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Generally, the best recording is the original cast,
by Stephen Sondheim

Generally, the best recording is the original cast,
because that's the way the piece grew:
integrally,
with them.
- Stephen Sondheim

Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.
- Stephen Sondheim

Everyone I used to play with has either given up or is dead.
- Stephen Sondheim

When the audience comes in, it changes the temperature of what you've written.
- Stephen Sondheim

 

I was raised to be charming, not sincere.
- Stephen Sondheim

I really don't want to write a score until the whole show is cast and staged.
- Stephen Sondheim

I prefer neurotic people.
I like to hear rumblings beneath the surface.
- Stephen Sondheim

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I don't listen to recordings of my songs.
I don't avoid it, I just don't go out of my way to do it.
- Stephen Sondheim

When you know your cast well and their strengths and weaknesses,
you can start writing for them, just the way Shakespeare wrote for his actors.
- Stephen Sondheim

All the best performers bring to their role something more,
something different than what the author put on paper.
That's what makes theatre live.
That's why it persists.
- Stephen Sondheim

Oscar Hammerstein was a surrogate father during all those many days,
and weeks and months when I didn't see my own father.
- Stephen Sondheim

Every writer I've ever spoken to feels fraudulent in some way or other.
- Stephen Sondheim

Gotta watch out for directors.
- Stephen Sondheim

If you're dealing with a musical in which you're trying to tell a story,
it's got to sound like speech.
At the same time it's got to be a song.
- Stephen Sondheim

By the time I was 22, I was a professional.
A young and flawed professional, but not an amateur.
- Stephen Sondheim

The nice thing about doing a crossword puzzle is,
you know there is a solution.
- Stephen Sondheim

In the Rodgers and Hammerstein generation,
popular hits came out of shows and movies.
- Stephen Sondheim

One difference between poetry and lyrics is that lyrics
sort of fade into the background.
They fade on the page and live on the stage when set to music.
- Stephen Sondheim

The fact is popular art dates.
It grows quaint.
How many people feel strongly about Gilbert and Sullivan
today compared to those who felt strongly in 1890?
- Stephen Sondheim

I fell into lyric writing because of music.
I backed into it.
- Stephen Sondheim

Nice is different than good.
- Stephen Sondheim

You can't have personal investors anymore because it's too expensive,
so you have to have corporate investment or a lot of rich people.
- Stephen Sondheim

A close-up on screen can say all a song can.
- Stephen Sondheim

Musical comedies aren't written, they are rewritten.
- Stephen Sondheim

The dumbing down of the country reflects itself on Broadway.
The shows get dumber, and the public gets used to them.
- Stephen Sondheim

So many good songs get written fast,
because you know exactly what has to work.
- Stephen Sondheim

I chose and my world was shaken.
So what? The choice may have been mistaken;
the choosing was not.
You have to move on.
- Stephen Sondheim

When I was growing up, there was no such thing as Off-Broadway.
You either got your show on or you didn't.
- Stephen Sondheim

My mother wanted me off her hands.
She was a working woman.
She designed clothes, and she was a celebrity collector.
It's my mother's ambition to be a celebrity.
- Stephen Sondheim

If people have split views about your work,
I think it's flattering.
I'd rather have them feel something about it than dismiss it.
- Stephen Sondheim

After the Rodgers and Hammerstein revolution,
songs became part of the story, as opposed to just
entertainments in between comedy scenes.
- Stephen Sondheim

Musicals are plays, but the last collaborator is your audience,
so you've got to wait 'til the last collaborator comes
in before you can complete the collaboration.
- Stephen Sondheim

The movie adaptations of stage musicals that I've seen,
without exception, in my opinion don't work.
A lot of people would disagree with me.
- Stephen Sondheim

Math and music are intimately related.
Not necessarily on a conscious level,
but sure.
- Stephen Sondheim

There's something inimical about the camera and song.
- Stephen Sondheim

Lyrics have to be underwritten.
That's why poets generally make poor lyric writers
because the language is too rich.
You get drowned in it.
- Stephen Sondheim

