furth developes his characters so well as does Sondheim.Tofully get the show one might consider getting the cd (original cast albumis the best and can be found here on Amazon.com as well)This is seriouslythe best libretto I own.. and I own MANY. ... Read more

19. Sondheim & Company
by Craig Zadan
Paperback: 447 Pages (1994-09)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 0306806010
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Here is a lavish tribute and a candid look at the career of the much-acclaimed, much-loved Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. Includes candid interviews with his colleagues and stars, telling of his trials, false starts and heartbreaks as well as his successes. 150 photos. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential and entertaining reading about Sondheim's career through "Into the Woods"
This book is an excellent achievement for the writer, Craig Zadan, and a thoroughly entertaining and absorbing experience for the reader.Stephen Sondheim, to his credit, remains an ever-enigmatic figure at the end of the book as he is at the beginning.What you do comprehend by the end of the book is how brilliant Sondheim is, and how unique!Reading about his shows will make you want to purchase all of the cast recordings if you don't have them already.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book (Get it in the HARDCOVER 1986)
A must have book for Sondheim fans.However, many reasonably priced hardcover copies in excellent condition are available at much lower prices ($8-$20 range) than these ridiculous collector prices ($35 at time of this post) for the softcover here.The 1986 edition in hardcover is the same content that is in the softcover with better production. So why pay more for less?It covers Pacific Overtures, Sweeny Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George, Sondheim Evening, Follies Concert and early discussions of Into The Woods not in the original 1974 edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bible For Sondheim Fanatics!!
This book blows all the other books on Sondheim out of the water. There is a piece of information everywhere, whether it is in the caption for the picture, or the well constructed paragraphs. Zadan interviews all the right people. But this does not focus on just his shows. Spread out amongst the chapters are interesting chapters on the many aspects of making a musical. Also, there is not a full length chapter on "Into the woods". It just disscusses Lapine's and Sondheim's Ideas for the show, most of which actually happened. It has a small section in the chapter "Perniptual anticipation", which covers future plans for Sondheim. This should be hunted down, because it is well worth the hunt.

5-0 out of 5 stars Are there six stars available?
This is by far the best book written about Stephen Sondheim. Unfortunately it only goes so far as Into The Woods from 1987. Zadan uses candid quotes and photos with an often surprising honesty. I know this book is often saidto be unavailable, but I tell you it's still out there. And it's worth thelook.Don't go anywhere near Meryle Secrest's new book on Sondheim.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the $20!
Buy the book!(No intended reference to "Ellen") Well written and infomative, this book is best read after seeing or hearing one of your favorite Sondheim shows... (I know, it's hard to choose.)Unfortunately, doesn't have sections on "Assassins," "Passion," or "Wi$e Guy$," but the "Into the Woods" section is beautiful, as are the extensive B&W pics.(No, it's not a railroad-Black and White) One last note: Sondheim and Lapine, as well as many of their actors and actresses, are interviewed and written about, a rarity in a business where tabloids dominate. ... Read more

20. Into the Woods (Vocal Score)
Paperback: 316 Pages (1999-07)
list price: US$100.00 -- used & new: US$100.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0897242084
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Stephen Sondheim's Tony-Award winning musical includes: Agony * It Takes Two * Stay With Me * Any Moment * No More * No One is Alone ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Into the Woods Full Score
This is such beautiful music that Sondheim has written. I just wish that all of the spoken text, and music could all be together somewhere. It's so difficult, and somewhat frustrating trying to go back and forth between the book of dialogue, and then back to the music. I'm a musician that needs to see the music going on underneath me, and don't like to learn my music by just listening to a recording of it. Maybe some day the two will be printed together.

5-0 out of 5 stars Here are all those wonderful songs
This is a wonderful book for lovers of musical theatre, and the works of Stephen Sondheim in particular. Here are all the details of each wonderful song. Sondheim has woven together several fairy tales, with the characters interacting and all finding themselves "in the woods". By the end of Act 1 they've had their wishes come true, so in Act 2 we take a look at the consequences. Sondheim writes with great wisdom and insight into the human condition, mixing humour and drama intelligently with amazing melodies and accompaniments. If you're considering this book, you've not doubt already heard the soundtrack and watched the DVD. This Vocal Score is perfect to have in your hand as you listen to your recording and sing along.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource
Into The Woods Vocal score is a great study of the music from this fascinating musical. I just wish that they included the labels for the instruments detailed in the score. Small point. Great product.

3-0 out of 5 stars Yay!
Finally released! This has every song on the OBC Recording and it sounds wonderful! It is extremely difficult to play though, as most Sondheim music is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great reference material
The vocal score for "Into the Woods," while not practical for use at the piano due to the nature of the binding, is a terrific study aid for those interested in analyzing Sondheim's brilliant work.I recommend it to anyone wishing to enhance his or her understanding and appreciation of the piece. ... Read more

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats