Sheldon Harnick

Transcript of Robert Armin's online chat with 
Sheldon Harnick
(December 16, 2002)

[For the following chat, Sheldon Harnick dictated his responses to Robert's wife, Kristine. For purposes of clarity, misspellings and typos have been smoothed over a bit. Mr. Harnick’s comments, however, remain unedited.]

[RobertArmin] Good evening, welcome to the Fynsworth Alley chat room. This evening our guest is the brilliant Broadway lyricist Sheldon Harnick.

[RobertArmin] It is always a delight to speak with you, Sheldon. Welcome.

[SHarnick] I can't think of anything brilliant to say so I'll just say I'm glad to be here.

[RobertArmin] We have had a number of questions from readers, so let me throw a few at you to start.

[RobertArmin] Bruce Weiner asks: Mr. Harnick, you seemed genuinely happy sharing the stage with Jerry Bock at the post performance discussion of "Tenderloin" at Encores City Center in 2000. Have you had any recent discussions with Mr. Bock regarding the possibility of re-teaming on a new musical?

[SHarnick] No, I have asked Jerry to work with me on three different shows and he has always had one reason or another to say no.

[SHarnick] I wish he would.

[RobertArmin] As do all of us.

[RobertArmin] It is disheartening to imagine all of the shows you two might have written over the past 30 years.

[SHarnick] I can but agree.

[RobertArmin] jimoher writes: Mr. Harnick, I am a fan of your work. I just saw a new musical in London entitled Our House which is built around songs by Madness. Have you been approached to work on such a project? In addition, the director of that show, Mathew Warchus stated in the program that he directed a production of Fiddler in the UK and he approached it as a "great play" - do you have any insights in terms of how he approached the songs and the lyrics in particular? I think he is a very unusual talent.

[SHarnick] I have no idea what he did. I did not see the production.

[SHarnick] However, Mr. Warchus is suppose to direct the forthcoming revival with Alfred Molina.

[SHarnick] So, ask me the same question next year.

[RobertArmin] There is also a TV version planned also, is there not?

[SHarnick] Yes, yes.

[RobertArmin] Are you actively involved in that?

[SHarnick] We, Jerry Bock and Joe Stein and I, had the approval rights on the director and we approved Robert Alan Ackerman on the strength of the Judy Garland movie he did with Judy Davis.

[SHarnick] We also have approval for Tevye and Golde.

[SHarnick] And, we have approved Victor Garber as Tevye.

[RobertArmin] But no Golde yet?

[SHarnick] No, we haven't yet.

[RobertArmin] Evers asks: Is there any chance that Captain Jinks might be produced as a CD?

[SHarnick] I hope so.

[SHarnick] I'm trying to remember if it ever was, I think it was put on cassette.

[SHarnick] One of the problems is the master tape seems to go from company to company and then the companies go bankrupt.

[SHarnick] I don’t know who owns the master tape right now.

[RobertArmin] I have the lp of that opera, but unfortunately the original pressing was not very good.

[RobertArmin] I do hope it will be reissued on CD.

[SHarnick] Me, too.

[RobertArmin] samcraig has a comment:

[RobertArmin] More a comment than a question: You appeared on a tv show called "The Songwriters" and on your episode, I believe you had Bil Baird on the show with you. I just wanted to say thank you for that because that show inspired me to contact Bil and have a wonderful on camera interview with him (an hour long) just before he passed away. He was a remarkable person and I really owe you, Mr. Harnick, that treasured moment.

[SHarnick] I thank you.

[SHarnick] My wife and I adored Bil.

[SHarnick] Bil Baird was a fascinating combination of the original, the erudite and the salacious.

[RobertArmin] Man in the Moon had some delightful songs. I cherish the cast album on Golden Records.

[RobertArmin] "Worlds Apart" is beautiful.

[SHarnick] That's my wife singing.

[SHarnick] The legendary Margery Gray.

