Rodgers & Hammerstein Blog RSS feed http://www.rnh.com/blog.rss Rodgers & Hammerstein Blog RSS feed en Nigel Williams Details How He Brought CARRIE THE MUSICAL To Chadwick School http://www.rnh.com/blog/101/Nigel-Williams-Details-How-He-Brought-CARRIE-THE-MUSICAL-To-Chadwick-School 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_101 <a href="http://www.rnh.com/lrf-license-request.html?type=show&title=Carrie-the-musical&cid=594032">LICENSE CARRIE THE MUSICAL</a><br /><p class="MsoNormal"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark /> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning /> <w:DontFlipMirrorIndents /> <w:OverrideTableStyleHps /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math" /> <m:brkBin m:val="before" /> <m:brkBinSub m:val="--" /> <m:smallFrac m:val="off" /> <m:dispDef /> <m:lMargin m:val="0" /> <m:rMargin m:val="0" /> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup" /> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440" /> <m:intLim m:val="subSup" /> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr" /> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal">I've always been interested in taking on <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/318/Carrie-the-musical">CARRIE THE MUSICAL</a>. It has all the right ingredients to really engage and affect a teenage audience: a story about teenagers and peer pressure and bullying, parental pressure and protection. The rites of passage; change from girl to woman and the stirrings of passion and love and the extra zing of the possibility of the supernatural as manifest in Carrie's telekinesis. Add to this formula the truly beautiful and timeless songs and I knew that this was a recipe for success. The new grungy manifestation of the introductory number “In” was a genius touch and really put the show back in touch with zeitgeist feelings of isolation, angst and identity that have been clearly explored in wonderful new work like <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Spring Awakening</em> and the play <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Columbinus</em>. I met <a href="http://www.rnh.com/bio/43/Pitchford-Dean">Dean Pitchford</a> at an education conference in San Diego in 2012 and I knew then that I needed to try and tell this story.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">My concept for the show was centered on HOPE and being inside Carrie's mind. I understand that it is a retrospective by Sue Snell (and I used a small zombie student group to interrogate her and be an ever-present reminder to the audience how students had died, that the story was over and the ending settled), but I really felt I wanted to tell a story that could have ended differently.</p><dl class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 410px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/8184/Carrie%201.jpg"><img class="center " title="Carrie 1" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/8184/Carrie%201.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="265" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Chadwick School – CARRIE THE MUSICAL</dd></dl><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Most people know the general outline of the story from either the book, the classic original movie or the new movie. I wanted to make what was familiar to them feel strange. What Brecht would call “verfremdungseffect.” I really wanted the audience to feel that Carrie could make it and that she was not her mother, or going to be oppressed by her mother. I wanted them to think instead that she was her own girl who would find a way (prompted by Ms Gardner) to break free. I wanted the audience to feel the same things that I see when I watch a great production of <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Crucible</em> and just hope that John Proctor will tell the truth at the end, instead of lying for his wife, and that all will be all right.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The idea of hope and being inside Carrie's mind really opened up the ensemble nature of the show. Not only could I use the larger ensemble to populate the school scenes, but now they could be a part of Carrie's sung soliloquys. Carrie's songs became realizations of what her life could be and that numbers like “Carrie” and “Why Not Me?” can be incredibly powerful ensemble songs.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I wasn't always sure that this would work, and was always afraid that the intimacy of our relationship with Carrie would be compromised and lost by doing this. Fortunately, this idea of Carrie dreaming of a better life actually made her an incredibly sympathetic character in our show.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">There are also other numbers that allow a larger cast to flourish. We had a hugely powerful angelic choir in “Open Your Heart.” I used the ensemble on the bleachers to choreographically egg on and comment on the two pairs in “Do Me a Favor.” I used the zombie group as observers in perhaps my favorite so<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>ng, “Once You See.” I also kept Carrie on stage during this song and it became a conversation between Sue and Carrie (in Sue's mind) and was truly moving and poignant.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Design wise, I opted for a very large and slightly raked and flat floor, built-in receding perspective lines, all bordered by disproportionately large school lockers. We are in Sue's mind, so I wanted a surreal, nightmarish quality at all times. The zombies often stood on top of these lockers in their omnipresent role, and made their entrances and exits via the lockers. I wanted the space to be big enough to take 40 students, flexible enough to become all our locations and yet—in a Greek theater style—be open and uncluttered enough to make those simple, intimate scenes of mother and daughter incredibly exposed and vulnerable (in the way the simple white box did in the original 1988 Stratford production). The whole set was distressed and fire-damaged, again supporting the notion of a story told in retrospect. We used six plain, wooden benches to become everything needed in the classroom, bleachers or a party. We used a simple wooden table and two chairs to impart the frugal and simple way of life of Carrie and her mother.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I thought about many ways of creating the important moments of telekinesis. Initially, I explored getting the zombies to move objects and using people as ghosts, but it wasn't working for me. I felt the flashes of telekinesis need to be powerful and magical. I chose for Carrie to levitate the chair in her house, move the books of the table in the library and levitate her own mother at the end of Act 1 as the ultimate sign of her new power and control. These were simple, but well-lit tricks that were totally convincing. The chair was levitated by fishing gut. We placed an upside down remote control car underneath false books, so they shot off the table. The Act I levitation was created by a flying company we brought in to train us: SFX. We also had Billy be hanged during the prom, while Chris and Tommy were lifted and thrown offstage with dynamic tumbling as they left by the flying company. These were “audience gasp moments.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The most audible gasp of the night came when Margaret entered, holding Carrie's cardigan which concealed a knife in the song “Carrie (reprise).” I tried a further trick here in that I wanted the knife in Margaret's hand to somehow pay homage to the film moment and fly away. I tried attaching gut to it and having it reeled in to the roof grid on fishing tackle, but it just wasn't working and became dangerous. In the end, the knife was thrown to the floor and I paid more attention to Margaret's heart being crushed. To do this, we had the actress playing Margaret collapse a sandwich bag full of blood against her chest. That moment, along with the blood being dropped during the prom, caused a huge gasp night after night.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The background projections were an integral part of the show. We used scene locators for each scene, but there were some wonderful specialties, including the giant light bulb during the interrogation scenes and the huge, unfocused image of Carrie with bloody hands oppressing Sue Snell. I took the theme of a burnt yearbook and all the projections were set at obtuse angles and were framed with a scorched border. They tell their own narrative story and had some poignant moments, like the burning of the page in the yearbook with the students’ photos. The projections also allowed the “Destruction” to be fully immersive as animated flames covered the walls of the theater. It also set up the final scene in the graveyard during the Epilogue.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I had the whole cast return to the stage for the final moments. I created a secret, concealed trap door downstage. During “Epilogue,” we used dry ice to drag a wooden grave framed with foam—to imply new earth—covered with mulch and, of course, a gravestone in the style of the movie.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The grave was placed over the trapdoor and a stage hand waited in the trapdoor wearing a pink prom glove. There were three feet of clearance under the trapdoor and the hand shot up and dragged Sue Snell down. It was an extremely special moment and a lovely homage to the movie.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The other thing that I want to tell you was that using a diverse and age-appropriate cast made the story extremely authentic. The young cast really related to the characters and issues and imparted a truthfulness and immediacy to the story.