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Stephen Sondheim awarded Sheridan Morley Prize for biography

March 9, 2012 |  8:15 am

Stephen Sondheim, for the most part, is not a fan of critics. "It takes a long time to learn not to pay attention to critics, or at least not to let them distract you," the theater icon wrote in his recent book, "Look, I Made a Hat.” 

Fortunately, critics don’t seem to share the same sentiment: The 81-year-old composer has been awarded the Sheridan Morley Prize (named for the late British theater critic) for Theatre Biography. 

"Look, I Made a Hat” -- a follow-up to the maestro’s earlier book, “Finishing the Hat” -– offers a peek at the man behind the musical theater curtain with a collection of never-before-seen drafts and lyrics spanning his 30-year career, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Sunday in the Park with George.”

Finalists for the Morley prize were James Corden and Stephen Berkoff.

The composer has won seven Tonys, an Oscar, seven Grammys and the Kennedy Center Honors (if you’re counting), and penned lyrics for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Sweeney Todd” and “A Little Night Music.”

And the octogenarian shows no signs of slowing down. “Merrily We Roll Along,” his 1981 flop of a musical that was later retooled at the La Jolla Playhouse, had a semi-staged run in February at New York's City Center with favorable feedback. 

Sondheim recently told a reporter with the London Evening Standard that he has "20 or 30 minutes" of a new musical written in collaboration with playwright David Ives.


Still trying to get Sondheim's 'Merrily We Roll Along' right

Stephen Sondheim has '20 or 30 minutes' written of a new musical

--Jamie Wetherbe

Photo: Stephen Sondheim. Credit: Fred R. Conrad