Friday, March 22, 2019

Happy birthday, Stephen Sondheim!

Thank you for redefining musical theater. For redefining music. For redefining theater.

Thank you for composing music that's at once asymmetrical and balanced, halting and fluid, atonal and lush, messy and perfect.

Thank you for finding lyrics that explore the outer limits of rhythm and structure and rhyme, that tell a story or define a character or celebrate a moment or break a heart in sometimes just a handful of words, that always seem fresh, that always seem timeless, that always seem effortless.

Thank you for creating an apotheosis of creative and intellectual order, design, tension, composition, balance, light and harmony.

Thank you for inspiring as only you can an enraptured young writer to think outside his own thoughts, to feel outside his own feelings, to never stop searching for the perfect word or the lyrical phrase or the essential defining idea in a universe of creative entropy, to always make sure he's proud of how he creates and proud of what he writes.

And thank you for the phrase that I rely on almost daily to turn an undefined someday into a compelling now ... to pull me out of inertia and propel me sometimes through a bipolar fog and sometimes just through my own complacency to run a marathon, broaden my perspective, take on a challenging writing project, upgrade to a difficult tap class, find a solution, emerge unscathed or at least unbroken, or some days to just show up.

Careful the things you say; children will listen. And sometimes they'll turn your words into kick-ass tattoos.

Feel the flow,
Hear what's happening:
We're what's happening!
Long ago
All we had was that funny feeling,
Saying someday we'd send 'em reeling.
Now it looks like we can!
Someday just began.

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