Stephen Sondihim has composed some of the greatest musical instruments of our time, and we were going to talk about one of his classics, the West Side Story.
Betty Hill, who conducted the interview, and I arrived on Sunday, November 11, to meet with Soundheim.
As the sailors prepared, we entered into a conversation. We talked about some of the things around us. The room was a gathering of objects and art on the way. Victorian paintings from the Swine Todd era. “Something funny happened on the way to the stage” is a small Victoria photo box by author Burt Shevelov.
When the cameras came, it was very similar. He was clear, warm. It felt like a conversation, not an interview.
Steven Spillberg’s re-imagined edition of West Side Story, released on December 10, was delighted.
Spillberg and scribe Tony Kushner thought it would make Jets even more attractive, “Sondheim said.
It was often difficult not to laugh. A.D. He told us how he got a job as a composer at the first Broadway concert in 1957. He says he ran alongside Arthur Lawrent, who wrote the show and heard the music at Soundham.
“Who wrote the poem?” I said. And he said, ‘Oh, I never thought so.'[Laurents] ‘I didn’t like your music very much, but I thought your poems were great,’ so I got the job.
I asked where the songs started. The musician says that he always started the story by entering the character.
“I always write poems about how an actor plays his role,” he said. “Then I get a title or a stop line and then I expand and I can make the flower grow.”
It was there that I whispered, “Until it becomes a bouquet of flowers.”
“Poetry is not poetry. Poetry is dense and based on the use of words and ideas and thoughts and ideas. But for theater, you have to tell the audience exactly what is going on – you have to write, not write. And the bouquet is overflowing, ”said Sunday.
I asked him why his people heard his poems. He told me that the main thing was to make them universal.
“Why does the death of a seller happen to people so deeply?” So why do you know? None of us have anything in common with those characters. Unless they have something in common with those characters.
This, as you know, is the secret of any kind of narrative art. ” That will move you. “
About two weeks later, I was shocked to learn that Stephen Sondheim had died. Our talk was the last local television interview.
When I asked him if West Side Story was a new song, he laughed and said, “Every opera ends with death.”
“Death is the veil of history. You know, mention the ‘last veil.’ It is the end of nature, the logical end of history.”
It’s a wonderful opportunity as a journalist – a chance to have a real conversation with people who will be remembered forever like Soundheim. Every time a person enters the theater with one of his songs, he is there to watch the concert. I feel lucky to have been there for about two hours.
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