</p><dl class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 410px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/8185/Carrie%202.jpg"><img class="center " title="Carrie 2" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/8185/Carrie%202.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="265" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Chadwick School – CARRIE THE MUSICAL</dd></dl><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I think this is the most wonderful high school story with music and songs that are vibrant, relevant and mesmeric. We are a well-resourced school with a beautiful space and I have a wonderful team of musicians and technicians around me, but I think the heart of this story is the characters, relationships and the dialogue spoken and sung between them.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I have to say that as we rehearsed in the dance studio without the benefit of lighting, set or staging trickery, the story itself held true and was totally engaging. A school can perform these wonderful words and create these charismatic and authentic characters in a hall without anything and the story will still engage and astound. In many respects, I feel we created two different shows: one with and without technical support. In some respects, I almost prefer the stripped-down tale of a young, ordinary girl with extraordinary powers and a parent <a name="_GoBack"></a>distraught over losing her daughter to growing up. Many of us have been there.</p><div id="_mcePaste" class="mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG /> <o:TargetScreenSize>800x600</o:TargetScreenSize> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> <p class="MsoNormal">I've always been interested in taking on CARRIE THE MUSICAL. It has all the right ingredients to really engage and affect a teenage audience: a story about teenagers and peer pressure and bullying, parental pressure and protection. The rites of passage; change from girl to woman and the stirrings of passion and love and the extra zing of the possibility of the supernatural as manifest in Carrie's telekinesis. Add to this formula the truly beautiful and timeless songs and I knew that this was a recipe for success. The new grungy manifestation of the introductory number “In” was a genius touch and really put the show back in touch with zeitgeist feelings of isolation, angst and identity that have been clearly explored in wonderful new work like <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Spring Awakening</em> and the play <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Columbinus</em>. I met <a style="mso-comment-reference: DL_1; mso-comment-date: 20160614T1659;">Dean Pitchford </a><span class="MsoCommentReference"><span style="font-size: 8.0pt; line-height: 107%;"><a id="_anchor_1" class="msocomanchor" name="_msoanchor_1" href="#_msocom_1">[DL1]</a><span style="mso-special-character: comment;"></span></span></span>at an education conference in San Diego in 2012 and I knew then that I needed to try and tell this story.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">My concept for the show was centered on HOPE and being inside Carrie's mind. I understand that it is a retrospective by Sue Snell (and I used a small zombie student group to interrogate her and be an ever-present reminder to the audience that students had died and that the story was over and the ending settled), but I really felt I wanted to tell a story that could have ended differently.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Most people know the general outline of the story from either the book, the classic original movie or the new movie. I wanted to make what was familiar to them feel strange. What <a style="mso-comment-reference: DL_2; mso-comment-date: 20160614T1702;">Brecht </a><span class="MsoCommentReference"><span style="font-size: 8.0pt; line-height: 107%;"><a id="_anchor_2" class="msocomanchor" name="_msoanchor_2" href="#_msocom_2">[DL2]</a><span style="mso-special-character: comment;"></span></span></span>would call “verfremdungseffect.” I really wanted the audience to feel that Carrie could make it and that she was not her mother, or going to be oppressed by her mother. I wanted them to think instead that she was her own girl who would find a way (prompted by Ms Gardner) to break free. I wanted the audience to feel the same things that I see when I watch a great production of <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">The Crucible</em> and just hope that John Proctor will tell the truth at the end, instead of lying for his wife, and that all will be all right.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The idea of hope and being inside Carrie's mind really opened up the ensemble nature of the show. Not only could I use the larger ensemble to populate the school scenes, but now they could be a part of Carrie's sung soliloquys. Carrie's songs became realizations of what her life could be and that numbers like “Carrie” and “Why Not Me?” can be incredibly powerful ensemble songs.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I wasn't always sure that this would work, and was always afraid that the intimacy of our relationship with Carrie would be compromised and lost by doing this. Fortunately, this idea of Carrie dreaming of a better life actually made her an incredibly sympathetic character in our show.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">There are also other numbers that allow a larger cast to flourish. We had a hugely powerful angelic choir in “Open Your Heart.” I used the ensemble on the bleachers to choreographically egg on and comment on the two pairs in “Do Me a Favor.” I used the zombie group as observers in perhaps my favorite so<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>ng, “Once You See.” I also kept Carrie on stage during this song and it became a conversation between Sue and Carrie (in Sue's mind) and was truly moving and poignant.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Design wise, I opted for a very large and slightly raked and flat floor, built-in receding perspective lines, all bordered by disproportionately large school lockers. We are in Sue's mind, so I wanted a surreal, nightmarish quality at all times. The zombies often stood on top of these lockers in their omnipresent role, and made their entrances and exits via the lockers. I wanted the space to be big enough to take 40 students, flexible enough to become all our locations and yet—in a Greek theater style—be open and uncluttered enough to make those simple, intimate scenes of mother and daughter incredibly exposed and vulnerable (in the way the simple white box did in the original 1988 Stratford production). The whole set was distressed and fire-damaged, again supporting the notion of a story told in retrospect. We used six plain, wooden benches to become everything needed in the classroom, bleachers or a party. We used a simple wooden table and two chairs to impart the frugal and simple way of life of Carrie and her mother.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I thought about many ways of creating the important moments of telekinesis. Initially, I explored getting the zombies to move objects and using people as ghosts, but it wasn't working for me. I felt the flashes of telekinesis need to be powerful and magical. I chose for Carrie to levitate the chair in her house, move the books of the table in the library and levitate her own mother at the end of Act 1 as the ultimate sign of her new power and control. These were simple, but well-lit tricks that were totally convincing. The chair was levitated by fishing gut. We placed an upside down remote control car underneath false books, so they shot off the table. The Act I levitation was created by a flying company we brought in to train us: SFX. We also had Billy be hanged during the prom, while Chris and Tommy were lifted and thrown offstage with dynamic tumbling as they left by the flying company. These were “audience gasp moments.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The most audible gasp of the night came when Margaret entered, holding Carrie's cardigan which concealed a knife in the song “Carrie (reprise).” I tried a further trick here in that I wanted the knife in Margaret's hand to somehow pay homage to the film moment and fly away. I tried attaching gut to it and having it reeled in to the roof grid on fishing tackle, but it just wasn't working and became dangerous. In the end, the knife was thrown to the floor and I paid more attention to Margaret's heart being crushed. To do this, we had the actress playing Margaret collapse a sandwich bag full of blood against her chest. That moment, along with the blood being dropped during the prom, caused a huge gasp night after night.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The background projections were an integral part of the show. We used scene locators for each scene, but there were some wonderful specialties, including the giant light bulb during the interrogation scenes and the huge, unfocused image of Carrie with bloody hands oppressing Sue Snell. I took the theme of a burnt yearbook and all the projections were set at obtuse angles and were framed with a scorched border. They tell their own narrative story and had some poignant moments, like the burning of the page in the yearbook with the students’ photos. The projections also allowed the “Destruction” to be fully immersive as animated flames covered the walls of the theater. It also set up the final scene in the graveyard during the Epilogue.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I had the whole cast return to the stage for the final moments. I created a secret, concealed trap door downstage. During “Epilogue,” we used dry ice to drag a wooden grave framed with foam—to imply new earth—covered with mulch and, of course, a gravestone in the style of the movie.