Richard Rodgers : reminiscence : Oscar Hammerstein

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A reminiscence about Lorenz Hart is naturally followed by Rodgers’ personal and professional transition in Oscar Hammerstein II. One big difference: Oscar was interested in what to say, Larry in how to say it. The first thing Rodgers and Hammerstein ever did, “Oklahoma!,” turned out to be one of the greatest American musical theatre hits. But there was nothing about “Oklahoma!,” to suggest success. The original play was a flop … the producers announced it was their last show, they were so sure it would die … Hammerstein had had eleven years of failures … the director couldn’t get a job before they hired him … the choreographer had only one other show to her credit. Rodgers and Hammerstein declared they wouldn’t touch “My Fair Lady,” as they didn’t have the courage to tamper with GB Shaw. When they decided to do “Carousel,” based on Molnar’s “Liliom,” they dared to change the ending. At an early run-through, they learned the author was in the theatre and were thoroughly intimidated by his presence. But they were relived at his enthusiastic response and particularly at his approval of the ending. In this program there is a moment of great poignancy as Oscar Hammerstein is shown reciting “Surrey with the Fringe on top,” a song which always makes Rodgers cry because of its sentimental simplicity. More Rodgers philosophy: “Somehow or other, we find what we need – in marriage, work, friends and music. 
WHYY; Richard Rodgers; Arnold Michaelis
National Educational Television; Indiana University Audio-Visual Center
Educational; Biographical (Nonfiction); Interview
Musical theater ; Composers.
National Educational Television
IUL Moving Image Archive
Rights Statement
No Copyright - United States
Physical Description
1 Film (0:00:00); 16mm
Other Identifiers
IULMIA Film Database: 40000003384023; Other: GR00428979; MDPI Barcode: 40000003384023

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