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Rodgers, Richard

Richard Rodgers' contributions to the musical theatre of his day was extraordinary, and his influence on the musical theatre of today and tomorrow is legendary. His career spanned more than six decades, his hits ranging  from the silver screens of Hollywood to the bright lights of Broadway, London and beyond. He was the recipient of countless awards, including Pulitzers, Tonys, Oscars, Grammys and Emmys. He wrote more than 900 published songs and forty Broadway musicals.

Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Lorenz Hart (1895-1943) wrote their first shows together when both were still students attending Columbia University.  Their breakthrough came with the score for a 1925 charity show, THE GARRICK GAITIES, which introduced the classic valentine to their hometown, "Manhattan."

Over the next five years they wrote fifteen musical comedies for Broadway and London's West End before relocating to Hollywood in 1930, where they contributed songs and wrote the scores for several movie musicals, most notably LOVE ME TONIGHT starring Maurice Chevalier.

In 1935 they returned to New York to write the score for Billy Rose's circus musical JUMBO, launching a golden era that included ON YOUR TOES, BABES IN ARMS, I'D RATHER BE RIGHT, I MARRIED AN ANGEL, THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, TOO MANY GIRLS, HIGHER AND HIGHER, PAL JOEY and BY JUPITER.  In 1943 the partnership disbanded temporarily when Rodgers collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein II on OKLAHOMA!, but it resumed with a revision of their 1927 hit A CONNECTICUT YANKEE, which opened on November 17, 1943 -- less than a week before Lorenz Hart's death.

For the next two decades Richard Rodgers collaborated exclusively with Oscar Hammerstein II on such musicals as CAROUSEL, ALLEGRO, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I, PIPE DREAM and THE SOUND OF MUSIC.  Collectively, their musicals have garnered dozens of awards including: Pulitzer Prizes; Tonys, Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys; and Drama Desk, Drama Critics’ Circle, Outer Critics’ Circle, Laurence Olivier, and Evening Standard Awards.

After Hammerstein's death in 1960 Rodgers continued to write for the musical stage, including NO STRINGS, and collaborations with Martin Charnin, Stephen Sondheim and Sheldon Harnick. His fortieth, and final, Broadway musical, I REMEMBER MAMA, opened on Broadway less than eight months before his death on December 30, 1979.

The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway was renamed in his honor, and Rodgers and Hart were each commemorated on a US postage stamp at the end of the last century.

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Songs Associated this writer

Concerts Associated this writer

News about this writer

Exclusive: Audra McDonald sings "Climb Ev'ry Mountain"
Broadway treasure and 5-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald sings "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" in this newly released clip from NBC The Sound of Music Live's companion soundtrack. Read More
Live from Lincoln Center Presents RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CAROUSEL
Live From Lincoln Center presents the New York Philharmonic’s production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s iconic American musical, Carousel, featuring a star-studded cast including Kelli O'Hara, Nathan Gunn, Stephanie Blythe, Shuler Hensley, Jason Danieley, Jessie Mueller, Kate Burton, John Cullum and New York City Ballet dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck. “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel” is hosted by Audra McDonald and will air on PBS stations on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 9 p.m. (ET) (check local listings) Read More
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Cast Recording
The company of RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA will enter the studio on March 18 to preserve the Original Broadway Cast Recording for Ghostlight Records. Read More
"A Lovely Night" CINDERELLA Opens on Broadway
"OMG! THE ULTIMATE AND MOST ENDURING OF MAKEOVER SHOWS is back in town, and this Cinderella is no passive damsel waiting for a rescuing knight. SHE TAKES CHARGE OF HER DESTINY." –The New York Times
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Carrie Underwood To Star as Maria Von Trapp in NBC's Live Broadcast of THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Grammy-winning superstar Carrie Underwood to star as Maria Von Trapp in NBC's live broadcast of THE SOUND OF MUSIC based on the original musical.  Read More
Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA Comes to Broadway!
A new production of RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA will arrive on Broadway this season with previews set for January 21, 2013 prior to Opening Night on February 21 at the Broadway Theatre. Read More
Pre-release preview of Sierra Boggess & The John Wilson Orchestra
Happy Birthday Richard Rodgers!  To celebrate, we are proud to share with you this exclusive track, Rodgers' own "I Have Confidence" from The Sound of Music, performed by Sierra Boggess from the upcoming album, RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN AT THE MOVIES, featuring John Wilson and The John Wilson Orchestra.
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Ted Chapin's STAGE DOOR CANTEEN CD Featured At Barnes & Noble NYC In-Store Event on April 11!
New DRG Recording Celebrates WWII-era Songs from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart and Others. Read More
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S "PIPE DREAM" TO GET NEW LIVE RECORDING!
Rodgers & Hammerstein's PIPE DREAM will be recorded live at New York City Center's Encores! series this week, and released this Summer on Ghostlight Records.  Produced by Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company, this preservation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's 1955 Broadway musical rarity marks the first time an Encores! musical has been recorded live.  Originally presented on Broadway in the 1955-56 season, and based on John Steinbeck’s novels Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday,  PIPE DREAM has not been seen in a full orchestral production in New York City until now. Read More
Cast announced for Carnegie Hall's Historic Concert of THE SOUND OF MUSIC!
Carnegie Hall today announced that its one-night-only concert performance of The Sound of Music on Tuesday, April 24 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage will star Laura Osnes as Maria Rainer.  Co-starring alongside Osnes will be Tony Goldwyn as Captain von Trapp.  Additional cast members include Brooke Shields as Elsa Schräder, Patrick Page as Max Detweiler, and Stephanie Blythe as The Mother Abbess. Read More
Leslie Uggams Joins the cast of PIPE DREAM at Encores!