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The grave was placed over the trapdoor and a stage hand waited in the trapdoor wearing a pink prom glove. There were three feet of clearance under the trapdoor and the hand shot up and dragged Sue Snell down. It was an extremely special moment and a lovely homage to the movie.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The other thing that I want to tell you was that using a diverse and age-appropriate cast made the story extremely authentic. The young cast really related to the characters and issues and imparted a truthfulness and immediacy to the story.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I think this is the most wonderful high school story with music and songs that are vibrant, relevant and mesmeric. We are a well-resourced school with a beautiful space and I have a wonderful team of musicians and technicians around me, but I think the heart of this story is the characters, relationships and the dialogue spoken and sung between them.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I have to say that as we rehearsed in the dance studio without the benefit of lighting, set or staging trickery, the story itself held true and was totally engaging. A school can perform these wonderful words and create these charismatic and authentic characters in a hall without anything and the story will still engage and astound. In many respects, I feel we created two different shows: one with and without technical support. In some respects, I almost prefer the stripped-down tale of a young, ordinary girl with extraordinary powers and a parent <a name="_GoBack"></a>distraught over losing her daughter to growing up. Many of us have been there.</p> <div style="mso-element: comment-list;"><hr class="msocomoff" size="1" /><div style="mso-element: comment;"><div id="_com_1" class="msocomtxt"><span style="mso-comment-author: "David Loughner";"><a name="_msocom_1"></a></span> <p class="MsoCommentText"><span class="MsoCommentReference"><span style="font-size: 8.0pt;"><span style="mso-special-character: comment;"><a class="msocomoff" href="#_msoanchor_1">[DL1]</a></span></span></span>Hyperlink to his bio on the R&H site.</p></div></div> <div style="mso-element: comment;"><div id="_com_2" class="msocomtxt"><span style="mso-comment-author: "David Loughner";"><a name="_msocom_2"></a></span> <p class="MsoCommentText"><span class="MsoCommentReference"><span style="font-size: 8.0pt;"><span style="mso-special-character: comment;"><a class="msocomoff" href="#_msoanchor_2">[DL2]</a></span></span></span>I had to look this up….</p></div></div></div> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> 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Number 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Number 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Number 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Number 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" QFormat="true" Name="Title" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Closing" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Signature" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Default Paragraph Font" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text Indent" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Continue" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Continue 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Continue 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Continue 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Continue 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Message Header" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Salutation" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Date" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text First Indent" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text First Indent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Note Heading" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text Indent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text Indent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Block Text" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Hyperlink" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="FollowedHyperlink" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" QFormat="true" Name="Strong" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Document Map" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Plain Text" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="E-mail Signature" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Top of Form" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Bottom of Form" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Normal (Web)" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Acronym" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Address" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Cite" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Code" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Definition" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Keyboard" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Preformatted" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Sample" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Typewriter" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Variable" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Normal Table" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="annotation subject" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="No List" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Outline List 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Outline List 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Outline List 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Simple 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Simple 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Simple 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Classic 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Classic 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Classic 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Classic 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Colorful 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Colorful 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Colorful 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Columns 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Columns 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Columns 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Columns 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Columns 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 7" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 8" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 7" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 8" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table 3D effects 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table 3D effects 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table 3D effects 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Contemporary" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Elegant" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Professional" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Subtle 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Subtle 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Web 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Web 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Web 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Balloon Text" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="Table Grid" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Theme" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" Name="Placeholder Text" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" Name="Revision" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" QFormat="true" Name="Quote" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Bibliography" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="41" Name="Plain Table 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="42" Name="Plain Table 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="43" Name="Plain Table 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="44" Name="Plain Table 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="45" Name="Plain Table 5" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="40" Name="Grid Table Light" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 1" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 2" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 3" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 4" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 4" /> 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<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 6" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 6" /> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !supportAnnotations]--><!--[endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;} --> <!--[endif] --></div> What Is It Like to Sail Away With Broadway on the High Seas? http://www.rnh.com/blog/99/What-Is-It-Like-to-Sail-Away-With-Broadway-on-the-High-Seas 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_99 <p style="text-align: left;">*This feature first appeared online at <a href="http://www.playbill.com/article/come-sail-away-come-sail-away-come-sail-away-with-me-lads">Playbill.com</a></p><p style="text-align: left;">I am in awe of performers. And I was never as awed as I was last week. Phil Birsh called a few months ago and asked me to lunch. Aside from the magazine he publishes, he has expanded the Playbill brand in interesting ways, including Playbill Cruises. He had done several, he said, and he now wanted to “theme” one – and Rodgers & Hammerstein was his choice. OK with me, I said. He wanted me to come along and give a talk, and help with the choice of singers. Phil is persuasive.