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

Stephen Sondheim
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 35.00
Price: 28.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 Nov 2011

As he did in the acclaimed Finishing the Hat, Sondheim richly annotates his lyrics with personal and theatre history, discussions of his collaborations, and exacting, charming dissections of his work - both the successes and the failures. Picking up where he left off in Finishing the Hat, he gives us all the lyrics, along with cutouts and early drafts, to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sunday in the Park with George, as well as Into the Woods, Assassins, and Passion. Here too is an in-depth look at Wise Guys, subsequently transformed into Bounce, and eventually into Road Show. And we are treated to chapters on his work for television and film and his "orphan songs," culled from parodies and special occasions over the years.

Filled with behind-the-scenes photographs and illustrations from original manuscripts, and with the same elegant design as the earlier book, Look, I Made A Hat will be devoured by Sondheim's passionate fans today and for years to come.


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Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany + Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD]
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (24 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753522608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753522608
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Stephen Sondheim returns with the second volume of his collected lyrics, giving us another remarkable glimpse into his life's work, and into his life

About the Author

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For aficionados it's a must-have. 10 Mar 2013
By snark
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A dazzling display of the genuine craft of lyric-writing, which all today's sloppy rhymesters should be forced to read. The range and originality of his ideas for songs is inspiring. Mr. Sondheim's annotations are eloquent and articulate and reveal his justifiably high standards. You may not always agree with his sometimes derogatory comments on the great lyricists - there are passages where I find him simply perverse - but he is never short of challenging and worth arguing with. The glimpses into the creative and business processes of writing musicals are enthralling.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, great book. 20 Dec 2011
Format:Hardcover
So happy to get the UK editions of both the Somdheim books. So superior to the American editions. From a better cover to larger typeset to quality paper. I've told everyone I know to order these editions.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And What A Beautiful Hat It Was! 22 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Actually, the 'Sunday in the Park With George' poster was my first introduction to Sondeim, whilst working as a pizza boy in New York. I used to walk past it on the way to Godfather's pizza in Times Square. Never heard of him til then. The poster really caught the eye and although, sadly, I didn't have the money to see the show, I did eventually buy a cassette. I still have it today. Also, more recently, the DVD, which I watched with my daughter, back in London some twenty years or so later.

But you want to know about the book!

'Look, I Made a Hat' is as wonderful a book as the first volume. It is a pleasure, as a reader, to be in Sondheim's company and confidences. He is adept at sounding as if he is directly speaking with you, not as common a skill in writers as might be imagined. If you are interested in the thoughts and processes behind the shows it is engrossing. I felt somewhat like a young boy, making a rare visit to a favourite uncle, hanging on every word and precious opinion. Some critics have argued with Sondheim's essay on theatrical criticism and his views of other musical writers, but it's not necessary to agree with every opinion here to enjoy the book. Sondheim makes clear the openly subjective approach to the book in the extended title.

Another criticism I've read is that he is focused more on the inspiration behind the lyrics rather than the musicality. Perhaps, but I am happy to take this book for what it is rather than what it isn't. I would vote it one of the books of the year and warmly recommend buying it.

As with the first volume, the pleasure is to dip into it, tempting as it is to take a couple of days off work and read the whole lot.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It started when I found a serious factual error in Sondheim's first volume of lyrics, Finishing The Hat. When I pointed it out to Sondheim he was very grateful and I took the opportunity to ask him why he had left out one of my favourite lyrics, All I Need Is The Boy. He told me he had completely forgotten about it and would include it in his next book, Look, I Made A Hat. And he has indeed done so.

He also invited me to send him further suggestions of obscure songs to be included. Naturally I was happy to oblige and I sent him quite a list. I am pleased to say many of my suggestions are in this book including The Natives Are Restless, cut from Anyone Can Whistle, and the first version of Now which Sondheim told me years ago he had written for A Little Night Music. Sondheim had forgotten about both these songs, and others included in this book, until I reminded him. It makes me wonder what else he has forgotten and I have just read that he has already found a lyric he forgot to include. Maybe there will be a third volume of omissions entitled Where There Never Was A Hat!

In my review of Finishing The Hat, I lamented the lyrics that were missing including the four shows that Sondheim wrote for his mentor Oscar Hammerstein. When I asked Sondheim why they were missing he replied that he was not interested in seeing other people's juvenilia and he was too embarrassed to publish his. Well, he has relented a little and included a handful of his early work so that "my first fumblings may be helpful to other fumblers".

I mentioned that he had surprisingly missed out in Finishing The Hat his contributions to other peoples work like Candide for example.
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