Stephen Sondheim: It was a long afternoon. Well, it was probably two and a half hours, but the packed information I got in makes it seem longer. And you know, at that age you’re a sponge, you just absorb everything. And he (Oscar Hammerstein) gave me the distillation of 30 years of experience. Now, not all in that afternoon, because then he set up a course for me, so to speak. He said, “If you want to learn to write musicals, why don’t you take a good play, one that you like, and make it into a musical? And then, after you’ve done that, then take a play that you like but you think is flawed, and see if you can improve it and turn it into a musical. Then take a story, not one that you’ve written, but that is not in the dramatic form, like a novel or something like that, make it into a musical. And then make up your own story and make it into a musical.” He said, “By the time you get all those four done, you’ll know something.” And that’s exactly what I did.