</p><div style="height: 0px;"></div><dl id="image_735015" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 410px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7950/Ted%20Playbill%20Cruise.jpg"><img class="center " title="Ted Playbill Cruise" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7950/Ted%20Playbill%20Cruise.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="225" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Ted Chapin and John McDaniel (Photo by Julie Sisson)</dd></dl><p>The itinerary and the ship were both superb (I wasn’t paid to say that…) and six Broadway singers along with a few similarly talented “special guests” and an ace musical director came along. During the week, each singer had a solo night, and then everyone appeared in the last night’s finale – an all-R&H program. Each singer brought to the morning’s rehearsal a couple of R&H songs, most of which were already in their repertoire. The one-man orchestra John McDaniel had chosen an opening and a closing.</p><p>My awe began with each of the solo performances. These are Broadway artists, with rosters of credits. But since jobs still come and go, each one has at least one “suitcase” show – a collection of songs that mean something to them, that they can perform well, and get connected by banter that makes the audience feel comfortable, informed, and included. And the “charts,” or arrangements, get carried in a suitcase – or today, often in a laptop. There is more than one evening’s worth of them in everyone’s suitcase or laptop. But the ease with which they spoke about the choices during the rehearsals belied the intensity and skill of the performances themselves. These were people flexing their considerable muscles, granted to a focused audience, but each night as those cruise folk lept to their feet (and truth be told, occasionally during a show…) it was appropriate to be in awe.</p><p>The roster was Karen Mason, Christine Ebersole, Laura Osnes, Tony Yazbeck, and Liz Callaway. Each different, each extraordinary – and each show pulled together the morning of the performance. It should be mentioned that the night between Ebersole and Osnes belonged to comedian Lewis Black, whose insults had everyone on the floor…</p><p>Because I provide interstitial R&H tidbits between singers during the finale, I got to watch them all pull it together. What a lesson in talent, generosity, speed, and humor. Sight reading through an opening medley (actually taken from A Grand Night for Singing, a R&H revue that we license) and the closing (the song “Oklahoma” in the original show arrangement), the cast leaned in around the piano, listening to their harmony lines, some recording their parts on iPhones to study in the afternoon, interacting with each other. As McDaniel gave simple directions, he shifted harmonies and lines to people more appropriate – like changing Christine Ebersole’s line in “Oklahoma” (“Shouldn’t Tony sing ‘startin’ as a farmer with a brand new wife?’ He’s the farmer, not me!”). Once that rehearsal was over, McDaniel ran through the solos – and they were pretty extraordinary - some were intricate and moody, some silly, some were right out of the shows. Occasionally the arrangements were just lead sheets, so McDaniel had to fill in the right chords, which he did effortlessly. The singers were joined by co-host Christine Pedi and guest Howard McGillin. And guest Bryan Batt started off the performance with a hilarious piece of special material.</p><p>When the final evening arrived, you would have thought the performance had been rehearsed for days. The combination of first-class performers doing first class material was pretty unbeatable. My cabin mate – my twin brother who doesn’t trade in show business – commented that he had never thought the song “Oklahoma” could ever be emotional, but he felt a surge when it was over.</p><p>Of course all this took place in a version of paradise. One week on a ship small enough to accommodate a nice group of like-minded theatre fans (290 in all) as it glided from one gorgeous Caribbean port to another. The guests were both respectful of the entertainers and yet curious enough to engage in conversation. It really was awe-inspiring. Oh, and one person asked me how she could invest in a Broadway show.</p><p>So my hat is off to you, Phil, and your amazing crew. Wherever the idea came for these Playbill cruises, give that person another rum punch!</p> Oh! What A Beautiful Movie! http://www.rnh.com/blog/98/Oh-What-A-Beautiful-Movie 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_98 <p><a href="http://www.rnh.com/news/1154/-OKLAHOMA---Returns-to-Cinema-Screens-for-60th-Anniversary-"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="0829movieposter" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7856/0829movieposter.jpg" alt="" width="186" height="267" /></a>It took more than a decade for Rodgers & Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA! to make it from the Broadway stage to the big screen. But when it did, not only the show, but the screen itself had never been bigger. Initially R&H were in no rush to have the first whopping megahit of their collaboration recreated on film. Richard Rodgers, working with Larry Hart, and Oscar Hammerstein, working with (among others) Jerome Kern and Sigmund Romberg, had not found Hollywood's working ways to their satisfaction. Even with the success of STATE FAIR (and it's best song Academy Award for "It Might As Well Be Spring") the two men were in no hurry to turn over artistic control so completely to any of the major motion picture studios. And they could afford to wait. OKLAHOMA! continued to be a smash on stages around the world. And as it did so did the anticipation for the movie it would someday make.</p><p>Determined to have the film adaptation be every bit as successful as the stage show<a href="http://www.rnh.com/news/1154/-OKLAHOMA---Returns-to-Cinema-Screens-for-60th-Anniversary-"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="bruce pic3" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7860/bruce%20pic3.jpg" alt="" width="175" height="215" /></a> they decided to produce it themselves, something no Broadway writers had ever done. But OKLAHOMA! was different. And Rodgers & Hammerstein became involved in every aspect of it's move to the big screen. Big indeed! Mike Todd, a Broadway and Hollywood producer had become involved in the new wide screen process known as Cinerama. When that deal fell through he followed up with his own wide screen process which he then called Todd-AO. Together Todd and Rodgers & Hammerstein and 20th Century Fox felt that the debut of this new technologywas perfect for the event that OKLAHOMA! as cinema was certain to be.</p><p><a href="http://www.rnh.com/news/1154/-OKLAHOMA---Returns-to-Cinema-Screens-for-60th-Anniversary-"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="brucepic2" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7858/brucepic2.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="210" /></a>A Hollywood director was necessary, and one might have thought that OKLAHOMA!''s original director, Ruben Mamoulian would surely be R&H's first choice. But the relationship had been a strained one, and the job ultimately went to Fred Zinnemann. Although Arthur Hornblow, Jr. had the producer's credit, R&H continued to call the shots. Agnes de Mille was retained to recreate her legendary choreography, Jay Blackton conducted, as he did on Broadway, and Robert Russell Bennett was called in to orchestrate Rodgers' score. (Actually Bennett did only the prescoring work on the songs themselves. Much of the postscoring work was handled under the supervision of Adolph Deutch and his team of arrangers which included (among others) Alexander Courage and Johnny Greene.)</p><p>The cast was an extraordinary team of Broadway and Hollywood talent: Gordon MacRae (Curly), Gloria Grahame (Ado Annie), Gene Nelson (Will Parker), Charlotte Greenwood (Aunt Eller) Rod Steiger (Jud Fry) - and one newcomer - Shirley Jones as Laurey. Together they brought new vitality and fine vocal performances to characters who were familiar to the more than ten million people who had already seen the stage show.<a href="http://www.rnh.com/news/1154/-OKLAHOMA---Returns-to-Cinema-Screens-for-60th-Anniversary-"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="oklahoma!bruce1" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7857/oklahoma!bruce1.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="200" /></a></p><p>Because Todd-AO was not available in all movie theaters each scene of the film had to be shot twice - once in the new Todd-AO process and once again in standard Cinemascope. Both prints are beautiful and available on video. But nothing matches the power of this big-hearted musical on the big screen. And if OKLAHOMA! as a film did not quite meet the expectations it had cut out for itself, it is certainly one of the truest and most successful adaptations of a Broadway show that had been made up to that point. The movies of <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/97/South-Pacific">SOUTH PACIFIC</a>, <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/60/THE-KING-AND-I">THE KING AND I</a> and <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/95/The-Sound-of-Music">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> were all to follow, but <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a> led the way.