Early Broadway Years

Burt Shevelove invited Sondheim to some party; Sondheim arrived prior to him, and knew nobody else well. He did find a familiar face: Arthur Laurents, who had seen one of the casting call of Saturday Night, plus they began talking. Laurents informed him he was working on the musical version of Romeo and Juliet with Leonard Bernstein, but they needed the lyricist; Betty Comden as well as Adolph Green, who were designed to write the lyrics, were below contract in Hollywood. This individual said that although he was not really a big fan of Sondheim’s music, he enjoyed the actual lyrics from Saturday Evening and he could audition with regard to Bernstein. Sondheim met Bernstein the following day, played with regard to him and Bernstein stated he would let him know. The music composer wanted to write music as well as lyrics; after consulting with Hammerstein, Bernstein told Sondheim might write music later. Within 1957, West Side Tale opened; directed by Jerome Robbins, it ran with regard to 732 performances. Sondheim offers expressed dissatisfaction with his words of the tune, saying that they do not usually fit the characters and they are sometimes too consciously graceful. While Bernstein was focusing on Candide, Sondheim reportedly published some of West Side Story’s music; Bernstein’s co-lyricist credit score disappeared from West Part Story during its checkout, possibly as a trade-off. Sondheim insisted that Bernstein informed the producers to listing him as the sole lyricist. He described the label of the royalties, saying which Bernstein received three % and he received one %. Bernstein suggested evening the share at two percent every, but Sondheim refused simply because he wanted the credit score. Sondheim later said this individual wished “someone stuffed the handkerchief in my mouth because it might have been nice to get which extra percentage”. Check Stephen Sondheim sheet music page.

After To the west Side Story opened, Shevelove lamented the lack of “low-brow comedy” on Broadway and pointed out a possible musical based on Plautus’ Roman comedies. When Sondheim was interested in the idea this individual called a friend, Larry Gelbart, to co-write the software. The show went through numerous drafts, and was disrupted briefly by Sondheim’s following project.

In 1959, Sondheim had been approached by Laurents as well as Robbins for a musical edition of Gypsy Rose Lee’s memoir after Irving Bremen and Cole Porter switched it down. Sondheim decided, but Ethel Merman : cast as Mama Increased – had just completed Happy Hunting with an not known composer (Harold Karr) as well as lyricist (Matt Dubey). Even though Sondheim wanted to write the songs and lyrics, Merman rejected to let another first-time music composer write for her and required that Jule Styne write down thier music. Sondheim, concerned which writing lyrics again might pigeonhole him as a lyricist, called his mentor with regard to advice. Hammerstein told your pet he should take the job, simply because writing a vehicle for a celebrity would be a good learning encounter. Sondheim agreed; Gypsy opened up on May 21, 1959, as well as ran for 702 shows.