Class Notes (839,092)
Canada (511,185)
Music (336)
Prof (5)
Lecture 8

Lecture 8 - Rodgers and Hammerstein.docx

9 Pages

Course Code
Music 2701A/B

This preview shows pages 1,2 and half of page 3. Sign up to view the full 9 pages of the document.
Music Theatre 2701: Lecture 8: Rodger and Hammerstein (OKLAHOMA! & SOUTH PACIFIC) Musical Comedy and the Musical Play  1930s musical comedy is still produced despite innovations of shows such as Show Boat and Anything Goes  Happy, Farcial, nonsensical musicals still popular o People wanted light and fun musicals  Composers such as Cole Porter and Irving Berlin at heigh of success  Songs from their shows became pop songs of the day – played on the radio  Songs not closely integrated with plots o One hit song comes out of it they’ll grab that song and put it in a different show later Rodgers and Hammerstein  One of twentieth-century musical theatre’s most important writing teams  Musicals bright and happy during the depression time  R + H take musicals back to an art form not just a fun bubbly entertainment.  RICHARD RODGERS: Composer  OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II: Lyricist  34 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards for shows in movies  Collaborations: o Oklahoma! (1943) o Carousel (1945) o South Pacific (1949) o The King and I (1951) o The Sound of Music (1959)  Shared fair success with other people before each other o Rodgers and Hart  Many shows in the 30’s which were popular  Sophisticated, dark, adult themes o Hart fairly tortured depressed soul  Small angry man who drank like crazy  Make Rodgers and Hart working collaboration difficult due to his insane drinking skills  Was a successful but not happy collaboration o Hammerstein a bit older than Rodgers  He was more of an operetta lyricist  Collaborated with a bunch of big operetta composers  More of a sentimental type of aesthetic  Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) o Born in Queens, New York to a prosperous family o Educated at Columbia University (as was Oscar Hammerstein II)  Studying law then decided to be a composer o Dad prominent physician (education and wealth in his family). o Studied composition at the Institute of Musical Arts – later known ad Juilliard o Best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II  Helped put on camp shows at a camp o Rodgers is one of only two persons to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, a Tony Award, and a Pulitzer Prize  Other person to do this was Marvin Hamlish o His daughter Mary is a musical theatre composer who has worked with Stephen Sondheim, and wrote the show “Once Upon a Mattress.” o His grandson Adam Guettel won Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Orchestration for “The Light in the Pizza”  Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) o Born in New York City o Son of Oscar Hammerstein I – noted theatre/vaudeville impresario (originator of the “pie in the face” routine) and composer  “Pie in the face” originated by him and people loved it o Studied at Columbia University, and began law school there  Quit law school to pursue theatre  Part of the team that put on Columbia shows  Quite musical himself and had quite experience writing music for the piano and wasn’t really his forte o First Broadway show was a collaboration with Otto Harbach o Also worked with operetta composer Sigmund Romberg o Biggest hit pre-Rodgers was Show Boat with Jerome Kern Show #1: Oklahoma! (1943)  First Rodgers and Hammerstein Collaboration  “It was a show, that, like Show Boat, became a milestone, so that later historians writing about important moments in twentieth-century theatre would begin to identify ears according to their relationship to Oklahoma!” o William A. Everett and Paul R. Laird, The Cambridge Companion to the Musical  Based on the stage play “Green Grow the Lilacs” by Lynn Riggs o The Drama League presented it  Talked about how they really wanted to do a musical  Take mandate of Drama League and bring it into musical theatre  Believed you could have a play based on a real topic  Wanting shows to be on American topics  Set in America  Wanted things to be very pro America  Approaching various composers and lyricists  Both Rodgers and Hammerstein wanted to work on show with their respective partners: o Rodgers and Hart’s partnership broke down before they started  Hart wasn’t really interested because it wasn’t his type of show. Hart was very much interested in edgy, griddy music, they had been putting on. o Kern rejected Hammerstein’s offer to work on it  We don’t really know why  Both Rodgers and Hammerstein had been approached separately to put on Grow the Lilacs  Rodgers and Hammerstein met at a party and started talking about this o Didn’t know each other from Columbia, despite they were both there o They knew each other from the theatre community o Both members of certain mens club and got to know each other there. o Thought they might want to work together and gave it a try.  Good working relationship  Interesting relationship  Sometimes Hammerstein would give Rodgers lyrics and say write the music for it and vice-versa. o Not usually the case  Important changes happened during out-of-town tryouts: elimination of second love song, addition of show-stopping tittle song o Took “People will say we’re in love” and did a short reprise of it in the second act o Show was kind of wrapping up by then and didn’t want to introduce a new song o Show ended pretty quietly originally  Musical theatre crowds were enjoying the musicals but they needed something big and exciting at the end so they’d feel like they were going to a Broadway musical.  Added “Oklahoma”  Lots of excitement and harmony  Big showstopper at the end  Originally ran 2212 performances; 4 major Broadway revivals since o Hugely successful show o Double up on casts taking a national tour cast out on the road Groundbreaking  Original cast album which was made with the cast when the show was running for six months o One of the first original cast albums ever made o By the time the national tour came, people knew the music  No huge chorus number to start the show o Quite scene, solo song opener  Combination of legit and belt voices o Not an operetta there were belt voices o Typical 1930, 40 belters o Also legit voices o Legit vs. belter tells us if people are part of the primary love plot or the secondary comic plot o Laurie and Curley have the legit sounding classical voices o Ado Annie and Will have the belt voices (part of the comic plot)  Formula after “Oklahoma!”Pair of primary love interest  Use of regional American dialects and vernacular language  Fully integrated, plot-advancing dance; important of the choreographer as a story-teller o Square dancing, kicking up heels, clogging o Using ballet (not Oklahoma)  Choreographer was a Ballet Choreographer  The Dream Ballet – Laurie wants to decide who wants to go to the social with (Curley, Judd) and she falls into a dream- like state. Everything going on in her dream happens in a ballet form telling a story through dance for 10-15 minutes at the end of Act I  The entire premise of Oklahoma is as simple as who will Laurie go to the social with o Is she going to go with Curley or Judd?  Laurie and Aunt Eller live on a farm in Oklahoma o People’s territory is about to change and gain newness o Ranchers not thrilled with the fact that farmers are starting to settle the land  Show about nation building o Oklahoma is about to get statehood  Curley Cowboy (lives outside, under the stars, out in nature looking after the cows)  Jud Frylives in the smokehouse (talked about being really grimy, lives where meat is hung to smoke, basically surrounded by death) o Decorates smokehouse with “French post cards” o When Curley visits Judd, Curley is like “Ahh, my eyes”, Judd is like “It’s just naked woman” o Contrast between sleezy guy and nature loving cowboy  Story is very simple o Laurie goes to social with Curley o Judd gets angry, threatens her, Laurie fires him, Curley and Laurie live happily ever after. SONG: OH, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING  Sung by Curly  Unusual opening number for a musical o Solo, with only one other person on stage o Subtle, quite opening o Evocative mood  Early Americana feel  Orchestration: Chirpy sounds, trills in the flute o Sounds like prairie just waking up  Aunt Eller churning better and Curley sings this lovely song SONG: SURREY WITH THE FRINGE  Curley comes to tell Laurie about the wonderful buggie that he wants to drive her to social with  Called a “vision song” o Curley painting a picture of this beautiful surrey. o Laurie gets so caught up in this vision, beomces carried away  Sung by Laurey, Curley, and Aunt Eller  Musical underscoring during dialogue o Rodgers an
More Less
Unlock Document

Only pages 1,2 and half of page 3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.