</p><p>This November, the Academy Award®-winning Hollywood musical OKLAHOMA! returns to theaters nationwide for the first time in wide release in 60 years fully restored and with an extended pre-show featurette featuring Okie native Kristin Chenoweth singing songs from the classic musical based on the <a href="http://www.rnh.com/bio/175/Rodgers-Richard">Richard Rodgers</a> and <a href="http://www.rnh.com/bio/154/Hammerstein%20II-Oscar">Oscar Hammerstein II</a> stage production.</p><p>Tickets for the OKLAHOMA! special event are available now at participating theater box offices and online at <a href="http://www.oklahoma60.com">www.Oklahoma60.com</a>.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.oklahoma60.com/"><img class="center aligncenter" style="margin: 5px;" title="OKmarcusDigiPoster" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7859/OKmarcusDigiPoster.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> Highland Farm http://www.rnh.com/blog/97/Highland-Farm 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_97 <p>It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with <a href="http://www.rnh.com/bio/154/Hammerstein-II-Oscar">Oscar Hammerstein</a>’s work that he loved the country. Nature in all its aspects played a large role in the imagery of his words. His work with <a href="http://www.rnh.com/bio/175/Rodgers-Richard">Richard Rodgers</a> alone, from the “…bright, golden haze on the meadow…” to “…follow every rainbow…” is full of the outdoors and everything in it.</p><p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7776/3026-OHII-Dylstwn-1944.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="3026-OHII-Dylstwn-1944" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7776/3026-OHII-Dylstwn-1944.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="317" /></a>And so it was that in 1940, he went looking for a place of his own in the country, and came across an 18th Century farmhouse in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It was on the market - with its surrounding 62 acres - for $23,000. As he and his wife Dorothy drove up East Street in Doylestown, it is said that a rainbow appeared, which he took as a sign. The place became theirs, and for many years Highland Farm became the hub of Oscar’s family life. Family members came and went, played tennis, swam in the (innovative for the time) concrete swimming pool, played games, and enjoyed each other’s company. Friends visited – perhaps most interestingly Pearl Buck and young Jimmy’s classmate Stevie Sondheim – and collaborators made the trek for discussions about various projects away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Richard Rodgers came one day when his professional relationship with Lorenz Hart was showing signs of strain, to seek Hammerstein’s advice. The rest, as they say, is history. </p><p>Oscar died in the house in 1960, and shortly afterward, Dorothy sold it. Sometime in the 1980’s, I got a call at the office telling me it was back on the market, for $200,000. I pulled out Hugh Fordin’s book GETTING TO KNOW HIM, flipped to the aerial photograph of the farm, and eagerly called Bill Hammerstein, Oscar’s oldest son and one of my bosses. I felt that at $200,000, which felt like a modest sum, it was worth someone in the family paying attention. “Do you have the aerial photograph in your hand?” asked Bill. “Yes,” I replied. “Do you see the tennis court?” “Yes,” I replied. “Well, there is a four lane highway there now. The property was effectively cut in two. That’s why the price is what it is.”<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7777/OH%20Farm%202.jpg"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="OH Farm 2" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7777/OH%20Farm%202.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="309" /></a></p><p>Still, I remained curious about the place. It turned out that Mary and John Schnitzer bought it and ran it as a bed and breakfast. They reached out to the office on occasion, but I never had reason enough to travel down to see it. It changed hands again, and then ended up owned by Christine Cole, who owns it to this day. She also was attracted to the bed and breakfast idea, and she rolled up her creative sleeves and restored the house sensitively and simply.</p><p>And so it was that when filmmaker Jo Ann Young was engaged to create a new film on Oscar for PBS - OUT OF HIS DREAMS - she contacted Christine about filming at the house. (Truth is that Jo Ann had previously filmed at the house, including a wonderful scene where she had James Hammerstein walk around the second floor balcony in the manner in which his father had many years before…) When Jo Ann asked me to do an interview, she mentioned we could do it in the house. “Would that be OK?” “Yes,” was the quick answer.</p><p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7780/3028-OHII%20at%20Doylestown.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="3028-OHII at Doylestown" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7780/3028-OHII%20at%20Doylestown.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="331" /></a>I confess that I drove right by the house on my first try. The bridge crossing over the highway starts right after the driveway, so I missed it entirely. But then I retraced by steps, found the sign, and drove in, around the circular drive that is so clear in the photograph. Wow, I thought, Highland Farm. For real.</p><p>The interview went well. When the show was aired, and I started to receive nice comments, I said with truthfulness that I was sitting in the living room of the house in which many of the great American musicals were born. How could it have gone badly? The vibe, most certainly, was more than good!</p><p>Christine has themed the bedrooms in the house to Hammerstein musicals. I can’t remember the one I was assigned, but across the hall was the room that had been Oscar’s study, and I recognized the corner at which he would write, at his standing desk, each day he was in residence.</p><p>Now Will Hammerstein, one of Oscar’s grandsons, is focused on making Highland Farm something important. His passion is palpable, and as someone who has been heading up the Rodgers and Hammerstein office for many years, I am thrilled to see him channeling a strong gene pool into new thoughts and plans for a place that had a far larger significance in American culture than we may realize.</p><p>In the meantime, Christine is a most welcoming host at Highland Farm. If you want a weekend in the country – apologies to Mr. Sondheim - it’s a lovely place to have one.</p><p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7778/OH_FarmHouse.jpg"><img class="center aligncenter" title="OH_FarmHouse" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7778/OH_FarmHouse.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="289" /></a></p> Re-imagined staging of Rodgers & Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA! is now playing at The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts http://www.rnh.com/blog/96/Re-imagined-staging-of-Rodgers-Hammerstein-s-OKLAHOMA-is-now-playing-at-The-Richard-B-Fisher-Center-for-the-Performing-Arts 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_96 <p><a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">Oklahoma!</a> was the first musical that the celebrated team of <a href="http://www.rnh.com/bio/175/Rodgers-Richard">Richard Rodgers</a> and <a href="http://www.rnh.com/bio/154/Hammerstein%20II-Oscar">Oscar Hammerstein II</a> wrote together. Now a new, experimental production at the Bard SummerScape Festival in upstate New York is taking a new look at the classic.</p><p>This re-imagined production of <em>Oklahoma! </em>features an intimate cast of nine and a six-member on-stage band with a country western inspired orchestration. The setting is designed to feel like a small town civic center with a spread of jamboree-style food which the audience partakes in at intermission.</p><p>“In 'Kansas City,' Will sings wonderingly about a stripper in a burlesque show. At first, he could have sworn that she was “padded from her head unto her heel.” But once she started taking off her clothes, “she proved that ev’rthin’ she had was absolutely real.” In stripping down a costume classic to a state of emotional nakedness, Mr. Fish allows us to experience a similar, equally gratified revelation about “<em>Oklahoma!</em>” –<strong><em>The New York Times</em></strong></p><p>Some of Fish's staging ideas are also very different, says Ted Chapin, President of Rodgers and Hammerstein. "If somebody said to me, 'We're thinking of doing this, what do you think of that?' I'm not sure I would've said, 'That's a good idea,' " Chapin says. "[Fish has] made a bold choice of what is really the scariest scene in the show — the confrontation between Jud and Curly."<em><br /></em></p><p>Learn more about the new exploratory esthetic being presented at the Bard SummerScape Festival from <em>The New York Times</em> and <em>NPR</em>.</p><p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/theater/review-oklahoma-preserves-a-classic-while-adding-punch.html?_r=0"><strong>THE NEW YORK TIMES - Review, July 5, 2015</strong></a></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=420578290&live=1">NPR - Feature, July 6, 2015</a></strong></p><dl class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 410px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7772/Oklahoma1.jpg"><img class="center " style="margin: 5px;" title="Oklahoma1" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7772/Oklahoma1.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="224" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Damon Daunno (Curly) and Amber Gray (Laurey) in “Oklahoma!” Photo Credit: Cory Weaver</dd></dl><p style="text-align: center;"></p><div style="height: 0px;"></div><dl id="image_730078" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 410px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7773/Oklahoma3.jpg"><img class="center " style="margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;" title="Oklahoma3" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7773/Oklahoma3.