After the Rodgers and Hammerstein revolution, songs became part of the story, as opposed to just entertainments in between comedy scenes.
A close-up on screen can say all a song can.
A song is such a short form ... that 'the slightest flaw seems like a mountain.' And so every song needs to be revised 'til it's close to perfection... But achieving perfection takes a lot of energy.
In the Rodgers and Hammerstein generation, popular hits came out of shows and movies.
Puzzles are like songs - A good puzzle can give you all the pleasure of being duped that a mystery story can. It has surface innocence, surprise, the revelation of a concealed meaning, and the catharsis of solution.
If you're dealing with a musical in which you're trying to tell a story, it's got to sound like speech. At the same time it's got to be a song.
On stage, generally speaking, the story is stopped or held back by songs, because that's the convention. Audiences enjoy the song and the singer, that's the point.
I get some flak for and some resistance from colleagues for because I'm interested in storytelling. I mean what I like about songwriting is songs used to tell a story.
I don't write songs apart from theatrical pieces. I'm not interested in writing songs qua songs.
I like songs that are part of a dramatic texture, and therefore I like the scenes to be active. I wanna follow the story and that means you lean on the actors.
Almost all the shows I've been connected with have been extremely well cast. They're playing the show, not just doing the songs.
So many good songs get written fast, because you know exactly what has to work.
Hit songs did not come out of musicals. Pop-rock was creating the hits. There were very few songs that made the charts out of any Broadway musical.
I didn't really want to write just lyrics, but I wanted to meet Leonard Bernstein. Music was always the first reason I was writing songs.
There's something inimical about the camera and song.
I don't listen to recordings of my songs. I don't avoid it, I just don't go out of my way to do it.
If you told me to write a love song tonight, I'd have a lot of trouble. But if you tell me to write a love song about a girl with a red dress who goes into a bar and is on her fifth martini and is falling off her chair, that's a lot easier, and it makes me free to say anything I want.
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