Rodgers and Hammerstein

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					RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN
The dominant team of the Golden Age
LEGACY OF THE TEAM
 Opened 11 musicals between 1943 and 1959
 Several were made in feature films or TV movies

 The major influence on the change from light-
  hearted comedies and revues to more substantial
  book musicals
 Rodgers and Hammerstein have an extremely
  formulaic structure to their musicals
     Strong baritone lead
     Dainty and light soprano lead
     Supporting tenor and alto

   Unafraid to deal with social issues
     Carousel dealt with domestic abuse
     South Pacific deals with racism
     The Sound of Music deals with a reaction to Nazism
THE SHOWS OF R&H
RODGERS BEFORE HAMMERSTEIN
 Wrote several Broadway and Hollywood musicals
  with lyricist Lorenz Hart
 Broke through with the Garrick Gaieties in 1925
       Meant to be a 2-night benefit performance for the
        Theatre Guild, ended up running for over two
        hundred performances
   Hit songs written with Hart include:
     “Isn’t it Romantic?” (Love Me Tonight, 1932)
     “Blue Moon”
     “My Funny Valentine” (Babes in Arms, 1937)
     “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” (Pal Joey,
      1940)
   Hart’s failing health and unreliability helped to
    lead to the end of the partnership
HAMMERSTEIN BEFORE RODGERS
 Father was the manager for the Varsity Theatre
  and his grandfather produced several vaudeville
  shows
 Quit Columbia Law School in 1917 to pursue
  theatre
 Partnered with several composers

 First show was Always You in 1921

 Wrote lyrics to Jerome Kern’s Showboat
A NEW STATE OF MUSICAL THEATRE:
OKLAHOMA!
   Based on the play Green Grows the Lilacs
       Rodgers had intended to work with Hart on the project,
        while Hammerstein had approached Jerome Kern about
        doing a musical version of the play
 Chose to cast singers who could act, rather than the
  reverse, resulting in no stars in the show
 Decided to write the lyrics first in order to better
  integrate the songs into the libretto (a daring idea
  on Broadway at the time)
 Choreographer Agnes DeMille fused classical and
  modern dances and insisted on trained dancers for
  the ensemble
 Originally titled Away We Go, but renamed after a
  chorus piece added during out-of-town previews
 Given no chance for success at out-of-town tryouts
WHAT CHANGED WITH OKLAHOMA!
 Composers and lyricists had to be dramatists and
  not just songwriters
 Dance routines were plot driven rather than
  diversions
 Characters became multidimensional

 First musical to release a full cast recording
       Released in an album of six 10-inch 78RPM discs
   Birth of the long-running musical
       Set a then record of 2,212 performances
VIEWING OKLAHOMA!
 “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!”
 “Poor Jud is Daid”

 The Dream Ballet

 “Oklahoma”
CAROUSEL
 Opened in 1945 and ran for 890 performances
 Based on a 1909 play Lilom

 Main issue is the abusive marriage between Julie
  and Billy
 Shows the death of a main character, and his
  presence in the life of his daughter afterwards
 Choreographed again by Agnes DeMille

 Viewing:
     “If I Loved You”
     “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
SOUTH PACIFIC
 Focused on two relationships: an Army nurse and
  a French planter, and an army lieutenant and a
  native Polynesian girl
 Both relationships cause the Americans to face
  their inherit racism
 Second musical to win the Pulitzer Prize

 Viewing:
     “Some Enchanted Evening”
     “There is Nothing Like a Dame”
THE KING AND I
   Opened on 3/29/51 with Yul Brenner and Gertrude
    Lawrence and ran for 1,246 performances
     Lawrence succumbed to cancer a year after the show
      opened
     Brenner also starred in the 1956 film, the 1977 revival
      and the 1985 revival, playing the part 4,525 times
 Features a clash of Eastern and Western cultures
 The King and Anna have feelings for each other,
  but do not really show them until near the end
 Features a dance sequence based on Uncle Tom’s
  Cabin- replacing the slave holder with an emporer
 Viewing:
     “Shall We Dance”
     “Little House of
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
 Opened on 11/16/59 starring Mary Martin
 Based on the real life Von Trapp family, who fled
  from Austria to escape the Nazis
 Tied for Best Musical with Fiorello!

 Sweet story masks a condemnation of the
  “decent” people who did nothing to oppose the
  Nazis
 Viewing:
     “Do-Re-Mi”
     “Edelweiss”

				
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