Stephen Sondheim

  • Aired:  11/30/11
  •  | Views: 18,836

Stephen Sondheim discusses the complexity of his characters and rates Stephen's performance in "Company." (5:34)

EVERYBODY

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A LEGENDARY

BROADWAY LYRICIST AND COMPOSER

WHOSE NEW BOOK IS CALLED "LOOK,

I MADE A HAT."

IT'S BETTER THAN ANDREW LLOYD

WEBER'S BOOK, "LOOK, I MADE

CATS."

[ LAUGHTER ]

PLEASE WELCOME STEPHEN SONDHEIM.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

NICE SEE YOU AGAIN, SIR.

THANKS FOR COMING BACK.

>> MY PLEASURE.

THIS IS JUST LIKE OLD HOME WEEK.

>> YES.

>> STEPHEN: THIS IS WHERE YOU

COME TO SELL YOUR BOOKS.

AND BOY DO YOU HAVE ONE THIS

TIME.

LAST TIME IT WAS "FINISHING THE

HAT" AND THIS ONE IS CALLED

"LOOK I MADE A HAT."

OKAY?

>> IT'S A PROGRESSION.

>> STEPHEN: IT IS.

THIS BOOK HAS IN IT "LOOK I MADE

A HAT" THIS IS THE SECOND HALF

OF YOUR CAREER.

THIS IS MY FAVORITE MUSICAL OF

ALL TIME, SUNDAY IN THE PARK

WITH GEORGE.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> THANK YOU.

>> STEPHEN: WHEN I WAS

EXPLAINING TO MY MOTHER WHY I

WANTED TO BE A PUNDIT I READ HER

THE LYRICS TO FINISHING THE HAT.

THAT IS ABOUT AN ARTIST HAVING

TO LIVE WITH THE LONELINESS OF

HIS ART THAT HIS ART IS HIS LOVE

AND HIS LIFE.

ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT YOURSELF

THERE?

>> YES, TO A CERTAIN EXTENT.

I'M WRITING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS

TO EVERYBODY WHO WRITES OR

PAINTS OR COMPOSES, HOW YOU GET

LOST IN WHAT YOU ARE DOING, THE

WORD DISAPPEARS AND YOU

SACRIFICE ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE

AND YOU FORGET EVERYTHING EXCEPT

FINISHING THE HAT.

IN THIS CASE IT'S ABOUT A

PAINTER WHO IS WORKING ON A HAT.

IT'S JUST ONE OF MANY HATS BUT

HE SPENDS ALL HIS TIME

CONCENTRATING ON THIS HAT.

HE SAID LOOK, I MADE A HAT, NOW

I HAVE TO MAKE ANOTHER ONE.

IT'S ABOUT CONCENTRATION.

>> STEPHEN: IT NEVER ENDS

THOUGH.

THE ART NEVER ENDS.

SHE'S A HARSH MISTRESS, ART.

>> THAT'S WELL PUT.

>> STEPHEN: I SHOULD WRITE

LYRICS.

[ LAUGHTER ]

SINCE THE LAST TIME YOU WERE ON

YOU INVITED ME TO BE IN COMPANY.

>> YES.

>> STEPHEN: WHICH I DID A --

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> I WAS THRILLED THAT YOU

ACCEPTED.

I COULDN'T BELIEVE YOU WOULD

ACCEPT.

>> STEPHEN: I CAN'T BELIEVE I

DID EITHER.

MY PERFORMANCE HAS HARRY GREAT

INTERPRETATION OF SONDHEIM OR

THE GREATEST INTERPRETATION OF

SONDHEIM?

[ LAUGHTER ]

I'LL JUST WRITE THIS DOWN.

>> WELL, YOU HAD TO COMPETE WITH

CHARLES WHO HAD DONE IT

ORIGINALLY AND I THINK IT CAME

OUT WELL.

>> STEPHEN: OKAY.

I'LL PUT YOU DOWN FOR GREAT.

NOW, CAN I ASK YOU ABOUT THE

LYRICS TO THE SONG I SANG.

IT'S CALLED SORRY GRATEFUL.

I LIKE THINGS SIMPLE, SIR.

THE CHORUS GOES YOU ALWAYS ARE

WHAT YOU ALWAYS WERE CAN HAS

NOTHING TO DO WITH ALL TO DO

WITH HER.

IF YOU LOOK AT THAT LIKE AN

EQUATION, ALL TO DO, NOTHING TO

DO AND THOSE ARE FRACTIONS OVER

THE WORD WITH HER.

OKAY?

MATH SAYS WE ELIMINATING THE ALL

TO DO,yMñr NOTHING TO DO AND ALL

THAT IS LEFT IS WITH HER.

>> THAT'S TRUE.

PART OF IT IS SORRY AND PART OF

IT IS GRATEFUL.

>> STEPHEN: RIGHT.

BUT IT'S LIKE HE CAN'T EXPLAIN

WHAT MARRIAGE IS LIKE.

>> THAT'S CORRECT.

>> STEPHEN: WHY NOT MAKE YOUR

CHARACTERS REALLY SIM MINDED?

HAKUNA MATATA.

IT'S A WONDERFUL WORD.

>> IT'S TRUE.

IT'S TRUE.

BUT PEOPLE ARE COMPLICATED.

SPEAKING FOR MYSELF.

>> STEPHEN: WHY NOT PEPPY,

PEPPY, PEPPY STUFF.

LIKE HEY, YOU GIRLS, BEAUTIFUL

GIRL HOW I'D LIKE TO MEET YOU

BEAUTIFUL GIRL.

LET ME CALL THE PREACHER.

>> IF YOU ASKED I WOULD HAVE

UPPED THE TEMPO FOR YOU.

>> STEPHEN: SERIOUSLY?

>> YES.

EASY THING TO DO.

SORRY GRATEFUL.

>> STEPHEN: GRATEFUL HAPPY WHY

LOOK FOR ANSWERS WHEN NONE

OCCUR.

YOU ALWAYS ARE WHAT YOU ALWAYS

WERE WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO

WITH ALL TO DO WITH HER ♪

HOW ABOUT THAT?

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

I WANT TO TAKE YOU TO TASK FOR

TWO OF YOUR WORKS.

>> OKAY.

>> STEPHEN: ASSASSINS THAT'S

IN THIS BOOK.

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL MUSICAL, DON'T

GET ME WRONG.

IT'S A MUSICAL ABOUT ASSASSINS.

YOU HAVE KIDS WHO ARE

IMPRESSIONABLE.

THEY ARE GOING TO GO TO

BROADWAY, SEE THIS THING AND

GROW UP TO SING AND DANCE AND

SHOOT THE PRESIDENT.

YOU DON'T FEEL RESPONSIBILITY

FOR THAT?

>> YEAH, THEY GET KILLED AT THE

END.

>> STEPHEN: SO IT'S A HAPPY

ENDING.

FOR STEVEN SONDHEIM IT'S A HAPPY

ENDING.

ALL THOSE ASSASSINS CAME TO A

BAD END.

SO, IF THERE'S A LESSON THERE

IT'S DON'T ASSASSINATE.

>> STEPHEN: THAT'S WHAT I

MEAN, KEEP IT SIMPLE.

YOU WANT THE DEFINE BOOK GET

THIS ONE, LOOK I MADE A

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