AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE {THE MUSICALS OF RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN WITH RICHARD RODGERS, JOHN REARDON, MARTHA WRIGHT} (TV)

Summary

One in this educational public affairs series that traces the origins and development of the American musical theater and examines the careers and contributions of the creative artists who have made the musical a native American art form. In an informal workshop setting, New York City high school students meet the composers, lyricists, and performers who have shaped the American musical and question them about their work. Composer Richard Rodgers is the guest on this edition, which examines his eighteen-year collaboration with the late lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The program opens with the CBS Orchestra playing "I Can't Say No" from "Oklahoma." Rodgers first discusses his long acquaintanceship with Hammerstein before they ever worked together, how Lorenz Hart's deteriorating health led Rodgers to seek out a new partner, and compares the very different working styles of his two writing partners. After Martha Wright and John Reardon sing a portion of "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" from "Carousel," Rodgers suggests that the qualities that make a good collaboration are similar to those that make a marriage successful. Host Jim Morske points out that Hammerstein often used simple vernacular expressions in his lyrics, as demonstrated by Wright as she reprises her role of Nellie Forbush in "South Pacific" and sings "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy." Next, illustrating Hammerstein's ability to write poetically as well, Reardon sings "I Have Dreamed" from "The King and I." Morske then asks Rodgers to reflect on Hammerstein's use of the themes of faith and courage in many of his lyrics, after which Wright and Reardon sing "Climb Every Mountain" from "The Sound of Music." Rodgers then briefly discusses writing lyrics himself for the first time, and an upcoming project with Alan Jay Lerner. The program closes with the orchestra playing "I Whistle a Happy Tune."

(This program contains minor technical problems. This represents the best copy of this program currently available to the Museum.)

Cataloging of this program was made possible by The Marc Haas and Helen Hotze Haas Foundation, 1998.

Details

  • NETWORK: WCBS-TV
  • DATE: June 11, 1961 Sunday 4:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:21
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:53509
  • GENRE: Education/Information
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Biography
  • SERIES RUN: WCBS (New York, NY) - TV series, 1959-1965
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Ned Cramer … Producer
    • Ethel Burns … Associate Producer
    • Neal Finn … Director
    • Richard Rodgers … Composer
    • Hammerstein, Oscar, II … Lyricist
    • Alfredo Antonini … Conductor
    • CBS Orchestra, The … Music Group
    • John Morske … Host
    • Martha Wright … Performer, Singer
    • John Reardon … Performer, Singer
    • Richard Rodgers … Guest
    • Hammerstein, Oscar, II
    • Hart, Lorenz (See also: Hart, Larry)
    • Alan Jay Lerner