"One difference between poetry and lyrics is that lyrics sort of fade into the background. They fade on the page and live on the stage when set to music."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Stephen Sondheim on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Stephen Sondheim on Oscar Wilde
"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things."Stephen Sondheim on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Stephen Sondheim on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Stephen Sondheim on Robert Frost
"Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos."
"All the best performers bring to their role something more, something different than what the author put on paper. That's what makes theatre live. That's why it persists."
"I'm interested in the theater because I'm interested in communication with audiences. Otherwise I would be in concert music."
"Musicals are, by nature, theatrical, meaning poetic, meaning having to move the audience's imagination and create a suspension of disbelief, by which I mean there's no fourth wall."
"In the Rodgers and Hammerstein generation, popular hits came out of shows and movies."