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PLAYBILL March 1976
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ARTHUR T. BIRSH - publisher
JOAN ALLEMAN RUBIN - editor-in-chief
CYNTHIA CARTY - program coordinator
LEO LERMAN - senior editor
THOMAS A. STEINFIELD - national sales director
L. ROBERT CHARLES - general sales director
ELAINE KLEIN - director of special sales
RUSSELL CANNIZZARO - comptroller
MIMI HOROWITZ - publication coordinator
MARY F. SEATON - assistant to the publisher
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PLAYBILL is published monthly in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. New York edition is published by American Theatre Press, Inc. 151 E. 50th St., New York, N.Y. 10022 212-751-9550. Pres. & Treas.: Arthur T. Birsh; Vice-Pres.: Steven J. Kumble; Sec.: Mary F. Seaton. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright [[copyright symbol]] American Theatre Press, Inc. 1976. All rights reserved.
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tion of passages of music and lyrics; a simple, meaningful message; writing songs that are "an emotional experience;" the growing use of underscoring (background music that is neither sung nor danced to).

To those who love music and the theatre, composers are specially blessed. They summon up from fertile imaginations sparkling songs, and poems that can be sung to them. That is rare enough. But these must be songs and poems that can be integrated smoothly into the flow of a drama performed by actors.

Getting started as a theatre song writer is an informal business. Rodgers attracted attention by writing the score for a Columbia University varsity show when he was a 16-year-old freshman. Many, including Kern, Gershwin and Hamlisch, wiggled into the field as rehearsal pianists. "You're the 'gopher,'" Hamlisch notes. "When you're not playing you run errands."

To get a first show to score, you simply have to convince a director or produces through your piano-playing, your understanding of the idiom, and some sample tunes that you're a fresh, original talent. The fact that as an unknown you'll work comparatively cheap helps.

Composers and lyricists regularly meet to plan, and to exchange and test their latest work, then go off again to create in solitude. The same writer seldom does both music and words, as Sondheim now does, and Rodgers sometimes has.

Marvin Hamlisch works in a newish

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[[image - black and white photograph of a silver knife (A.), spoon (B.) and fork (C,)]]

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