Lyricist for musicals written by McNally “Ragtime”, “An Unimportant Man” and “Anastasia”
He was tenacious for every word he wrote, every comma, every period. He occasionally gave talks to the cast: “If I write a comma, you stop. If I write a period, you stop. I don’t want you to take a break when there is no comma. “
What made Terrence’s voice distinctive was its authenticity: his very being was in each character. And he wanted each project to be big, mature, deep, serious in his heart – even “Anastasia”, which was based on an animated film. He wanted to explore the story, tell a more adult story.
Composer, “Ragtime”, “An Unimportant Man” and “Anastasia”
He would never give us something saying “Song is going here.” He wrote a scene to the point where you felt a song could happen, then he wrote a nice long monologue to suggest what the character was feeling, in language that would help get his ideas across. When we read his first treatment for “Ragtime,” he had a scene for Mother, who was watching her husband go on an expedition to the North Pole. She said, “Goodbye, my love, God bless you, and I guess America also bless.” I thought, “Isn’t that a song?”
Dramaturge, “Six degrees of separation”
Our paths began to cross in the mid-60s when we met at New Dramatists. Terrence, wonder of wonders, had already had two Broadway shows – “The Lady of the Camellias” and “And the things that go bump in the night.” And he was still in his mid-twenties! But once you met him, you couldn’t be jealous. He was so cheerful and so generous that you realized that we were all in the same boat.
Composer and lyricist
I will miss him dramatically and I will miss him personally.