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Woody Allen On Sondheim, Mamet & Mel Brooks


Iconic screenwriter, director and actor Woody Allen comments on fellow legends Stephen Sondheim, David Mamet and Mel Brooks in a series of anecdotes revealed in a new interview with the caustic BLUE JASMINE helmer.

Allen shares a hilarious story displaying his trademark erudite wit and vast historical insight, relating, "We took a tour of the Acropolis late in the morning, and I looked down upon the theater and felt a connection. I mean, this is where Oedipus debuted."

Allen continues, "It's amazing for someone who's spent his life in show business or worked in dramatic art to look down at the theater where, thousands of years ago, guys like Mike Nichols and Stephen Sondheim and David Mamet were in togas, thinking, 'Gee, I can't get this line to work.' You know, 'I've been working on it all night. And that actor, he doesn't know how to deliver it.' Sophocles and Euripides and Aristophanes. 'The costumes are late, and we gotta go on!'"

Additionally, the comedy great expresses his views on a fellow funny fellow - Mel Brooks. Allen articulates, "I love Mel Brooks. And I've had wonderful times working with him. But I don't see any similarities between Mel and myself except, you know, we're both short Jews. That's where it ends. His style of humor is completely different. But Bob Hope? I'm practically a plagiarist."

Also, Allen discusses meeting his idol, Ingmar Bergman, making a witty image out of their breaking of bread: "Me sitting down for dinner with Ingmar Bergman felt like a house painter sitting down with Picasso."

Allen will join the great musical theatre pantheon with his stage musical BULLETS OVER BROADWAY later this season, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. Check out my recent InDepth InterView with Stroman for more on that project, available here.

Check out the original interview with Woody Allen from Esquire here.

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From This Author Pat Cerasaro

Pat Cerasaro contributes exclusive scholarly columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Theatrical Throwback Thursdays, Flash Friday and Flash Special as well as additional special features, (read more...)