Shelfari edited the description of Finishing the Hat Saturday, July 3, 2010.
The winner of seven Tonys, seven Grammys, an Oscar, and a Pulitzer Prize, Stephen Sondheim has become synonymous with the best in musical theater. Now, in Finishing the Hat, he has not only collected his lyrics for the first time, he’s given readers a rare, personal look into his extraordinary shows and life. Along with the lyrics for all of his productions from 1954 to 1981—including West Side Story, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, and Sweeney Todd— Sondheim discusses his relationship with his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein II, and his collaborations with legends Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Ethel Merman, Richard Rodgers, Angela Lansbury, Hal Prince, and countless others. The anecdotes—rich with history, personal insights, and intimate details—transport us back to a time when theater was a major pillar of American culture. And throughout the book, Sondheim analyzes his work and dissects his own songs as well as those of others, offering unparalleled insight into songwriting that will be studied for years to come. Brilliant, poignant, scathing, and funny, Finishing the Hat is the newest production Sondheim can add to his list of classic works.