Jessi's Reviews > Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics, 1954-1981, With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines, and Anecdotes

Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim
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's review
Oct 30, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, biography-memoir
Read from November 18 to 26, 2011

First line: "There are only three principles necessary for a lyric writer, all of them familiar truisms."

I wasn't sure how exciting it would be to read through a lyric book, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sondheim dishes all kinds of good info and gossip through the pages and he creates such a distinct voice that it's really more like analyzing the plays with the lyricist sitting next to you. I read almost all of his entire commentary, although as I got further into the book I skipped a few of the musicals I was not familiar with. I got to hum along with songs from Sweeney Todd and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for days afterwards as well. If you're a fan of musicals in general, or Sondheim in particular, this book is a fun way to spend a few afternoons.

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