[RobertArmin] samcraig comments on Baird: I agree - his son Peter is a remarkable talent as well...

[SHarnick] Yes he is, yes he is.

[SHarnick] Don't know whether you know this, but one of Bil Baird's early cast members was Jonathan Freeman who is now on Broadway with 42nd Street.

[SHarnick] And, he was brilliantly funny in the revival of She Loves Me.

[SHarnick] I forgot that myself.

[RobertArmin] A little know fact, but Man in the Moon actually played on Broadway for seven performances, so it does count as one of your legendary Broadway shows.

[RobertArmin] Sheldon is sitting here with me and he just answered the question before I posted it.

[RobertArmin] For those who are wondering!

[RobertArmin] Joel asks: What was the experience of working with Richard Rodgers like?

[SHarnick] It was difficult because he was very ill. He had had his larynx removed and his energy level fluctuated wildly.

[SHarnick] Still, he wrote an excellent score.

[RobertArmin] LauraFrankos comments:

[RobertArmin] Mr. Harnick, I'd just like to say thanks for all the great shows you've given us over the years. I live in LA, where Reprise! put on Fiorello a couple of years ago with Tony Danza, who was superb. Next spring, they plan to do She Loves Me, with Patrick Cassidy as Kodaly. We can't wait!

[SHarnick] Ooh!

[SHarnick] I will come see it.

[RobertArmin] samcraig asks: I seem to remember you working on "It's a Wonderful Life," a musical version.... will that ever "come back"?

[SHarnick] The Rodgers and Hammerstein organization licenses it.

[SHarnick] We get about ten productions every Christmas.

[SHarnick] It has never been done in New York because there are still questions about who owns the rights to the underlying story.

[RobertArmin] I saw it at Arena Stage in Washington a number of years ago. It really is a lovely work.

[SHarnick] It's even better now.

[SHarnick] It has been revised and improved considerably.

[RobertArmin] mschoepp comments: It's on the road right now. It played Tiffin, Ohio last Saturday.

[SHarnick] This is the time of year it gets produced.

[RobertArmin] LauraFrankos writes: I also write the trivia quizzes here at Fynsworth Alley--you're the topic of this week.

[SHarnick] My wife considers me the quintessence of triviality.

[RobertArmin] I took the quiz earlier today and got three wrong. It was a tough quiz.

[SHarnick] I doubt that I could pass it.

[SHarnick] The answer to all the questions is Harry Potter.

[RobertArmin] joel asks: Mr. Harnick, I was wondering why you stopped working with Mr. Bock? Is there a story there?

[SHarnick] There are two answers.

[SHarnick] During the production of The Rothschilds, we had a falling out over the director of the show.

[SHarnick] This created problems.

[SHarnick] In addition, Jerry Bock decided that he wanted to fulfill a long standing ambition.

[SHarnick] and write his own lyrics.

[SHarnick] In my opinion, he is an excellent lyricist.

[SHarnick] Ever since the Rothschilds, he has chosen to write lyrics for the shows he has done.

[RobertArmin] I want to point out that Sheldon is speaking his answers and my dear wife is typing as he speaks.

[RobertArmin] The typos are hers and hers alone. [Note - For purposes of clarity, most of these typos have been eliminated.]

[RobertArmin] jimoher writes: I know Michael Kidd took over as director. What was the issue and how did it relate to how the show turned out?

[SHarnick] Our original director, as far as I know, had never directed a musical.

[SHarnick] The Rothschilds was a big show and our director was lost.

[SHarnick] He did not have the experience to direct this large a show.

[SHarnick] Michael Kidd took over and made the show into a beautiful experience.

[RobertArmin] Although I had seen many shows in California, the Rothschilds was the first Broadway show I actually saw on Broadway.

[RobertArmin] It was a great treat. A lovely "swan song" for your partnership.

[SHarnick] Michael Kidd is a dear friend, so I want to add he is a dear man and a great gentleman.