Tony Award–winner Leslie Uggams has joined the cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Pipe Dream, to be presented by New York City Center Encores! series, March 28 – April 1. Ms. Uggams will play Fauna, the proprietress of the Bear Flag Café, the local brothel.


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Laura Osnes to Star in Rodgers & Hammerstein's PIPE DREAM
Laura Osnes has been cast as Suzy in the New York City Center Encores! production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Pipe Dream running March 28 - April 1. Pipe Dream will be directed by Marc Bruni with music direction by Rob Berman and choreography by Kelli Barclay, and will play for seven performances at New York City Center, West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. The Encores! presentation marks the first time the musical will be seen on the New York stage since the original production closed in June 1956. Read More
Mark Brokaw to direct the first Broadway-Bound production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA
Mark Brokaw will direct the new, first-ever Broadway-bound production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA, it has been announced by Robyn Goodman, who will produce the musical along with Aged in Wood Productions. Read More
New Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA Aims For 2012-13 Season on Broadway
A new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA -- with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II -- is aiming for an opening next season on Broadway following a workshop production in April 2012, it was announced on December 8 by producer Robyn Goodman, who will produce the musical along with Aged in Wood Productions. Read More
New Recordings of Your Favorite Songs
Looking for the perfect gift for the music lover in your life? Here are some new albums that feature some of your favorite songs... Read More
Carnegie Hall Is Alive With The Sound of Music

On April 24, 2012 Carnegie Hall will present THE SOUND OF MUSIC in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, as a gala benefit for Carnegie Hall, this one-night-only concert performance of the beloved musical will provide support for music education programs of the Weill Music Institute.

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To Whom It May Concern
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of  Rodgers & Hammerstein's FLOWER DRUM SONGNancy Kwan who is best known for her portrayal of Linda Low is hosting a double feature and talk back at the Egyptian Theatre in LA. Read More
Never-Before-Seen SOUND OF MUSIC Home Movie Footage

Never-before-seen clips from personal home movie footage of the making of "The Sound Of Music" You can find more home movie footage in THE SOUND OF MUSIC FAMILY SCRAPBOOK by Fred Bronson available through Amazon.com starting April, 2012

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Spotlight on 'Allegro

Bill Rudman hosts an hour's visit with Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, focusing on Chapin's first complete recording of ALLEGRO.

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The Hills Are Alive

As Summer 2011 arrives, THE SOUND OF MUSIC continues to flourish on stages the world over. 

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London Welcomes SOUTH PACIFIC

Lincoln Center Theater’s acclaimed production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's SOUTH PACIFIC comes to Britain this summer. 

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A Pipe Dream No Longer, Rodgers & Hammerstein's PIPE DREAM Is Back!

