It is 1965, and three very creative men discuss their upcoming Broadway musical: "Do I Hear a Waltz?" A fourth man, key to the whole enterprise, composer Richard Rodgers, is unfortunately missing. Nevertheless, author Arthur Laurents, set designer Beni Montresor, and lyricist Stephen Sondheim eagerly analyze how each in own discipline approaches the manifestation of the story of a lonely American woman who finds love with a dashing but inappropriate man in Venice. It is not a new story.
"The Time of the Cuckoo" treated it as a straight play (with Shirley Booth in the lead) , and "Summertime" as a movie (with Katharine Hepburn.) In what ways should the musical be different? These men share their concerns here. Where should songs come so as to promote the flow and not interrupt it? How can any stage set can convey a canal in Venice; is it perhaps not so much a place but a state of mind? Should this story seem to be happening now, or perhaps in memory? Just how old should the lady be?
Black and White