[RobertArmin] How did you like the off-Broadway revival with a reduced production?

[SHarnick] I loved it.

[SHarnick] In terms of the book, we made some trims

[SHarnick] And the show was tighter and swifter.

[RobertArmin] Has it led to more revivals?

[SHarnick] No.

[RobertArmin] Let's chat a bit about your early years. Your first songs were introduced in revues.

[RobertArmin] What was it like to first hear your words on a New York stage?

[SHarnick] My debut on Broadway was in 1952. The show was New Faces of 1952.

[SHarnick] My song was the Boston Beguine performed by Alice Ghostley.

[RobertArmin] That song may have more laughs per measure than any ever written.

[SHarnick] Opening night I sat in the balcony, which was all I could afford.

[SHarnick] And, when Alice stopped the show, I wept.

[SHarnick] I thought, I've been in New York two years and all my troubles are over.

[SHarnick] I didn't know that it would take another seven years before all my troubles were over.

[SHarnick] And, they’re still not over.

[RobertArmin] After the Pulitzer Prize for Fiorello, George Abbott asked you to do something with your prize money? What was that?

[SHarnick] George Abbot asked us all to donate our prize money to our favorite charity.

[SHarnick] In those days, my favorite charity was my own bank account.

[SHarnick] I was broke.

[RobertArmin] Was Fiddler the real break through financially? Your earlier shows, as great as they were, were not really long-running smashes.

[SHarnick] Fiorello ran not quite two years. It was the financial break through for me.

[RobertArmin] Let's talk about a few of your lesser known shows.

[RobertArmin] For example, The Canterville Ghost!

[SHarnick] Yes.

[SHarnick] I confess that Jerry Bock and I may not have taken The Canterville Ghost seriously enough.

[SHarnick] Also, the director of the show as I remember had a laid back attitude.

[SHarnick] The result was that the show was cast poorly

[SHarnick] And the musical values suffered.

[SHarnick] However, there are some very good songs in that score.

[RobertArmin] For those who are unfamiliar with The Canterville Ghost, it was a one hour musical created for the same ABC series that introduced Stephen Sondheim's Evening Primrose and Burt Bacharach's On The Flip Side.

[RobertArmin] Two of Bock and Harnick’s songs are on Prime Time Musicals.

[RobertArmin] Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits was in that original production.

[RobertArmin] Along with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Michael Redgrave. All great singers!

[SHarnick] Actually, Michael Redgrave was very good.

[RobertArmin] I recently listened to a copy of the soundtrack (unissued, unfortunately) and Redgrave sang a terrific number called Vengeance.

[RobertArmin] As good as anything we've heard on original TV musicals, certainly.

[SHarnick] I agree. Vengeance is a strong number and Redgrave performed it superbly.

[RobertArmin] Jerry Bock attempted to write a "rock" song called "You're Super." How did you feel about writing for that genre of music.

[SHarnick] That was not my problem, I just wrote the words.

[SHarnick] There are three other songs in the show that I am very fond of.

[SHarnick] One of them is called I Worry, one is If You Never Try and the third one is the final song in the show, Peace, which I think is very beautiful.

[RobertArmin] The first two songs are on Prime Time Musicals.

[SHarnick] What is Prime Time musicals? I don't think I know that. Is that a recording?

[RobertArmin] It's one of Varese Sarabande's excellent compilations of rare songs, in this case all from TV musicals.

[SHarnick] Oh, my. Can I buy this somewhere?

[RobertArmin] It's available, of course, from Fynsworth Alley.

[RobertArmin] I just showed Sheldon a copy of the CD and he says "My goodness."

[SHarnick] I am thrilled to pieces.

[SHarnick] My goodness, I see the last song on the Prime Time Musicals is performed by Beth Howland and Charles Kimbrough who I met on the way over here tonight.

[SHarnick] He and Beth are now married.

