Oscar Hammerstein I
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Did you know? Oscar Hammerstein I, the grandfather of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, was a major impresario and theater builder in New York in the late 19th Century. Though many of his theaters are no longer standing, Hammerstein?s legacy can still be found in today?s New York. The HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM, a popular rock venue, is housed in what was formerly his Manhattan Opera House; the The New Victory Theater on West 42nd Street, specializing in theater for young audiences, was originally his Victory; and his namesake theater built by his son Arthur Hammerstein is today the Ed Sullivan Theater and home to the Late Show with David Letterman.
Did you know? Searching for a way to begin what would become the musical OKLAHOMA! Oscar Hammerstein II turned to playwright Lynn Rigg's stage directions for GREEN GROW THE LILACS, on which OKLAHOMA! would be based: "It is a radiant summer morning several years ago, the kind of morning which, enveloping the shapes of earth - men, cattle in the meadow, blades of the young corn, streams - makes them seem to exist now for the first time, their images giving off a visible golden emanation that is partly true and partly a trick of imagination, focusing to keep alive a loveliness that may pass away."" From this inspiration, Hammerstein drew his lyrics for ""Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'."""