Procrastinate Better

For the Stephen Sondheim Completist: “The Last of Sheila”

There’s been a

good deal

of

positive buzz

for Stephen Sondheim’s new, fabulously subtitled book,

Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Whines and Anecdotes

. For an additional burst of Sondheim creativity, I recommend watching the movie he co-wrote in the early 70s,

The Last of Sheila

, which is currently available for streaming

as part of the Netflix Instant Queue

. It’s a stylish, intricate murder mystery about a Hollywood producer played by James Coburn. Coburn’s wife—the titular Sheila—is run over by a car in the opening scene. After that initial death, Coburn invites a bunch of California cronies to his yacht in the Mediterranean and makes them play an elaborate game involving an international scavenger hunt at various ports. The men wear tight white sailor trousers, have ridiculous mustaches, and Raquel Welch is at her foxiest. If that brief description and the involvement of the great Sondheim is not enough to convince you to see it, check out the trailer below.