Stephen Sondheim to Larry Kramer: ‘Try to Get Your Name in Print’

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Steven Sondheim Larry Kramer
Stephen Sondheim and Larry Kramer. Photo: Getty Images

Yesterday's "Metropolitan Diary" is really one for the aging theater queens (or the New Old Gays!). In it, playwright and queer icon Larry Kramer finds himself amidst a live, impromptu performance of selections from Sweeney Todd — while having a coffee in the middle of Le Pain Quotidien in Greenwich Village. The scene comes courtesy of a young actress who is auditioning for a show and needed her fellow customers' help memorizing some dialogue. As thanks, the actress then sang the song "Worst Pies in London" for Kramer and the rest of the shop. Kramer, of course, will not be topped — he tells the girl and her fellow customers that he actually knows Stephen Sondheim, who wrote Sweeney Todd, and will tell him about this moment. When he does tell Sondheim, the Broadway legend has a droll reply:

“What a charming story,” he said to [Kramer]. “Send it to the Metropolitan Diary of The New York Times. You never get a chance to see your name in print, so it might be worth it.”


This is exactly the type of conversation we expect these kinds of famous, funny, vaguely bitter gays to have. "You're so famous, someone sang me a song you wrote out of the blue!" "Oh, yeah? You're so famous I'm going to make a joke about how not famous you are." "Well, then I'm going to write in the New York Times about you joking about how I'm not famous." "Oh, too hilarious. I know, now let's go down to Marie's Crisis and cause a riot!"

Metropolitan Diary [NYT]
Related: Show Guns [NYM]