AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE {THE MUSICALS OF RODGERS AND HART 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. Broadway composer Richard Rodgers is the guest on this edition, which examines his twenty-four-year collaboration with the late Lorenz Hart from 1919 to 1943. The show opens with the CBS Orchestra playing "Mountain Greenery," after which Martha Wright and John Reardon sing "Lover." Rodgers begins by telling host Jim Morske about learning music at home from his parents, leaving Columbia College in order to study music at The Institute of Musical Art (now Juilliard), and being as stage struck now as he was as a kid. He then talks about how he met Hart, whom he calls a "sweet nut." He follows with anecdotal stories about the songs, "My Heart Stood Still" and "Thou Swell" (which Wright and Reardon then sing) from the musical, "A Connecticut Yankee." He then discusses what Morske calls the "non-formula" shows "On Your Toes," "Babes in Arms," and "Pal Joey" from the 1930s and 1940s. Next, he touches on his days with Hart in Hollywood working on the 1932 movie "Love Me Tonight" from which Reardon sings "Mimi." After Rodgers explains why he and Hart wrote so many songs in waltz time, Wright and Reardon perform "Falling in Love with Love" from "The Boys from Syracuse." Rodgers then describes a typical day composing music, and some of the difficulties Hart experienced when writing. Morske comments that as he got older, Hart's lyrics reflected more warmth and maturity, as exemplified in Wright's performance of "Where or When." The program ends with the orchestra performing "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue."

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

Details

  • NETWORK: WCBS-TV
  • DATE: June 4, 1961 Sunday 4:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:23
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:53569
  • GENRE: Music
  • 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
    • Herb Benton … Production (Misc.) , Production Supervisor
    • Richard Rodgers … Composer
    • Lorenz Hart … Lyricist
    • Alfredo Antonini … Conductor
    • CBS Orchestra, The … Music Group
    • Jim Morske … Host
    • Martha Wright … Performer, Singer
    • John Reardon … Performer, Singer
    • Richard Rodgers … Guest
    • Hart, Lorenz (See also: Hart, Larry)