Rodgers and Hammerstein Essay

This essay has a total of 2118 words and 11 pages.

Rodgers and Hammerstein


Rodgers and Hammerstein Collaborations

Oklahoma! The first collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein was entitled Oklahoma! The
idea of the musical came from a play called Green Grow the Lilacs, written by Lynn Riggs
in 1931. This story is about the state of Oklahoma at the turn of the century, when the
Indian Territory joined the United States. It is the story of a girl named Laurey Williams
and her (sort of) love triangle with two boys by the names of Curley McClain and Jud Fry.
Laurey is in love with Curley, but she attends a dance with Jud instead. At the dance,
Curley surprised Laurey by bidding an enormous amount on the basket of food she has
prepared. They soon marry, and after the wedding, Jud starts a fight with Curley, but he
loses. Jud is accidentally stabbed, but Curley was acquitted. Curley and his new wife live
happily ever after in the great place of Oklahoma.

This musical opened at St. James Theatre on March 31, 1943 and ran for 2,212 performances.
It was directed by Rouben Mamoulain and choreographed by Agnes de Mille. Oklalahoma!
became so popular that it was decided to make it into a movie. The movie would be pretty
similar, including some of the musical's famous songs, such as "Oh, What a Beautiful
Mornin'," "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top," "People Will Say We're In Love," and
"Oklahoma."

The film version of the same name was released October 11, 1955. Agnes de Mille again,
choreographed it. Shirley Jones played the role of Laurey Williams, while Gordon MacRea
played Curley McClain.


Carousel On April 19, 1945 the musical Carousel opened at the Majestic Theatre in New
York. It was based on the play entitled Liliom by Ferenc Molnar. This was a story about a
young man named Billy Bigelow and his young wife Julie Jordan. Billy is a carnival barker,
but soon looses his job. This upsets him because he knows that Julie is about to have a
child, so he attempts to get more money by means of robbery. He then is forced to kill
himself to escape arrest. Billy then goes to Heaven. Some time later, Billy is allowed to
go back to earth for only 24 hours to see his unhappy daughter Louise, who is 15 years
old. Billy steals a star to give to his daughter, but she refuses it. He slaps her in the
face, but she isn't upset by the action. Billy gets to know his daughter and gives her a
better outlook on life, before returning to Heaven.

The musical was again directed by Rouben Mamoulain and choreographed by Agnes de Mille. It
ran for 890 performances. It was decided to make this a movie as well.

On February 16, 1956 the film version of Carousel was released. It stared two actors were
not strangers to Rodgers and Hammerstein. They were the stars of their previous movie,
Oklahoma! Shirley Jones played Julie Jordan and Gordon MacRea was Billy Bigelow. Many of
the same songs were included in the movie, such as "If I Loved You," and "You'll Never
Walk Alone."


State Fair The first musical created by Rodgers and Hammerstein that was made especially
for the screen was State Fair. The source came from the novel of the same name by Phil
Stong. The release date was August 20, 1945.

This was a story of a trip made to the Iowa State Fair by the Frake family. The entire
family went in hopes of something. Abel Frake wanted to sell his prize pig. Melissa Frake
wanted to win a blue ribbon for her mincemeat pie. Both children, Wayne and Margy Frake,
wanted to find love, which they did. Margy fell in love to a man named Pat Gilbert while
Wayne fell for Emily Edwards, a singer. The show included many songs, including "It's a
Grand Night For Singing," and "All I Owe Iowa."

On June 2, 1969 State Fair was revived on the stage. Ozzie Nelson played Abel Frake, and
Harriet Nelson played his wife Melissa.

The film was remade again in 1962. It was released on March 15. Ann-Margaret played the
part of Emily Edwards. The story was very much the same as the first, only the state fair
was moved to Dallas, Texas. The last revival was in 1996.


Allegro Probably the most unpopular musical done by Rodgers and Hammerstein was entitled
Allegro. It was written by Hammerstein, their first not based on another source. It was
again choreographed, as well as directed by Agnes de Mille. It opened October 10, 1947 and
ran for 315 performances. The show wasn't a very big hit.

Allegro was about the life of Joseph Taylor Jr. from birth to adulthood. His progress is
followed throughout the period of him growing up, like going to college and medical
school. He then marries a local girl, and joins the staff of a large Chicago hospital.
After discovering his wife is unfaithful, he returns to his hometown with his nurse,
Emily, to dedicate his life to healing the sick and helping the needy.


South Pacific The most successful musical ever written by Rodgers and Hammerstein was
called South Pacific. It was based on the novel called "South Pacific" by James A.
Michner. Joshua Logan, who also helped to write the book of the musical, directed it.

South Pacific opened on April 7, 1949 at the Majestic Theatre. It ran for 1,925
performances. The setting was on two islands in the South Pacific during World War II.

American soldiers had taken over some land in the South Pacific. With them is an older
gentleman named Emile de Bequec from France. He lived with a native woman who had had two
of his children. Later on, a woman named Nellie Forbush, a nurse from America, meets and
falls in love with Emile. She was very much younger than Emile, but in the end they come
together despite the age difference.

Some of the more popular songs from this musical were "Some Enchanted Evening," "Younger
Than Springtime," and "There's Nothing Like a Dame."

This musical soon became a film. It was released on March 19, 1958. Joshua Logan also
directed it. The film was a little tricky to do, however, because none of the actors
(except Mitzi Gaynor) could sing their parts. It was eventually made and became a great
success for Rodgers and Hammerstein.

South Pacific was revived again in 1964 for 104 performances and lastly again in the 1990s.

The King and I The novel "Anna and the King of Siam" by Margaret Landon was the source for
many people's favorite musical of all time: The King and I. It was choreographed by Jerome
Robbins. This great musical opened in St. James Theatre on March 29, 1951, running for
1,246 performances.

The story was set in the 1860s. The King of Siam requests that a proper lady comes to the
castle to be a teacher to his children, the royal princes and princesses. Anna becomes a
large influence among the children, as well as the King. Some problems soon arrive and
Continues for 6 more pages >>




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