a critical mondegreen

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon May 2 21:38:25 UTC 2011

>From a review in TLS, April 22, 2011, p. 4: Judith Flanders reviewing Stephen Sondheim's memoir Finishing the Hat.

Less amusing is his tendency to bear grudges.  When Follies was first staged, "A critic named Arlene Croce" misheard "Beauty celestial / The best y'l / Agree" as "the bestial agree", and wrote that she thought comparing middle-aged women to beasts was "disgusting".  "Setting aside the possibility of wilful bitchery or natural stupidity on her part", Sondheim snaps, "her tirade cautioned me to be careful about aural ambiguities."


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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