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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Success is like failure ... It's what you do with it, not how you achieve it.

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Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim was an award-winning composer and lyricist known for his contributions to some of the greatest works in the American musical theater canon, including “West Side Story” and “Into the Woods.” Alongside librettist George Furth, Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for the 1981 musical “Merrily We Roll Along,” which features this line from the ensemble number “It’s a Hit.” The show follows the lives of three friends — a composer, a lyricist, and a journalist — in reverse chronological order from their weary middle-aged selves to the most promising days of their youth. While “It’s a Hit” takes place after the characters have found theatrical success, in reality, “Merrily” was considered a critical failure compared to Sondheim’s more significant works. But as this lyric suggests, success and failure are two sides of the same coin; it’s the action you take afterward that truly counts. 

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What playwright said, “Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand"?
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