Unavailable for performance in the USA since 1990, Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical rarity PIPE DREAM can once again be licensed and will be presented as part of New York City Center’s Encores! series in 2012.

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YEOW! OKLAHOMA! Wins Top Prize at DC's Helen Hayes Awards

Arena Stage's acclaimed and record-breaking production of OKLAHOMA!took home top prizes at the Helen Hayes Awards in Washington DC on Monday night.

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Our New Restored Editions

If you have recently received performance materials for SOUTH PACIFIC or THE KING AND I, you may have noticed that we are now offering our newly restored editions of these musical classics.  Along with CAROUSEL and THE SOUND OF MUSIC, SOUTH PACIFIC and THE KING AND I (and next year’s OKLAHOMA!) join our list of  bright, new, computer generated and user-friendly performance editions. 

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London Welcomes Bloody Mary

Announced in London this morning was the exciting news that Hawaii's own Loretta Ables Sayre will re-create her Tony nominated performance as Bloody Mary when the 7-time Tony Award winning Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's SOUTH PACIFIC comes to Britain this summer. 

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R&H "Serving Up Musical Comfort Food"

"MADISON AVENUE is alive with the sound of “The Sound of Music”... as more than a dozen marketers use songs by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II in commercials" says The New York Times

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Two By Two Q&A with Jason Alexander

A re-telling of the story of Noah and the ark, TWO BY TWO has seen numerous revivals over the years, with the most recent high-profile staging presented by Reprise Theatre Company in Los Angeles last November, starring Jason Alexander and Faith Prince. Jason Alexander is one very busy guy, but we were grateful he took some time to speak with us.

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Newly-engraved Bennett Symphonic Arrangement of Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Newly-engraved full score and orchestral parts for Robert Russell Bennett's symphonic arrangement of Richard Rodgers' Slaughter on Tenth Avenue..

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The Sound of Music opens in Salzburg - Video
THE SOUND OF MUSIC opened on Sunday October 23rd in Salzburg Austria -- the first time the stage musical has ever been seen in the city where the story began. Watch the video Read More