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="266" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Patrick Vaill (Jud) and Amber Gray (Laurey) in “Oklahoma!” Photo Credit: Cory Weaver</dd></dl><p></p><p style="text-align: center;"></p> The Last Night - Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella http://www.rnh.com/blog/95/The-Last-Night-Rodgers-Hammerstein-s-Cinderella 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_95 <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7525/725x200.jpg"><img class="center aligncenter" style="margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;" title="725x200" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7525/725x200.jpg" alt="" width="440" height="121" /></a></p><p>The closing of a show is usually a bittersweet moment. But this one was different - there really was nothing bitter here. For the cast, orchestra and crew, this ride had been a blast. And although show business in prone to hyperbole, with good faces so often placed on less than good moments, these were genuine feelings. The sense was gratitude. It had been a great place to work for two years, and everyone in the building – cast, orchestra, and the crew – enjoyed each other. They loved the show, and were honored to be part of it. And how can you not love a show where a stagehand keeps a running log of how many times the actor playing the Prince catches the shoe that one of the characters throws off stage at each performance? (Three categories: caught, missed, and blocked. Blocked by whom? Perhaps some jealous someone not part of the fun…?)</p><dl class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 210px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7528/cinderella%20closing.jpg"><img class="right " style="margin: 5px;" title="cinderella closing" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7528/cinderella%20closing.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="299" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Laura Osnes and Keke Palmer</dd></dl><p>Flash forward to December, 2012. Following several reading and workshops, the hip, purple-postered, modern tagged (“Glass slippers are so back”) and empowered version goes into rehearsal. Previews begin at the end of January, 2013. We all get a first look at Anna Louizas’ clever stage-filling but never overpowering sets, Kenny Posner’s miraculous lighting, and William Ivey Long’s ‘parade through historical notions of fairy tales made entirely original’ costumes. And we revel in the cast, every one diving into his or her role with relish, mischievousness, honesty, and passion. And audiences start to fall for Cinderella. Little girls with gowns and tiaras, parents getting caught up more than they thought they would, out of towners hanging on to a story they knew they would understand – and more surprising, perhaps, die-hard theater fans who are swept away by the genuine emotion and theatricality of the kind of show that Broadway simply does best.</p><p>Flash forward again to January 3, 2015. The planned closing, designed with the hope that it would go out with a holiday bang. As Charlotte says in a line from the script, “Good call there!” The grosses rose to Wicked/Lion King/Book of Mormon levels, as fans came back for the 20-something time, or just got to it in the nick of time. The performances on stage had been impeccably maintained, so the dancing was crisp, the humor sharp edged, and the music was glorious. It felt very much like a beginning, not an end. And with Broadway as the launching pad, this modern Cinderella is indeed beginning her long journey around the globe. The U.S. tour has already hit ten cities, and it doing blockbuster business. Plans are being discussed for other productions, even venturing into the world of “panto” where they have pre-conceived notions of how Cinderella is to behave. They wait to be surprised.</p><dl class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 410px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7529/Ted_Cinderella_1.JPG"><img class="center " style="margin: 5px;" title="Ted_Cinderella_1" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7529/Ted_Cinderella_1.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="300" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Producer Robyn Goodman giving the closing night curtain speech with the cast of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella”</dd></dl><p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Photo Credits: (Top -Monica Simoes; Bottom - Ted Chapin)</span></p> Directing CARRIE THE MUSICAL at New York Universtiy http://www.rnh.com/blog/94/Directing-CARRIE-THE-MUSICAL-at-New-York-Universtiy 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_94 <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7518/carr_nyu%20poster.jpg"><img class="center alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="carr_nyu poster" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7518/carr_nyu%20poster.jpg" alt="" width="225" height="347" /></a>I had never directed anything ever before in my entire life, but I knew that <em>Carrie</em>was a story that I could tell. I was first exposed to the original 1976 film by my mother when I was a pre-teen. She showed that movie to me because I was severely bullied as a child, and it helped me get through a lot of the difficulties that I faced growing up in the public school system in Chicago, Illinois. As I got older, the film stayed with me, and I had a special edition DVD version that had interviews with the actors and creatives. I remember Betty Buckley and Lawrence Cohen talking about <strong><a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/318/Carrie-the-musical">Carrie the musical</a></strong> which I never knew existed. I began to do research on the original production, and fell in love with it. I thought it was so artistic, and the music was like nothing I had ever heard before. Even back then as a young teenager I began to think of how I would direct the show or movie if I ever had the opportunity. As I got older, there were remakes of the movie and sequels, all of which I've seen, and I also read the King novel several times.</p><p>I then heard of a workshop of the revamped <strong>Carrie the musical</strong>that was going to happen in 2009, and I was so excited. That's when I was still in high school in Chicago. What a coincidence that my first year in NY as a freshman at NYU, the production would be mounted Off-Broadway. As soon as I heard the announcement, I e-mailed the Lucille Lortel begging to usher for the first preview. They granted my request, and I remember having to be there early while all the creatives were there talking to the cast, and I felt like I was a part of the conversation, even though I was in the audience preparing to usher and the company was onstage. Afterwards all the creatives said "Hi" to me too -- I can't quite describe the experience. It was a moment in which I knew that I was supposed to be exactly where I was. I got to usher and watch the show, and the whole time I couldn't believe that I was watching a production of <strong>Carrie the musical</strong>. It felt so surreal, and it's an experience that I won't soon forget.<br /><br />The production kept the material in my mind, and when I heard that the show was closing, I quickly purchased a ticket to the final performance. That was also a very visceral experience. I felt like I'd been on a journey with the show since I saw the first performance, ever, and then saw the final performance after all the changes. When the licensing for the show became available, I knew that I would do it at some point -- it was just a matter of when. I had to get my hands on the material. I noticed that every production of <em>Carrie</em> I saw -- whether on stage, or film -- was very unique. I, too, wanted to take the material and incorporate what I felt were the most important parts of the story using the book, the original movie, the material, and my history with it.<br /><br />I was able to direct <strong>Carrie the musical</strong> at NYU through our student directed series called StudentWorks. I wouldn't have rather had any other show for my first experience as a director, and after putting together a team of strong young artists, we submitted a proposal to the Department of Drama. StudentWorks is a new series at NYU that challenges students to put on a show with a $1,000 budget, with no outside fundraising. Our group and<strong>Carrie the musical</strong>was chosen to be the inaugural StudentWorks show at NYU. It was the perfect show to do on a smaller budget, and the fiscal challenges along with the small black box space made our team get very creative. I believe that a lot of the success of our production came from the creativity that we had to have given the circumstances. The show was wildly accepted and anticipated at NYU. Even during the proposal process, hundreds of students and teachers approached the production team members telling us how excited they were that this show might be coming to NYU. This is a show that young people want to do and are excited by. I'll never forget my experience directing <strong>Carrie the musical</strong>,and I know/ I'm positive this won't be the last time that I direct this material.</p><p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7521/carrie_ghost3.jpg"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="carrie_ghost3" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7521/carrie_ghost3.