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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Oscar

When I am asked if there's anybody I regard as a model for my own work I usually mention Oscar Hammerstein II. Most people are surprised to hear that. Oscar may be the most successful librettist and lyricist of the musical theater, but he is also the most underrated one. It's so much easier to admire Larry Hart or Stephen Sondheim who seem wittier and more original. I believe that it is indeed admirable to be witty, but it's even harder still to be smart and simple at the same time. It is a great achievement to write something like: "A bell's not a bell 'til you ring it, A song's not a song 'til you sing it, Love in your heart wasn't put there to stay, Love isn't love 'til you give it away!".

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