Genius x2: Lin-Manuel Miranda Chats with Stephen Sondheim About Inspiration, Collaboration & More!
What's up next for Miranda? "Since "Hamilton," I have been pitched every historical era," says Miranda.
"Of course! And so that's the one thing you don't want to do. After "Gypsy" I got nothing but backstage stories and I said, "The only thing I don't want to write is anything to do with show business." That's the only thing," responds Sondheim.
His writing advice? "You shouldn't feel safe. You should feel, "I don't know if I can write this." That's what I mean by dangerous, and I think that's a good thing to do. Sacrifice something safe," says Sondheim
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Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Road Show (2008, originally titled Bounce), Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971, revised in London 1987 and in New York 2001), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962); as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear a Waltz (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), and Putting it Together (1992, 2000) are anthologies of his work.
For film he composed the scores for Stravinsky (1974) and Reds (1981) and songs for Dick Tracy (Academy Award, 1990). He wrote the songs for television's Evening Primrose (1966), co-authored the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and the play Getting Away with Murder (1966), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls of Summer (1956), Invitation to a March (1961), and Twigs (1971).
He won Tony Awards for Best Score of a Musical for Passion, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Little Night Music, Follies, (1971), and Company. All of these shows won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, as did Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George, the latter also receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1985). Mr. Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981, and in 1983 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1990, he was appointed the first Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University, and in 1993 was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. He published two books: Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes and Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany. In 2014, Into the Woods was made into a major motion picture and was recognized with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture in a Musical or Comedy.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is an award-winning composer, lyricist, and performer, as well as a 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award recipient. His current musical, Hamilton - with book, music and lyrics by Mr. Miranda, in addition to him originating the title role - opened on Broadway in 2015. Hamilton was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and earned a record-breaking 16 Tony Nominations, winning 11 Tony Awards including two personally for Mr. Miranda for Book and Score of a Musical. The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton won the 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Both Mr. Miranda and Hamilton won the 2016 Drama League Awards for Distinguished Performance and Outstanding Production of a Musical, respectively. For its sold-out Off-Broadway run at The Public Theater, Hamilton received a record-breaking 10 Lortel Awards, as well as 3 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 8 Drama Desk Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical, and an OBIE for Best New American Play.