Trivia about this writer

Did you know? In SOUTH PACIFIC, Joe Cable sings "Younger Than Springtime"" to Liat, his partner in an unexpected romance. Rodgers & Hammerstein made no fewer than three prior attempts at writing this number. The third try, ""Suddenly Lucky,"" contained the lyrics ""Suddenly lucky / Suddenly to be together, / Suddenly owning / Happiness no gold can buy."" Although cut from SOUTH PACIFIC, Richard Rodgers was able to rescue the melody for THE KING AND I, where it became the iconic song ""Getting to Know You."""
Did you know? In the summer of 1916, Richard Rodgers wrote his first songs at Camp Wigwam, Maine: "Dear Old Wigwam"" and ""Camp-Fire Days."" He was 14 years old."
Did you know? After Hammerstein passed away, Rodgers needed a new writing partner. For the first time in his career, he turned to himself for words. In 1962, Rodgers crafted new songs for the re-make of STATE FAIR and wrote both music and lyrics for the musical NO STRINGS. When the film version THE SOUND OF MUSIC needed new numbers, Rodgers wrote and composed the songs ?I Have Confidence? and ?Something Good.?
Did you know? In 1922, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II worked with Herbert Fields and Lorenz Hart on a never-produced musical called WINKLE TOWN. All four Columbia boys would go on to lasting musical theater fame.
Did you know? According to Richard Rodgers in his autobiography "Musical Stages,"" ?Oscar was so moved by [?Surrey With A Fringe On Top?] that just listening to it made him cry. He once explained that he never cried at sadness in the theatre, only at nave happiness, and the idea of two bone-headed young people looking forward to nothing more than a ride in a surrey struck an emotional chord that affected him deeply.?"
Did you know? Irving Berlin rhymed his thoughts on the creative partnership of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart: "Tuneful and tasty, schmaltzy and smart - music by Rodgers, lyrics by Hart."""
Did you know? THE SOUND OF MUSIC has no overture! Having little experience with liturgical music, Richard Rodgers did some research at the Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York while writing the score. Mother Morgan, head of the music department there, invited Rodgers to a concert specially arranged for him to show off the different kinds of musical prayer. For the opening of the musical, Rodgers set the Catholic prayer ?Dixit Dominus? for the nuns of Nonnberg Abbey.
Did you know? In CAROUSEL, Billy meets the Starkeeper after his death. The Starkeeper gives Billy an opportunity to return to earth for one day to see his daughter. It was director Rouben Mamoulian who suggested this character for Broadway, replacing Rodgers and Hammerstein?s own idea of a Mr. and Mrs. God that played only in the show's out-of-town tryout.
Did you know that Richard Rodgers cited CAROUSEL as his favorite musical? ?Oscar never wrote more meaningful or more moving lyrics, and to me, my score is more satisfying than any I?ve ever written. But it?s not just the songs; it?s the whole play. Beautifully written, tender without being mawkish, it affects me deeply every time I see it performed.?
In an early draft of CAROUSEL that anticipated the show's Boston opening, Hammerstein wrote the note, "There will probably be an encore. If not, the author and composer will probably jump in the Charles River."""
Did you know that both Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II married women named Dorothy, and both had fathers named William? This last fact lead Rodgers & Hammerstein to name their music publishing company Williamson Music Company when they founded it in 1945.
In THE SOUND OF MUSIC, the Captain and Maria first realize their feelings for each other while dancing a classic Austrian folk dance called the Laendler. The Laendler was a popular folk dance in 3/4 or waltz time. Richard Rodgers cleverly uses the music from ?The Lonely Goatherd? for the ballroom scene during which Maria and the Captain dance and fall in love.
Did you know? Both Rodgers and Hammerstein hailed from alma mater Columbia University in New York City. Hammerstein attended from 1912 - 1917, and Rodgers followed him from 1919 - 1921.
Did you know? Writing OKLAHOMA! Rodgers & Hammerstein struggled to find the right way to portray menacing farmhand Jud Fry. "The question was how to make him acceptable,"" wrote Hammerstein, ""Not too much a deep-dyed villain?We didn't want to resort to the boring device of having two other characters discuss him and give the audience a psychological analysis. Even if this were dramatically desirable, there are no characters in this story who are bright enough or well-educated enough to do this. So we solved the problem with two songs, 'Pore Jud' and 'Lonely Room'...Jud becomes then, for a while, not just wicked..."""
December 31, 1979
In 1979, CBS presented a special tribute to Richard Rodgers on the night following his death. Commentator Charles Kuralt eulogized, "He was a composer for the 1920s and then, it turned out, he was a composer for the thirties, the forties, the fifties and the sixties too, and on the last night of the seventies we say goodbye to him. Not to his music - that will go on and on and on in our theatres and in our heads."""
December 30, 1979
In 1979, Richard Rodgers passed away at his home in New York City. He was 77 years old.
December 29, 1952