[RobertArmin] fredric47 comments on my earlier remark about "You're Super": What about the great rock and roll number, "You Are Not Real" from "The Apple Tree"?

[SHarnick] I never thought of that as Rock 'n' Roll. As I recall, that is a heavy beat, three quarter time.

[SHarnick] I don't think rock 'n' roll songs are waltzes, even with heavy beats.

[SHarnick] Jerry Bock and I did write a rock 'n' roll spoof, in the Body Beautiful, our first show.

[SHarnick] It was called Uh Huh, Oh Yeah.

[SHarnick] We would have been better off trying to write a commercial rock 'n' roll song rather than a spoof.

[RobertArmin] Can you comment on some of the songs you and Jerry Bock ghost-wrote for other musicals?

[SHarnick] One of my favorite lyric lines is in Baker Street in a song sung by the villain.

[RobertArmin] I'm laughing already because I know what's coming...

[SHarnick] The villain has tied Sherlock Holmes to a chair and has attached a time bomb to the chair.

[SHarnick] He looks forward to the moment when the bomb explodes and here's the lyric line -

[SHarnick] The lyric is "And the stately Holmes of England is no more."

[RobertArmin] You also wrote "I'm In London Again," right?

[SHarnick] And we did a song, "The Cold Clear World of the Intellect."

[RobertArmin] What are some of the other shows you wrote for?

[SHarnick] The first ghost song that I wrote was for a show that did not come into New York.

[SHarnick] I went to Detroit, I think it was Detroit. I went to Detroit to add songs to a show called The Amazing Adele.

[SHarnick] This was a show starring Tammy Grimes.

[SHarnick] It was Tammy Grimes' first big break.

[RobertArmin] This makes me wonder, did anyone ever interpolate a song into one of your shows? Or at least try to?

[SHarnick] Not that I know of.

[SHarnick] I wrote a lyric for Tammy, can't remember the name of the composer and I can't remember the name of the song

[SHarnick] But when Tammy Grimes sang it in Boston, it stopped the show.

[SHarnick] It did not hurt that Boston was Tammy's home town.

[SHarnick] But we could not fix the other problems in the show and it closed in Boston.

[RobertArmin] You mentioned to me some of the songs you wrote for Shangri-La, the musical version of Lost Horizon -- long before Burt Bacharach got hold of the property.

[SHarnick] Yeah, there was one song, written for Harold Lang and his partner that was a soft shoe.

[SHarnick] Harry Warren wrote the music in twenty minutes.

[SHarnick] I tried to write the lyric in twenty minutes. It took forty.

[SHarnick] The number stopped the show

[SHarnick] And then, the director decided to do the number in front of the curtain instead of in the set where it belonged.

[SHarnick] Not only did it not stop the show,

[SHarnick] But Harold Lang kept getting tangled up in the curtain.

[SHarnick] He was furious with the director.

[SHarnick] The number was then cut.

[RobertArmin] When you write a show, even a hit like Fiddler on the Roof, you often pull songs in rehearsal. Some of these "lost" songs are terrific in their own right.

[RobertArmin] "When Messiah Comes" is a classic.

[SHarnick] When Messiah Comes was one of the most successful songs at all of our backers auditions.

[SHarnick] We were surprised to find that in the context of the show, the song did not work.

[SHarnick] The reason was that the song occurred at a sad moment when the Jewish villagers were being expelled from their village.

[SHarnick] And, "When Messiah Comes" is basically a comedy song.

[SHarnick] The audience was puzzled and disturbed when Tevye sang a song in this sad situation that tried to make them laugh.

[RobertArmin] Lee Wilkof sings When Messiah Comes on Lost In Boston II. It is very funny.

[SHarnick] I still use the song at benefits.

[SHarnick] Out of context, it still works very well.

[RobertArmin] I love the way you do it.

[SHarnick] I do it better than Lee.

[SHarnick] He takes it too fast.