Nowadays, there are sometimes more producers than there are people in the cast,
because it takes that much money to put a show on.
- Stephen Sondheim

My personal life and my artistic life do not interfere with each other.
- Stephen Sondheim

The more restrictions you have, the easier anything is to write.
- Stephen Sondheim

One of the hardest things about writing lyrics is to
make the lyrics sit on the music in such a way that
you're not aware there was a writer there.
- Stephen Sondheim

I would have been a geologist.
- Stephen Sondheim

The worst thing you can do is censor yourself as the pencil hits the paper.
You must not edit until you get it all on paper.
If you can put everything down, stream-of-consciousness,
you'll do yourself a service.
- Stephen Sondheim

I played the organ when I went to military school,
when I was 10.
They had a huge organ, the second-largest pipe organ in New York State.
I loved all the buttons and the gadgets.
I've always been a gadget man.
- Stephen Sondheim

I firmly believe lyrics have to breathe and give the
audience's ear a chance to understand what's going on.
Particularly in the theater, where you have costume,
story, acting, orchestra.
- Stephen Sondheim

Musicals are, by nature, theatrical,
meaning poetic,
meaning having to move the audience's imagination and
create a suspension of disbelief,
by which I mean there's no fourth wall.
- Stephen Sondheim

Take a chance! All life is a chance.
The man who goes farthest is generally
the one who is willing to do and dare.
- Dale Carnegie

People generally complain about only two things:
when they have less than yesterday,
and when they have less than their neighbor.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The minority is always stronger than the majority,
because the minority is generally formed by those
who really have an opinion.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The most successful people in life
are generally those who have the best information.
- Benjamin Disraeli

Increase of material comforts,
it may be generally laid down,
does not in any way whatsoever
conduce to moral growth.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl:
it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.
- Henry David Thoreau

My compassionate intents are generally received clearly
and acted upon - perhaps not immediately,
or in exactly the way I hope -
but acted upon favorably, nonetheless.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery
as a quality which knows no fear, I have never seen a brave man.
All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are,
the more they are frightened.
- George S. Patton

Truth always rests with the minority,
and the minority is always stronger than the majority,
because the minority is generally formed by those
who really have an opinion,
while the strength of a majority is illusory,
formed by the gangs who have no opinion -
and who, therefore, in the next instant
(when it is evident that the minority is the stronger)
assume its opinion... while truth again reverts to a new minority.
- Soren Kierkegaard

She generally gave herself very good advice,
(though she very seldom followed it).
- Lewis Carroll

The healthy man does not torture others -
generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.
- Carl Jung

It's not very heroic to slay dragons.
Dragons are generally very peaceful and well behaved.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Lovers may be and indeed generally are enemies,
but they never can be friends, because there must always
be a spice of jealousy and a something of Self in all their speculations.
- George Byron

The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem,
it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.
- David Friedman

A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth.
- Will Rogers

Wise kings generally have wise counselors;
and he must be a wise man himself who is capable of distinguishing one.
- Diogenes

People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.
People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.
- Peter Drucker

The employer generally gets the employees he deserves.
- J. Paul Getty

These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert,
to fleece the people.
- Abraham Lincoln

I know of no more disagreeable situation than to be
left feeling generally angry without anybody in particular to be angry at.
- Frank Moore Colby

Time is generally the best doctor.
- Ovid

Our individual lives cannot, generally,
be works of art unless the social order is also.
- Charles Horton Cooley

Civilized countries generally adopt gold or silver or both as money.
- Alfred Marshall

A kitten is chiefly remarkable for rushing about like mad at nothing whatever,
and generally stopping before it gets there.
- Agnes Repplier

The automobile, both a cause and an effect of this decentralization,
is ideally suited for our vast landscape and our generally
confused and contrary commuting patterns.
- Brock Yates

Those Marriages generally abound most with Love and Constancy,
that are preceded by a long Courtship.
- Joseph Addison


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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