In 1952, LIFE magazine published Rodgers & Hammerstein's only Christmas song, "Happy Christmas Little Friend,"" commissioned as a gift for its readers."
December 29, 1917
In 1917, Richard Rodgers' first complete amateur score ONE MINUTE, PLEASE premiered for a one-night run at the Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom.
December 25, 1940
In 1940, Rodgers & Hart's musical PAL JOEY had its New York premiere on Christmas at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, before moving to the Shubert Theatre and finally to the St. James. The show ran for 374 performances.
December 19, 1919
In 1919, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart copyrighted their first professional collaboration, the song "Any Old Place With You"" from A LONELY ROMEO."
December 07, 1905
In 1905, the world premiere of Ferenc Molnar's play LILIOM is presented at the Vigsznhz Theatre, Budapest. It is produced in New York several times with several different translations (one allegedly written by Lorenz Hart) before Rodgers & Hammerstein adapted the Benjamin Glazer text as their basis for CAROUSEL.
December 02, 1947
In 1947, OKLAHOMA! celebrated its 2,000th performance on Broadway. Composer Richard Rodgers was on hand to conduct the second act.
November 25, 1946
In 1946, the first performance of OKLAHOMA! in the state of Oklahoma was presented at the Municipal Auditorium in Oklahoma City. Governor Robert S. Kerr presided over several days of statewide celebrations, joined by Rodgers, Hammerstein, their wives, and members of the musical's creative team. Rodgers & Hammerstein were made honorary members of the Kiowa Indian tribe.
November 23, 1938
In 1938, Rodgers & Hart's musical THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE had its New York premier at the Alvin Theatre, and ran for 235 performances.
November 15, 1954
In 1954, at Carnegie Hall, New York, Richard Rodgers led the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in a concert of his works.
November 10, 1970
In 1970, TWO BY TWO opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre. Based on the play THE FLOWERING PEACH, it tells the story of Noah and his family preparing for the great flood. The show ran for ten months.
November 06, 1953
In 1953, Edward R. Murrow interviewed Richard and his wife Dorothy Rodgers live from their Manhattan home on "Person to Person,"" CBS-TV."
November 02, 1937
In 1937, Rodgers & Hart's musical I'D RATHER BE RIGHT opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York. The show ran for 290 performances.
October 31, 1946
In 1946, Anita Loos' comedy HAPPY BIRTHDAY, presented by Rodgers & Hammerstein and starring Helen Hayes, opened at the Broadhurst Theatre, New York, and ran for 564 performances. In the play Helen Hayes sings "I Haven't Got a Worry in the World,"" written especially for her by the producers."
September 25, 1965
In 1965, DO I HEAR A WALTZ? closed on Broadway after 220 performances.
September 11, 1971
In 1971, TWO BY TWO closed on Broadway after a ten-month run.
August 21, 1955
In 1955 Eddie Fisher, Shirley Jones, Ed Sullivan, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and the governors of New York and Oklahoma led an "Oklahoma Song-Fest"" at the Central Park Mall in New York before a crowd of 15,000."
August 07, 1948
In 1948 the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra presented its first "Rodgers & Hammerstein Night"" at Lewisohn Stadium in New York. A crowd of 20,000 attended and the R&H concerts became annual season finales at the stadium for more than a decade, with Richard Rodgers serving frequently as a guest conductor."
August 03, 1963
In 1963 NO STRINGS closed on Broadway after 580 performances. Richard Rodgers won the 1962 Tony Award for Best Composer for this show, which was his first and only experience writing lyrics as well as music without a collaborator.
July 31, 1944
In 1944 Williamson Music published "Dear Friend,"" a song by Rodgers & Hammerstein. All proceeds went to the 5th War Loan Drive."
July 29, 1953
In 1953 MGM released the movie MAIN STREET TO BROADWAY, featuring a host of Broadway celebrities in cameo appearances. In one sequence, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Joshua Logan, and Mary Martin play themselves "in rehearsal"" for a new musical, during which Martin sings ""There's Music in You,"" written by Rodgers & Hammerstein especially for the film."
July 28, 1920
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart wrote their first professional score together, completing the show POOR LITTLE RITZ GIRL, which opened at the Central Theatre on this date in 1920.
July 23, 1942
In 1942, in the first public announcement of a Rodgers & Hammerstein collaboration, The New York Times reported: "The Theatre Guild announced yesterday that Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II will soon begin work on a musical version of Lynn Rigg's folk-play GREEN GROW THE LILACS."" Lorenzo Hart later dropped out of the project, but this show would become Rodgers and Hammerstein's first hit, OKLAHOMA!"
June 30, 1917
In 1917, Richard Rodgers copywrote his first song, "Auto Show Girl,"" with lyrics by David Dyrenforth."
June 28, 1902
In 1902, composer Richard Charles Rodgers was born in New York City.
June 19, 1944
In 1944 Williamson Music published "We're on Our Way,"" written by Rodgers & Hammerstein and dedicated to the U.S. Army Infantry."
June 05, 2010
