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October 18, 2017 12:16 PM   Subscribe

Lin-Manuel Miranda interviews and writes about Stephen Sondheim (slnyt) for the New York Times Style Magazine's 2017 Greats Issue (slnyt).
posted by still_wears_a_hat (17 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, that's really inspirational.
posted by MythMaker at 12:43 PM on October 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

This may be a clue as to why those of us who have jobs where we do the same thing over and over and over and over are feeling a bit . . . dull about it.
posted by JanetLand at 12:56 PM on October 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Posted by still_wears_a_hat

posted by minervous at 1:20 PM on October 18, 2017 [9 favorites]

NGL, the main takeaway I got from this interview was that Sondheim has an 18th century orrery in his living room (?) and I am very, very jealous.
posted by btfreek at 1:27 PM on October 18, 2017

You can make your own, and Instructables has instructions. Not as nice and brassy, but better than an empty orrery table, right?
posted by filthy light thief at 1:39 PM on October 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Worth it for the video of NYT employees singing Broadway Baby! Cute!
posted by Clustercuss at 2:38 PM on October 18, 2017

Public service announcement: read the footnotes, they are both charming and informative
posted by threecheesetrees at 8:14 PM on October 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

That was lovely. I've read a fair amount about Sondheim but I was just delighted by the story about "Finishing the Hat".

Thank you for posting this, still_wears_a_hat!
posted by kristi at 9:50 PM on October 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Sondheim's two books of commentary about his lyrics and shows are both terrific. You can buy the pair on Amazon for a little over $60.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:06 AM on October 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've only skimmed Sondheim's books, but based just on reading about the amount of thought he put into the first line of Sweeney Todd ("Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd"), they're well worth checking out.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:07 AM on October 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Reading or listening to Sondheim talk about his own work is always gratifying because of how precisely and clearly he is able to articulate his decisions and his process - the mark of a really great teacher, IMO. Some of my favourite examples of this are in the MTI "Conversation Pieces" for his shows (e.g. Into the Woods, Assassins) where he goes into the gory details for those who intend to put on their own productions.
posted by btfreek at 1:54 AM on October 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

There's a video of Sondheim giving a master class to some students performing "My Friends", if you want to check out some of his teaching.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:19 AM on October 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

My favorite of the Guildhall master class is him teaching Later from A Little Night Music, but all of the teaching he did for that is just amazing to watch.
posted by desuetude at 7:42 AM on October 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

read the footnotes, they are both charming and informative

True, but the NYT needs to rethink its online layout for them. Either put them at the side next to the copy it belongs to, or hyperlink them to make jumping back and forth easy. Scrolling all the way down then up to let's see where was I again UGH. Especially on mobile.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:21 AM on October 19, 2017

I love that fragments of his lyrics were peppered throughout his responses.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:23 AM on October 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I like Sondheim as a person immensely and this interview with my bae Lin is wonderful. My relationship with Sondheim musicals on the other hand is really tenuous. I have a weird visceral reaction when someone mentions Sunday in the Park, Assasins, or Follies (don’t get me started on Sweeney Todd) because I find those musicals as dischordant as the Don Juan opera the Phantom writes during POTO. I hated Into the Woods for YEARS until Disney adapted it for the screen, which I know makes me a terrible musical theater kid but whatever.

But oh, West Side Story. I think about those songs constantly. They are magnificent. I wrote the longest essay about them for a midterm during film school instead of focusing on cinematography and blocking like I was supposed to. My professor wrote me a very kind note in response and told me he very much agreed with my opinions but could I please stick to the prompt next time.

Nothing else in Sondheim’s work reaches me in that way.
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:02 AM on October 19, 2017

What’s important is that Sondheim is still here

Hear here!
posted by hippybear at 9:33 PM on November 16, 2017

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