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Stephen Sondheim, featured guest on television series, "The American Musical Theater," aired October 15, 1961
Posted by: dreambaby 11:43 am EST 01/25/22

I just discovered this on YouTube, and apologize if this has already been shared on ATC. It's from a television series from the early 1960's, "American Musical Theatre," which included this episode focused on young 31-year-old lyricist Stephen Sondheim, known then for his two Broadway credits, as lyricist for "West Side Story," and "Gypsy."

Fascinating to hear from him at some length at this point in his career, including his description of the functioning of his lyrics for "West Side Story," including his critiques of them and what he saw as their shortcomings.

Also interesting to hear him discuss his pending project, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Forum," which he describes then as being "almost completed," with his collaborators, book writers Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, after three years of work. He also reports that it is to star Milton Berle, a factoid that I don't remember having heard before.

His early description here of his mentorship by Oscar Hammerstein, and the sad fate of his first work for Broadway, "Saturday Night," are familiar to me from other sources. He describes the character Rose, from "Gypsy," as "not nice," as "bitter, and ambitious." Those qualities were uncommon in leading female characters in musicals at that time, no doubt. Did he ever discuss Rose later in his life, with any new thoughts about her circumstances and her times?
Link Sondheim on 1961 "American Musical Theatre" episode
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