Oct 10, 2019 - Sale 2519

Sale 2519 - Lot 148

Price Realized: $ 4,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
LARGE ARCHIVE OF HIS PLAYFUL LETTERS WITH LETTERS TO HIM FROM HAL PRINCE, ET AL SONDHEIM, STEPHEN. Archive of 77 items Signed, or Signed and Inscribed, to his friend Larry Miller, including 46 mostly brief Typed Letters, 17 Signed greeting cards, 9 Autograph Notes, two postcards, two printed scores, and a book. Format varies; condition generally good. Most with the original envelope. Vp, 1963-2006

Additional Details

The letters and notes, each Signed "Steve" or "Tony Dexter," mostly thanking for gifts or concerning invitations: 14 September 1967: ". . . Here are some sample questions and answers from this fascinating game: / Q. Who shot Stonewall Jackson? A. Aristotle. / Q. Where is Monte Carlo? A. Yosemite. / Q. Who discovered the Pacific Ocean? A. The Linotype Machine, invented in 1884. / A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
22 January 1969: ". . . Travelling with the Bickersons may not be the best way to see central Europe, but it's the cheapest. . . . In Vienna we were treated with the doubtful pleasure of one act of 'West Side Story' in German. Funnier than the original, anyway, even if it is billed as 'Bernstein's West Side Story.' . . ."
[12 August 1970], autograph postcard showing view of Corsica on verso: "As you can see this is an oasis of beauty. Actually, you should come here on your next tour--it's gorgeous, and will soon become Easthampton-sur-la-Méditerranée I'm afraid. We 'did' Sardinia too (a H[olly]wood set) and are now moored in Monte, as they say. . . ."
22 March 1974: ". . . I'm off to Rome tonight to record the music for the Resnais film [Stavisky]. With some trepidation: the score (of which I am very proud) is French, and the orchestra will know only from Puccini, but what the hell . . . ."
14 January 1976: ". . . The reviews were mixed, some terrific, a couple pans--oh well, another triumph from the House of Hits [Do I Hear a Waltz?]. . . ."
[29 December 1980], ANS: ". . . We've now postponed the show until 1982 to allow me time to finish it [Merrily We Roll Along]."
4 December 1984: ". . . The Princes' New Year's Eve party was the only interesting event: Larry Grossman and Ellen Fitzhugh performed ten songs from Hal's [Harold Prince's] new musical (called Grind . . . ). I don't know if I've talked to you about Ellen, but she's the best lyric writer to appear in about twenty years . . . ."
20 June 1989: "Our eighth Young Playwrights Festival is about to happen, thanks to you and other donors. . . . [P]hilanthropies and corporations . . . delight in giving birth money but, as soon as the baby can walk, they turn their attention and assets elsewhere. This is understandable . . . but no consolation to the baby. . . ."
5 August 2004: "I don't know if you'[v]e read Ted Chapin's book called 'Everything Was Possible,' about his apprenticeship on Follies. In case you haven't let me say first of all that it's the best book I've ever read about the commercial theater and second, that you should look at p. 189. . . ."
The greeting cards, each Signed "Steve" or "S.S." or "Cole," mostly Christmas cards.
The scores, each Inscribed on the front inside cover and Signed, "Steve," each a full vocal score: Sondheim and Wheeler. Sweeney Todd. "For Larry, / with $1,300,000 worth / of love--" Sondheim and Laurents. Anyone Can Whistle. "To Larry-- / without whom this show / would have been written / anyway." Each 4to, printed wrappers. New York: Revelation, [1979]; inscription: Np, 15 November 1981; New York: Burthen, [1964]; inscription: Np, 27 February 1969.
The book: Craig Zadan. Sondheim & Co. "To Larry-- / who remembers most of it, / but accurately-- / Love, / Steve," on the front free endpaper. 4to, publisher's cloth; dust jacket. New York, (1986); inscription: Np, 20 February 1987.
with--A small archive of 20 letters and notes to Larry Miller, from Arthur Laurentis, Harold Prince, John Weidman, Mary Rodgers Guettel and others, on personal and theatrical topics. With related ephemera, including a collection of 20 issues of Playbill and Stagebill beginning with the original Broadway production of West Side Story, printed instructions for a treasure hunt written in the 1960s by Sondheim for a party, printed program for the 1983 Composer's Showcase at the Whitney Museum honoring Sondheim, Miller's printed recipe for "Steve Sondheim's Birthday Cake," a jigsaw puzzle showing artwork for Sunday in the Park with George, and a ticket and program for the 1993 Kennedy Center Honors Gala at which Sondheim was a laureate. 1958-2003.