In 2005, Adam Guettel, grandson of Richard Rodgers and son of Mary Rodgers, won the Tony for his score to THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA as its composer.
June 03, 1942
In 1942, Rodger & Hart's BY JUPITER premiered in New York at the Shubert Theatre. The show ran for 427 performances.
May 18, 1961
In 1961 THE SOUND OF MUSIC opened at the Palace Theatre, London. Did you know? Thirteen-year-old Andrew Lloyd Webber got to attend the opening because of a fan letter he had written to Richard Rodgers.
May 13, 1975
In 1975 the musical revue RODGERS & HART, conceived by Richard Lewine and John Fearnley, premiered at the Helen Hayes Theater and ran for 108 performances. The show featured over fifty songs composed by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Lorenz Hart.
May 11, 1938
In 1938, Rodger & Hart's musical I MARRIED AN ANGEL had its New York premiere at the Shubert Theatre. The show ran for 290 performances.
April 29, 1947
In 1947 OKLAHOMA! opened at the Theatre Royal in London. The theater would be continuously occupied by one Rodgers & Hammerstein musical after another for the next nine years.
April 26, 2012
The birthday of William Shakespeare! Rodgers & Hart's musical THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE (1938) marked the first time that Shakespeare was adapted for Broadway. Based on THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, the story brings not just one but two sets of estranged twins into a series of near-collisions, resulting in a major case of mistaken identity. Hart's lyrics throw in further Shakespearean references, as in the song "This Can't Be Love"" : ""Though your cousin loved my cousin Juliet / Loved her with a passion much more truly yet / Some poor playwright / Wrote their drama just for fun. / It won't run!"""
April 14, 1937
In 1937 Rodgers & Hart's musical BABES IN ARMS had its New York premier at the Shubert Theatre before moving to the Majestic Theatre for a total of 289 performances.
March 31, 1957
In 1957 Rodgers & Hammerstein's only musical for television, CINDERELLA, was broadcast live on CBS-TV before an estimated audience of 107 million. Julie Andrews starred in the role of Cinderella.
March 31, 1943
Did you know? Richard Rodgers' first major collaborator, Lorenz Hart, lived long enough to see his partner find new success with Oscar Hammerstein II. After the New York Premier of Rodgers & Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA! Hart embraced Rodgers and exclaimed, "Dick, I've never had a better evening in my life! This show will still be around twenty years from now!"""
March 27, 1990
In 1990 Broadway's 46th Street Theatre was renamed the Richard Rodgers Theatre, housing a permanent exhibit devoted to the composer's life and works.
March 26, 1968
In 1968 at Philharmonic (now Avery Fisher) Hall in New York, Skitch Henderson and Richard Rodgers conducted the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and an all-star cast in the silver anniversary concert of OKLAHOMA!
March 18, 1965
In 1965, DO I HEAR A WALTZ? - a collaboration between Richard Rodgers, Arthur Laurents, and Stephen Sondheim - opened at 46th Street Theater (now the Richard Rodgers Theater) where it ran for 220 performances.
March 15, 1962
Richard Rodgers did not write his first professional score with his own lyrics and music until he was sixty years old. The show was NO STRINGS - a love story whose leads Rodgers cast as an interracial couple, played by Richard Kiley and Diahann Carroll. NO STRINGS opened on this day in 1962 at the 54th Street Theatre.
March 11, 1943
In 1943, the world premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein's first musical AWAY WE GO! was presented at the Shubert Theatre, New Haven. Moving on to Boston, it acquired a new show-stopping number. This becomes the title song when the production opened on Broadway as the classic OKLAHOMA!
March 08, 1919
In 1919 UP STAGE AND DOWN featured the first songs written together by 17-year-old composer Richard C. Rodgers and 24-year-old lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II: "Weaknesses"", ""Can It"", and ""There's Always Room for One More"". The show was an amateur musical comedy written to benefit the Infants Relief Society, and it played for one night in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel's Grand Ballroom."
March 05, 1930
In 1930, Richard Rodgers married Dorothy Feiner.
January 11, 1931
Did you Know? At the 1960 Tony Awards Mary Rodgers found her musical ONCE UPON A MATTRESS competing against a show by her father Richard Rodgers - THE SOUND OF MUSIC - for the category of Best Musical!
January 11, 1931
The birthday of Mary Rodgers, daughter of Richard Rodgers. She wrote the musicals ONCE UPON A MATTRESS (1959), THE MAD SHOW (1966), a song for WORKING (1978), and contributed to the album FREE TO BE?YOU AND ME (1972). She is also the writer of the children's book "Freaky Friday."" In 1964 she gave birth to Adam Guettel, future composer of THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA."
January 11, 1954
In 1954, Richard Rodgers received an honorary Doctorate in Music, and Oscar Hammerstein II, in Letters, from their alma mater Columbia University.
January 05, 1980
In 1980, Broadway theatre marquees were blacked out for one minute at curtain time on Saturday evening in memory of Richard Rodgers, who died at the age of 77 the previous Sunday.