Some people worry less than they ought to; some worry too much and then find themselves pleasantly surprised. Some people spend all their time worrying about whether or not to worry. A small item in The New York Times of Tuesday, April 10, suggests that Stephen Sondheim falls into this last category of people whose ambivalence toward success keeps them from attaining it.

By success I don’t mean fame and fortune: Sondheim has both already. But last July he also had a crack at producing a really first-rate piece of theater and now it seems unclear whether he will. Last summer, Playwrights Horizons (the little venue on Forty-second Street’s “Theater Row” where nearly everything of interest in the New York theater seems to originate) presented a workshop production of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George that was fascinating and oddly moving—oddly...


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