[RobertArmin] You also sing "The Sea Around Us" very well.

[RobertArmin] That's one of my favorites.

[SHarnick] Oh, that was a lovely song.

[SHarnick] The composer of that song died much too young. David Baker and I wrote another wonderful song for the Shoestring Revue.

[SHarnick] The song is called "Someone Is Sending Me Flowers" It was sung by Dody Goodman.

[SHarnick] The song is in the Sheldon Harnick Songbook.

[RobertArmin] Hermione Gingold also recorded a very funny version of that song.

[RobertArmin] fredric47 asks if "Anatevka" was written to replace "When Messiah Comes?"

[SHarnick] Yes, it was. Anatevka is a slow version of music that was meant to open the second act.

[SHarnick] We had a song called "Letters from America" which was an uptempo song.

[SHarnick] It was cut and after we cut "When Messiah Comes."

[SHarnick] Jerome Robbins had the idea of taking that music and slowing it down.

[SHarnick] I wrote a new lyric for it and it turned out to be quite haunting.

[SHarnick] That was the song that is now "Anatevka."

[RobertArmin] In reference to When Messiah Comes, jimoher writes: I remember hearing it in Detroit as a youngster and asked my parents what it meant and it did make a strong impression on me and I liked it but probably in retrospect was not needed.

[RobertArmin] Where did the title song "Fiddler on the Roof" fit in?

[SHarnick] There is no song called "Fiddler on the Roof" in the show, however RCA was convinced that there were no songs

[SHarnick] in Fiddler On The Roof that could be recorded, so

[SHarnick] they recorded an instrumental arrangement with a vaguely South American flavor of the opening number "Tradition."

[SHarnick] My publisher, Tommy Valando, then asked me to write a lyric to one of the themes from the opening number

[SHarnick] which he could publish under the title of "Fiddler on the Roof."

[SHarnick] So, there is a song called "Fiddler on the Roof" but it is not in the show.

[RobertArmin] I remember Herschel Bernardi recorded a solo album of songs from Fiddler and included both When Messiah Comes and Fiddler on the Roof.

[RobertArmin] Let's talk about some of the shows you have worked on in the last decade.

[SHarnick] There are more than people know.

[SHarnick] There is A Wonderful Life, based on the film It's A Wonderful Life,

[SHarnick] with music by Joe Raposo of Sesame Street fame.

[SHarnick] Then, there is my version of A Christmas Carol, with music my Michel Legrand

[SHarnick] which gets performed around the country every Christmas.

[RobertArmin] I saw that one in Stamford.

[RobertArmin] "One Family" is a beautiful song.

[SHarnick] Then, there is a show called the Phantom Toll Booth with music by Arnold Black.

[SHarnick] And a show which I have been working on since I was five years old, it seems like.

[SHarnick] A show called Dragons.

[SHarnick] So far, Dragons has been performed in six colleges

[SHarnick] And, is about to be performed this Spring at a theatre on Cape Cod, The Harwich Junior Theatre.

[SHarnick] Dragons is the only show for which I have written book, lyrics and music

[SHarnick] And in my opinion, it is a great show

[RobertArmin] Undoubtedly.

[RobertArmin] And I saw a one act musical called That Pig of a Molette! some years ago. Is that ever performed?

[RobertArmin] And talk about some of your opera translations, as well.

[SHarnick] That Pig of A Molette is a one-act opera that is part of an evening of two one act operas

[SHarnick] with music by Tom Shepard.

[SHarnick] It was written as an opera but we have decided to revise it and make it into a musical.

[RobertArmin] dragonfly433 asks: Having worked with different composers, how much does the process of lyric writing change depending on your partner?

[SHarnick] It can change considerably.

[SHarnick] For instance, when I worked with Richard Rodgers, he was not capable of writing music first.

[SHarnick] This was because of his physical condition.

[SHarnick] So, every lyric had to be written first, which was very difficult.

