Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany

After his acclaimed and best-selling Finishing the Hat (named one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2010), Stephen Sondheim returns with the second volume of his collected lyrics, Look, I Made a Hat, giving us another remarkable glimpse into the brilliant mind of this living legend, and his life’s work.
 
Picking up where he left off in Finishing the Hat, Sondheim gives us all the lyrics, along with excluded songs and early drafts, of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Assassins and Passion. Here, too, is an in-depth look at the evolution of Wise Guys, which subsequently was transformed into Bounce and eventually became Road Show. Sondheim takes us through his contributions to both television and film, some of which may surprise you, and covers plenty of never-before-seen material from unproduced projects as well. There are abundant anecdotes about his many collaborations, and readers are treated to rare personal material in this volume, as Sondheim includes songs culled from commissions, parodies and personal special occasions over the years—such as a hilarious song for Leonard Bernstein’s seventieth birthday. As he did in the previous volume, Sondheim richly annotates his lyrics with invaluable advice on songwriting, discussions of theater history and the state of the industry today, and exacting dissections of his work, both the successes and the failures.
 
Filled with even more behind-the-scenes photographs and illustrations from Sondheim’s original manuscripts, Look, I Made a Hat is fascinating, devourable and essential reading for any fan of the theater or this great man’s work.

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By Schmacko (Orlando, FL) · ★★★★☆ · January 18, 2012
Look, I Made a Hat is only slightly less successful for me than Sondheim’s first book of collected lyrics. I still say Sondheim is the best lyricist the stage has ever seen, and for any stage aficionado, both books are required reading. However, sections of this book are spent on songs that haven... ...more
By Alex (New York, NY) · ★★★★★ · December 08, 2011
He's God. I mean the man's a God. He wrote the book to Sweeney Todd with a nod to De Sade. ...more
By Kevin (Cambridge, MA) · ★★★★★ · February 26, 2012
Worth it just for Into the Woods & Assassins. I didn't read the whole thing, I haven't seen Passions and skipped most of the movie section except for Dick Tracy. In some ways this volume feels lighter, but since Sunday, Woods, and Assassins are my favorite Sondheim shows I still liked it more... ...more
By Melody (York, The United Kingdom) · ★★★★★ · February 19, 2014
I rated the first volume of this 5 stars before I finished it 2 or 3 years ago - I wanted to save the final Merrily We Roll Along chapter until I'd experienced that show as a whole (no cast recording could ever hope to capture the story there - fortunately now we have the Digital Theatre producti... ...more
By Gretchen · ★★★★★ · November 06, 2014

Look, I Made a Hat is the second volume in Stephen Sondheim's collection of lyrics. This installment gives us his newest musicals (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Assassins, and Passion), as well the much-revised Wise Guys and songs written for movies and special occasions.

I enjo... ...more
By Stuart (Plymouth, K4, The United Kingdom) · ★★★★☆ · April 22, 2015
Extremely interesting on the process of lyric writing and the sheer amount of effort that goes into the writing of a musical - a bull-headed refusal to be beaten seems to be the primary attribute required. I have to say though that his interruptions with anecdotes and digressions were by far the... ...more
By Michael (Baltimore, MD) · ★★★★☆ · March 26, 2012
This review is for both Volume 1 ("Finishing the Hat" and Volume 2 ("Look I Made a Hat") of Stephen Sondheim's reflections and commentary on his lyrics.

These are necessary tools for any serious theatre-goer who wants to fully understand Sondheim's body of work. It is not overstating to say that S... ...more
By Bruce (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · December 30, 2011
Look, I Made a Hat completes the publication of Sondheim’s collected lyrics, picking up where Finishing the Hat left off and then backfilling those gaps in the record Sondheim deemed noteworthy: incidental songs from movies, unproduced shows (including selected examples of juvenilia), and ditties... ...more
By Daniel (Somerville, MA) · ★★★★☆ · December 30, 2013
This and his previous volume, Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics, 1954-1981, With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines, and Anecdotes are a must for any serious student or fan of Stephen Sondheim. The sidebars are fewer in this volume, but there's a lot of odds and ends, plu... ...more
By Kathy (Saint Paul, MN) · ★★★★☆ · February 12, 2012
The tone of this second volume seemed to me a bit more reflective, and even regretful in places. But there was still plenty of Mr. Sondheim's wit and some fascinating recollections of the talented people he knew and worked with. The section about the work that became Road Show had an interesting... ...more