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="166" /></a></p><p>The decision to add in ghost characters supported our vision in a few ways. Primarily, we wanted to represent all the people that had been killed on May 28th in Chamberlain, ME. We envisioned our high school class as having about 32 students, but only 6 of them are instrumental in Sue’s storytelling and memory. The ghosts represent the forgotten students who lost their lives at Prom that night, thus they were dressed in destroyed -- burnt and tattered -- prom clothing. I personally didn’t want the show's crew to be seen, and thought it would be interesting instead to have the ghost characters manipulate the set as if it was Carrie’s magic working during the whole show. From that idea, I decided to have the ghosts present in every scene in which Carrie uses her powers. For instance, we had a ghost slam a light bulb against the wall in the shower scene, two ghosts come onstage to close the windows at the end of Act 1, a ghost manipulates the chair in the telekinesis scene, and of course, the ghosts figure in the destruction -- they became our theatrical vocabulary to illustrate her powers.</p><p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7519/Carrie_ghost1.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="Carrie_ghost1" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7519/Carrie_ghost1.jpg" alt="" width="150" height="225" /></a></p><p>We also used the ghosts to serve as Sue's interrogators. We also added them because we wanted to offer more opportunities for students, and didn’t want to increase the ensemble of 6 because the ensemble vocal line is written so beautifully. We didn’t want to disrupt what was written by adding more voices. All of the ghost’s interrogator lines were pre-recorded, and they never spoke in the show. They used their bodies to articulate all of their thoughts, and their inability to speak and stop the inevitable arc of the story to drive the motivation behind their movement. At the end of the play, the ghosts carried Margaret and Carrie’s bodies offstage to reset the space for Sue’s nightmare to repeat.</p><p>The blood: Given the small playing space and the amount of movement we wanted to have during the destruction, we thought it best not to drop blood onto Carrie as it wouldn’t be safe having liquid all over the stage. I came up with the idea of adding a cinematic quality to the blood drop. After the bucket turned, there was a blackout, and a booming sound cue that was followed by an audience blinder. There were three sets of blackouts and blinders with sound. During each blackout, Carrie would get progressively bloodier, and when the lights came up fully, we revealed a bloodied Carrie. This way, the audience got the essence of the blood drop as if it happened in<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7522/Carrie_Blood.jpg"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="Carrie_Blood" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7522/Carrie_Blood.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="166" /></a> slow motion during the blinders moments, and the actress playing Carrie had time to transform during the blackouts. This took all of 10 seconds. Carrie’s dress was built to transform from clean to bloody in a matter of seconds. Our costume designer, Martin Lara, built a trick skirt that was already bloodied on top of the regular skirt. That skirt was then rolled up and covered by a belt of the same color fabric that Carrie’s dress was made out of. There was also piece of bloody fabric in the bosom of the dress that the actress pulled out to cover the front of her dress. Finally, another actor handed the actress playing Carrie a blood pack, which she burst on her face and smeared the residue on her arm. And just like that, there was our completely bloodied Carrie! In between Carrie’s exit from the destruction and her arrival home, we had the actor playing Carrie bloody the crown of her head, apply more blood on her arms, and ditch the shoes.</p><p>As for our destruction climax, we decided not to go with a general, mass destruction, but instead, to pinpoint each character's death. There was no choreographed “dancing” at all in the destruction. All the students ran to the doors, and Carrie killed them one at a time, ending (of course) with Chris, and leaving Ms. Gardner alive to see <a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7523/carrie_climax1.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="carrie_climax1" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7523/carrie_climax1.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="166" /></a>Carrie walk out of the gym, and be killed by the explosion. Taking a cue from the original film, we also decided to single out Tommy being struck and killed by the falling bucket, as opposed to his just being killed in the wash of Carrie’s destruction. He fell to his death during the blackouts that transformed Carrie from radiant to bloody.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Photo Credits </strong>-</span><span style="font-size: x-small;">Director: Christopher D. Betts;</span><span style="font-size: x-small;">Set Designer: Matilda Sabal;</span><span style="font-size: x-small;">Lighting Designer: Kelley Shih;</span><span style="font-size: x-small;">Costume Designer: Martin Lara;</span><span style="font-size: x-small;">Photographer: Sub/Urban Photography</span></p><p></p> Stephen Sondheim’s Thoughts on ALLEGRO http://www.rnh.com/blog/93/Stephen-Sondheim-s-Thoughts-on-ALLEGRO 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_93 <p style="text-align: center;"></p><dl id="image_726565" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 402px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7515/NYCC_Allegro_1.jpg"><img class="center " title="ALLEGRO" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7515/NYCC_Allegro_1.jpg" alt="" width="392" height="254" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The 1994 Encores! production of Allegro—back when the cast lugged scripts and wore their own cocktail dresses.</dd></dl><p></p><p>A stripped-down revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s experimental 1947 musical <strong><a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/312/Allegro">Allegro</a> </strong>is currently playing at Classic Stage Company. It marks the first time the show has been seen in New York since a 1994 Encores! production that starred Stephen Bogardus, Karen Ziemba, Christine Ebersole, and Celeste Holm. On that revival's opening night—March 2, 1994—Stephen Sondheim spoke about the show’s formal innovations and his memories of working on the original <strong>Allegro</strong> (he was a gofer). Here are his remarks:</p><p>"<strong>Allegro</strong> was a seminal experience in my theatrical life, and luckily it coincided—rehearsals and out-of-town tryouts—with my summer vacation from college. Oscar said, “How would you like to work on it?” and for twenty-five dollars a week that’s what I did. I typed the script and got coffee. I listened to Agnes de Mille maltreat singers, and I watched the growth of this quite remarkable show. I might not be quite so attracted to experimental musicals if I hadn’t gotten my feet wet with <strong>Allegro</strong>.</p><p>It was, I believe, the first commercial attempt to tell an epic story in popular music terms—to tell an entire man’s life, not from birth to death but from birth to regeneration. It’s about a fellow who loses his way. It occurred to Oscar to use a Greek chorus as a Broadway chorus, not only to comment on the action but to explore the inner thoughts of the main characters."</p><p>Read more aboutStephen Sondheim's history with Rodgers & Hammerstein's <strong>Allegro</strong>on the NEW YORK CITY CENTER blog, <a href="http://www.nycitycenter.org/Home/Blog/December-2014/Sondheim-on-Allegro?fullsite=true">THE CENTER</a>.</p><div style="height: 0px;"></div><dl id="image_726566" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 402px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7516/NYCC_Allegro_2.jpg"><img class="center " title="ALLEGRO" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7516/NYCC_Allegro_2.jpg" alt="" width="392" height="254" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">The wedding scene from the Encores! production of Allegro.</dd></dl><p></p> Auckland http://www.rnh.com/blog/91/Auckland 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_91 <p>New Zealand is a long way to go to see a production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. But there were reasons for me to travel that far. Aside from it being one more step to world R&H domination, this is a production that has been carefully circumnavigating the globe. In the ever-important balance between art and commerce, this is a production with good artistic lineage that is attempting to create itself to be sufficiently efficient that it can go to places that are still learning about major productions of musicals – like China.</p> <p>Auckland is a fascinating city. It is large enough to boast one spectacular 2,600 seat theater, the Civic, that I was told can be seen in the most recent movie of King Kong. One of those old movie palaces that had a new stage house attached in order to receive bona fide shows, the Civic is ornate, decorated within an inch of its life, with stars and clouds swirling around the ceiling – projections, alas, since they stop when the house lights dim. But the tradition of the large travelling musical productions isn’t quite there as it is in so many other places in the world. Four weeks is about all you can get out of an Auckland run, and in the case of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, it was augmented by three weeks in Wellington prior. The economics are tight, so the pressure is on the producers and the presenters to keep everything lean, mean – and yet grand. Not an easy task. But this production succeeded, both with the critics and the audience. Credit and thanks to David Ian and Max Finbow who have been with this production from the very beginning, and James Cundall whose career is about finding Pacific places ready to receive big productions.