Stephen Sondheim : A Life (Paperback)

Author: Secrest, Meryle

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Product Overview

The first and only full-scale and definitive biography of the most important composer-lyricist in musical theater today.
Drawing on personal conversations with Sondheim himself, as well as interviews with his friends, family, collaborators, and lovers, Secrest offers new insight into the enigmatic and very private Stephen Sondheim. Here, we learn about his childhood on New York''s Upper West Side, his parents'' devastating divorce, and his ascent to the peaks of the Broadway musical. Secrest vividly recreates the energy, passion, and despair that went into each beloved show, from Sondheim''s fabled collaboration with Hal Prince on "Sweeney Todd" and "A Little Night Music," to his disagreements with co-lyricist Leonard Bernstein on "West Side Story." A fascinating and remarkable portrait of the man, the music, and the genius of Stephen Sondheim: star of his own fascinating and unfinished life.


Publisher Random House Inc
Mfg Part# 9780307946843
SKU 220133933
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0307946843
Release Date 10/4/2011
Dimensions (in Inches) 8H x 5.25L x 1T
"This is a serious life, seriously told, but not quite the bible Sondheim buffs may have been hoping for. The reader is left feeling that Sondheim tightly controlled Secrest's access to him and that she never asked a question that was too difficult."
"...Meryle Secrest's 'Stephen Sondheim' transcends [all other Sondheim books]....[N]ot only is Secrest's the first truly full-scale biography to appear but she has done a superb job of synthesizing the wealth of pre-existing information with original research, incorporating many conversations with her subject. With Sondheim abetting her, she also secured the participation of performers, collaborators and other behind-the-scenes figures."
"Secrest gracefully interweaves personal with artistic material, delivering a first-rate history of Broadway in the past 40 years simply by detailing Sondheim's central role in it. She doesn't shrink from discussing unpleasant personal issues such as Sondheim's blocked romantic feelings for Lee Remick or his discomfort with his homosexuality, but she refuses to indulge in the tell-all gossip that coarsens so much contemporary biography."
"Secrest's intelligent and measured biography manages to be candid without being prurient, and although it has been written with its subject's cooperation, it never seems cringingly 'authorized.' Its only significant shortcoming is a failure sufficiently to consider the problematic nature of Sondheim's music or the general view that the scores of his later years are jejune and joyless affairs, desperately in need of some red-blooded tunes."
"The author puts her subject on the psychoanalyst's couch in this portrait of the brilliant but insecure composer who brought bleakness and maturity to the habitually sunny Broadway musical. the result is an 'admirable biography....'"
From the Publisher
Annotation A biography of the composer-lyricist whose name has become synonymous with the Broadway musical. With numerous successes that span decades, Sondheim emulated the success of his idol Oscar Hammerstein. Sondheim wrote the lyrics for "West Side Story" and scored numerous long-running musicals, including "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum", "A Little Night Music", and "Sweeney Todd". A "New York Times" Notable Book for 1998.
First Line The San Remo apartment building on Central Park West, to which Stephen Joshua Sondheim was taken in 1930 when he was six months old, has been a landmark in New York City almost since the day it first opened that same year.
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0459
Publisher Vintage Books

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