[SHarnick] Other composers I have worked with, like Marvin Hamlisch, prefer to write music first.

[SHarnick] Having music first can be very helpful.

[SHarnick] An exciting melody can suggest lyrics I might not have thought of otherwise.

[RobertArmin] "Away From You" should have entered the repertoire as a standard. It is easily among Richard Rodgers’ most haunting melodies. So your lyrics must have inspired him greatly.

[SHarnick] I've found on Rex, when the lyrics were first rate, Rodgers’ music was first rate.

[SHarnick] When the lyrics were less than first rate, and alas, I have written lyrics that were less than first rate.

[SHarnick] Then, his music was only as good as the lyric.

[RobertArmin] Fortunately, the cast album was reissued by RCA so we can enjoy that score again.

[SHarnick] With Jerry Bock, after we broke up, I made a list of all of our songs to see whether more music came first or more lyrics came first.

[SHarnick] I was genuinely surprised to find that it was almost exactly 50/50.

[RobertArmin] fredric47 wonders how you liked the revival of Rex at the York earlier this year?

[SHarnick] To answer that question I have to explain that Sherman Yellen and I revised the show extensively.

[SHarnick] And, at the York Theatre, the show was quite successful.

[SHarnick] I loved it.

[RobertArmin] Sorry, fredric47 was commenting on a production in Ohio.

[SHarnick] Findlay, Ohio. Findlay University, they did a fully staged version which was received enthusiastically.

[SHarnick] I wish Richard Rodgers could have seen this version.

[SHarnick] I know his faith in the show would have been justified.

[RobertArmin] mschoepp asks: Was the York production the same as the revisions at University of Findlay in April?

[SHarnick] Yes, except at the York, we just had piano, no sets, no costumes.

[RobertArmin] Yes, the York presented a "Mufti" production in street clothes. Sort of Encores! without the money.

[SHarnick] Exactly.

[RobertArmin] winkwod comments: Mr. Harnick, how do you go for the specific in a lyric... a specific mood, or point of view, or situation? One of the problems I have with contemporary scores is that the tunes and lyrics seem so generic that they could be coming out of the mouths of ANYONE on the stage...

[SHarnick] I work very hard at understanding the character who is singing and his emotional state.

[SHarnick] I try to imagine myself in his or her situation.

[SHarnick] I dig into myself to see what that character would say.

[SHarnick] In certain situations this can mean doing an enormous amount of research.

[RobertArmin] It's almost ten, but Sheldon seems willing to continue a bit longer. Which is okay by me.

[SHarnick] Seeing how I am still conscious.

[RobertArmin] Talking about your songs, samcraig writes: I am sure they are all your babies... but what is your favorite song of yours (or show)?

[SHarnick] I cannot answer that question. However,

[SHarnick] There is a song from Dragons.

[SHarnick] It's the final statement and it's called Take Care of One Another which is deeply meaningful to me.

[RobertArmin] dragonfly423 asks: You probably get this question a lot, but what is your opinion on the present state of musical theater?

[SHarnick] Do we have another hour?

[SHarnick] OK, I can answer that.

[SHarnick] Generally speaking, I feel that we are reliving the theatre of the 1920's.

[SHarnick] Too many musicals which just want to have fun

[SHarnick] Whether they make sense or not.

[RobertArmin] An interesting thing about your shows with Jerry Bock, is how many songs you cut!

[RobertArmin] I get the feeling that today, writers refuse to remove songs that do not work early on in workshops because they "fall in love" with their own writing.

[RobertArmin] My question, I guess, is who is pulling the strings today, with so few great producers and, unfortunately, directors?

[SHarnick] My answer is guess work.

[SHarnick] I would think that if the director is stronger and more experienced than the song writers, then the director will pull the strings

[SHarnick] and vice versa.

[RobertArmin] With George Abbott, Jerome Robbins and Harold Prince, you did okay, I guess.

