Episode 112: Careful The Spell You Cast, part 2

In This Episode

This is the second part of my conversation with author Ben Francis regarding his very compelling new book:

Careful the Spell You Cast — How Stephen Sondheim Extended the Range of the American Musical.

This week Ben and I focus on three of Sondheim’s key collaborators — Harold Prince, Burt Shevelove, and James Goldman.

If you missed last weeks episode you may want to catch up with that one before listening to this.

Sondheim is without a doubt one of the most studied, examined, and analyzed Broadway creators of all time. In fact, we have done quite a bit of that right here on Broadway Nation. However, as you will hear, Ben Francis contends that in spite of all of that investigation, Sondheim continues to be very misunderstood. He is often labeled as being cynical and pessimistic, but Francis instead argues that Sondheim firmly belongs to the “Broadway aspirational tradition” — a tradition that celebrates dreams of a better life — and he suggests that Sondheim’s shows are to a great extent are a continuation of the work of his mentor Oscar Hammerstein II.

Ben Francis’ other works include contributions to the Oxford Handbook Of Sondheim Studies, the Oxford Handbook of British Musicals, and the Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Music, as well as Christopher Hampton: Dramatic Ironist

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