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Celebrating Sondheim


by Jerome Weeks 6 Apr 2009

As part of its annual run-up to the gala presentation of its Hiett Prize, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture has a tradition of holding preparatory evening talks — the better to introduce Dallasites to the celebrated keynote speakers they bring in. The guest speaker generally talks before the Hiett is awarded to the […]

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tn-500_23As part of its annual run-up to the gala presentation of its Hiett Prize, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture has a tradition of holding preparatory evening talks — the better to introduce Dallasites to the celebrated keynote speakers they bring in. The guest speaker generally talks before the Hiett is awarded to the promising young writer-thinker-scholar (who gets $50,000), and past speakers have included David McCullough and Jim Lehrer. For 2008’s guest speaker David Mamet, I did the honors, talking about the dramatist and filmmaker with Patrick Kelly, head of drama at the University of Dallas.

Someone at the Dallas Institute may be a theater buff because this year, the speaker is Stephen Sondheim, who is coming April 28. And the Dallas Institute is presenting two evenings with local musical theater pros, Jac Alder of Theatre 3 on April 7 and Steven Jones of Lyric Stage on April 21. They’ll both be talking about Stephen Sondheim and the Re-invention of the American Musical. Tickets vary from $10 per night (for teachers and students) to $45 for both evenings for non-members.To register, call 214-871-2440.

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  • Grace

    For anyone interested, NPR has a very cool analysis which explains the greatness of Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns”:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94772727

    (Click the blue link at the top of the article to hear the full audio with note-by-note breakdown.)

    I know nothing about music theory, so I’m always fascinated to learn about all the thought (not to mention genius) that goes into creating musical classics. It really is so much more than just words and notes!