Stephen Sondheim and Frank Rich met yesterday at Barnes & Noble to hold a discussion session that was open to the public. Here are a few gems gleaned from that discussion.
On talking to Ingmar Bergman about A Little Night Music:
When I asked how he liked it, he said, ‘Well, it’s not the same story, Stephen. But we all eat from the same cake. As for that Hermione Gringold, she does tend to fuck the audience doesn’t she?’
On revivals and A Little Night Music:
I always approach it and get involved with it, and like the revivals much more than I ever expected to. A Little Night Music is elegant and funny and it blends well with the songs. I wouldn’t change much. I’m not saying its perfect but I wouldn’t change much.
On Sondheim on Sondheim:
It’s basically me loafing around and looking like a beached whale, murmuring and closing my eyes as I talk. At the moment its about four hours long. We are trying to cut it down: to three and a half.
On his upcoming book:
Basically what it is is every lyric I’ve written since I was 22 years old and corresponding counter-entries. It’s been broken into two volumes. So if you are interested in lyrics then it’s for you.
On the placement of “Gee, Officer Krupke” in West Side Story:
I hated where it was in Act II. I mean, there has just been a murder, and here comes this comic song. I thought it should be “Cool” not “Krupke”. Jerry Robbins promised that if they ever made a movie then they would make the switch. And they did. And you know what? It didn’t work. So there you go.