It’s like a photographer went out on the island, La Grande Jatte, and took a picture of a lot of people strolling in the park. The humanity of it, I thought… These people don’t know they’re gonna be immortal. And so I’m gonna write a song about that. That it’s gonna be outside of themselves, and they’re gonna be singing about what themselves and they’re doing. But they’re gonna be acknowledging that they are immortal. It all leads to the word forever. Which is- when I wrote that word, I cried, because I thought, that’s what it’s about. And I then decided, that I would do it all in one sentence. It’s a lyric that’s in one sentence. Uh, because there is a kind of… I don’t know how to put it. It’s like it’s eternal, it’s infinite, whatever, whatever- it’s what I feel about art… It just has no beginning and no end. It’s just one thing. Then I could see that they would all be singing that one idea. Um… That here we are in a park. And we’re gonna be here forever. That’s why it has that… It’s got an almost funerary beat to it, you know, it’s almost a funeral march. But it isn’t quite. It’s a triumphant march
-Sondheim on Sunday from Sunday in the Park with George
They say the meek shall inherit, you know the book doesn’t lie.
It’s not a question of merit, it’s not demand and supply.
You know the meek gonna get it, and you’re a meek little guy.
You know the meek are gonna get what’s coming to them by and by.
I’ve never liked opera and I’ve never understood it. Most opera doesn’t make theatrical sense to me. Things go on forever. I’m not a huge fan of the human voice. I like song, dramatic song. I like music and lyrics together, telling a story…When I studied with Milton Babbitt he said I had to get into opera. Knowing that I was a Strauss fan, he first sent me to Rosenkavalier and I left after one act. I thought it was endlessly boring.
The musicals I like, besides the ones I’ve been connected with: certainly Show Boat and Porgy And Bess and Carousel are my three favorites. Allegro I like because of my personal association with it. My Fair Lady was the most entertaining show I ever saw, I think, but not a score I particularly like, except for one song, ‘Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man?’ Some other musicals I like—I like She Loves Me. I like the scores of Chicago and Cabaret, not so much the shows. Although that could easily be said of a lot of shows by Kern, Gershwin, Porter, so forth, and Arlen’s score for St Louis Woman is a particular score I love, but the show is unwieldy. So, no, there aren’t very many shows I think are really good.