[SHarnick] I was lucky to work with George Abbot and Jerome Robbins at the peak of their careers.

[SHarnick] Hal Prince, happily, had learned a great deal from both of these directors.

[SHarnick] And, when I worked with him on She Loves Me, he was already a skilled director.

[RobertArmin] And we shouldn't forget Mike Nichols and Michael Kidd.

[SHarnick] Yes, we should not forget Mike Nichols and Michael Kidd.

[SHarnick] Regrettably, Mike Nichols, did not know how good he was as a musical director.

[SHarnick] He did a beautiful job on The Apple Tree

[SHarnick] but I don't think he believed it

[SHarnick] And as far as I know, he has been reluctant to direct another musical. I wish he would.

[RobertArmin] Speaking of The Apple Tree, have you heard Stephen Sondheim's score for the unproduced version of Passionella?

[SHarnick] He did not write a full score for Passionella. I knew about the songs and I refused to listen to them until Jerry Bock and I had written our own score.

[SHarnick] I was afraid I would be intimidated by what Sondheim had written.

[RobertArmin] Are you still in touch with Barbara Harris, who was so wonderful in your version?

[SHarnick] I regret to say that I am not in touch with Barbara.

[SHarnick] I don’t know what she is doing. I believe she lives in Chicago. I loved working with her.

[RobertArmin] fredric47 asks: Is the tightened version of "Tenderloin," used by Encores, now available for other productions?

[SHarnick] Not yet but it will be.

[RobertArmin] Warren Lyons wrote in to say hi.

[RobertArmin] He's your cousin, I believe.

[SHarnick] Yes, he is my cousin. His father Leonard Lyons, the journalist, was my father's first cousin.

[SHarnick] Leonard had four sons of whom two are my friends, Warren and Jeffrey.

[RobertArmin] A few more questions before we stop.

[RobertArmin] James Troutman asks: Why was Tango Tragique dropped from the revival of She Loves Me? I was glad to see the verse of Dear Friend restored, but I never understood the reason for dropping Tango Tragique.

[SHarnick] Tango Tragique took too long to say what it had to say.

[SHarnick] We could say in half a minute what it took the song three minutes to say.

[SHarnick] In other words, it slowed everything down

[SHarnick] At the end of a long act.

[RobertArmin] I understand why you did it, but I do love that song. If others do the show, you haven't taken it out permanently have you?

[SHarnick] And I loved it too.

[SHarnick] As far as I'm concerned it is out of the show permanently. However,

[SHarnick] If you wish to do the show in your living room, we can make the piano arrangement available.

[RobertArmin] Bruce Weiner asks: A few years back, you mentioned that a health problem of someone close to you prevented you from starting to write a book about your life and/or career. Has that health crisis been successfully resolved and can we expect an autobiography one of these days?

[SHarnick] I have no recollection of that comment.

[SHarnick] I have started to write a memoir.

[SHarnick] Rather than being a standard autobiography, my approach is about learning to be a professional theatre lyricist.

[SHarnick] I wanted to call the book "Mistakes,"

[SHarnick] But my wife, the legendary Margery Gray, told me that that was the most depressing title she had ever heard.

[RobertArmin] Although Sheldon is still going strong, I think I'm starting to fade. And my wife, the soon to be legendary Kristine Nevins, is getting tired fingers. She has been transcribing all of Sheldon's comments.

[RobertArmin] So, the typos are all HERS!!!!

[RobertArmin] Of course, she's done all this without her reading glasses. Hmmmmmmmm.

[RobertArmin] Sheldon, I want to thank you so much for joining me this evening. As always, it is a great treat to spend time with you.

[SHarnick] Robert you said it would be fun and it was.

[SHarnick] Thank you.

[RobertArmin] Thank you to everyone who dropped by tonight. See you next week when my guest will be Marc Kudisch of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

[RobertArmin] Good night.