</p> <p>The production began life in London where it filled the Palladium for two years. Cleverly redesigned for the exigencies of touring, it does what it should: give audiences the proper feel of the production, while in actuality, much of what was at the Palladium isn’t here. After all, the Palladium has one of the largest stages in the West End, and filling it was one task; adapting Robert Jones’ design for the easy in/easy out of touring is another thing altogether. One very smart move was to re-engage the Palladium’s Mother Abbess, opera star Lesley Garrett, who gave as clear, warm-hearted and big voiced a performance as she had several years ago in London. The rest of the cast – the von Trapp kids from Auckland, of course! – was mostly from South Africa, where this international production began its life.</p> <p>People often ask if I go and see every professional production of a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. Luckily, that would be impossible. And what makes it fun is that usually there are months, if not years, between the productions that I see. The last SOUND OF MUSIC I saw was last March in Chicago at the Lyric Opera, and I am not sure where the next one will be. But when it comes, I’ll be just as happy to travel to wherever it is playing as I was to make the trek to Auckland.</p> <p>Bejing, perhaps?</p> Stage Directions Magazine: High School Culture Wars http://www.rnh.com/blog/92/Stage-Directions-Magazine-High-School-Culture-Wars 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_92 <p>This blog is an excerpt from <a title="Stage Directions Magazine: High School Culture Wars" href="http://www.stage-directions.com/current-issue/6413-high-school-culture-wars.html">Stage Directions Magazine:</a></p> <p><strong><em>How three schools dealt with administrators stepping in to halt productions</em></strong></p> <p>The show must go on? When high school administrators and school board members don’t like the theatre director’s choice … maybe not.</p> <p>When a high school production gets cancelled, or is under threat to be, there are two for-sures: the teachers and students are shocked and surprised; and the action tends to draw media attention. <em>SD</em> spoke with three high school theatre directors in such a situation, and while they had three different outcomes, there are common threads to their experience: they all came out of the controversy stronger, wiser and proven correct that talented kids can handle mature, challenging material.</p> <p><strong><em>Carrie</em> at North Farmington Hills High School, Mich.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7455/Carrie_StageDirections.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px 10px;" title="Carrie_StageDirections" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7455/Carrie_StageDirections.jpg" alt="CARRIE the musical at North Farmington High School" width="250" height="373" /></a>“Ours was a compelling story, complete with controversy, whichended with our most successful production ever,” says Dean Cobb. Dean, who with his wife, Sue, has a long rich history of successful shows in North Farmington Hills, a suburb of Detroit. They chose to put on the musical<em>Carrie</em> this spring, thinking little about it beyond their excitement of being the first high school in the Midwest to put on this new work.</p> <p>“We felt that the show was written wonderfully, and would be good for our kids to do,” Sue said. The musical differs quite a bit from the gore-fest movie, and is more about the effects of bullying than the supernatural. “By the time they see Carrie so pleased to be at the prom, followed by the way she is treated, they are feeling awful for her. Audience members were crying.”</p> <p>But it almost didn’t happen. As work on the show started production, the Cobbs heard “smatterings” of concerns, and immediately let it be known they would meet with anyone who wanted to talk about it. The heat escalated when a small group of parents from the school district went to school board meetings and voiced their disapproval, pointing to some lyrics that were sexual (“getting laid”) and light drug references (“weed”). Dean rebutted their concerns at one school board meeting. “In my two minutes, I spoke about the last song (“What Does It Cost to Be Kind”) and mentioned some important thematic aspects of the show. I did say we’d never ‘make’ a kid say anything he or she was uncomfortable saying … though I’d never change the words, just give that [offending] line to another student.”</p> <p>They left that board meeting not only wondering if the show would go on but if it was worth fighting for. They had their answer when the drama group got together and they voted to keep going with the production. It ended in an emotional, applause-filled meeting. “When they decided that they weren’t going to shut it down, it was one of the neatest moments of my career,” Dean says.</p> <p>The story was picked up local TV stations and newspapers from San Francisco to Miami. In the media onslaught, the Cobbs got concerned when reporters were calling kids in the cast directly. “We told the parents that unless the kids are 18, direct those calls to us.”</p> <p>Meanwhile, to keep the production on track, the kids stepped into the fray. They grabbed onto the lyric phrase, “What does it cost to be kind?” and put it on wristbands. It became a rallying cry and that, with the Cobbs continuing to meeting with anyone with any concerns, kept the production on track.</p> <p>“We don’t do a show unless kids can learn something from it,” Dean says, an educator for four decades. “We’re proud that North Farmington has taken the big steps to prevent bullying in the school. This production made everyone more award of the ramifications of bullying.”</p> <p>“We feel that <em>Carrie</em> has its place in high school, and could be a viable addition to any high school theatre season,” adds Sue.</p> <p>“You may have some bumps along the way, but the message at the end is so dramatic and compelling that we believe it’s worthwhile,” finishes Dean.</p> <p></p> <h2><a title="Stage-Directions.com" href="http://www.stage-directions.com/current-issue/6413-high-school-culture-wars.html"><span style="color:white;"> READ THE FULL ARTCLE AT STAGE-DIRECTIONS.COM <http://STAGE-DIRECTIONS.COM> </span></a></h2> Bucks County Playhouse - A Grand Night Indeed http://www.rnh.com/blog/90/Bucks-County-Playhouse-A-Grand-Night-Indeed 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_90 <p>Search firms are a part of our culture. Tom Hall of Albert Hall Associates is one of the best people to find high level theater positions, and I have worked with him on a few searches. But one I had nothing to do with was the <a title="Bucks County Playhouse" href="http://www.bcptheater.org/" target="_blank">Bucks County Playhouse</a> in New Hope, Pennsylvania. He and the board of the Playhouse found and created a new team to head the place: Broadway veterans Robyn Goodman and Alex Fraser. It was an inspired decision.</p> <p>Since I know both Robyn and Alex, we three met shortly after their appointment was announced. Among the items on their agenda was how a connection might be made between the Playhouse and the legacy of Oscar Hammerstein II, who lived nearby in Doylestown. Well, in our next meeting, they told me what they come up with: a long term focus on the art of lyric writing, inspired by Hammerstein, with a kick-off weekend of seminars, performances, and discussions at the end of their first summer of programming this year. Aside from asking for the blessing from the Hammerstein family, they asked whether I could wrangle the evening <a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7444/BucksCounty_GrandNight_Cast2.jpeg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 10px;" title="BucksCounty_GrandNight_Cast2" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7444/BucksCounty_GrandNight_Cast2.jpeg" alt="Grand Night at Bucks County Playhouse" width="300" height="225" /></a></p><p>Andy Einhorn and I pulled together last season at the Lyrics & Lyricists program at the 92<sup>nd</sup> Street Y to be the Saturday night centerpiece of the weekend’s festivities. Our evening was focused on Rodgers & Hammerstein, so we were asked to slant it slightly toward Oscar, which we did. After all, he had a farmhouse in Doylestown which he bought – it and 62 acres, no less – in 1940 for $23,000!</p> <p>The photograph shows not only those of us who participated – Laura Osnes, Lewis Cleale, Marin Mazzie, Corey Cott and Mandy Gonzalez with Andy Einhorn and me in the front – but the spirit with which this group of extraordinarily talented artists threw themselves into the evening’s presentation. I have learned, when I am the host/narrator, that I have the power to interject some ad libs when and if I feel it appropriate. Carefully. At one point, after a series of knock-out-of-the-ballpark performances, I quipped, “Too bad we couldn’t get any good singers tonight…” I got the appropriate laugh. I am still floored by what skillful singers and musicians can do in a very short period of time.</p> <p>Of course the inspiration for any of these kinds of evenings is the work of Oscar Hammerstein II. For the 92<sup>nd</sup> Street Y, the program contained only Hammerstein lyrics with Richard Rodgers, but we added some Kern and Romberg. It is hard not to be overwhelmed by the fact that the same man wrote “Stouthearted Men,” “All The Things You Are,” “Edelweiss,” and “A Cockeyed Optimist.” Well crafted – part of my narration was about just how much work went into the crafting of those lyrics – dramatically appropriate, and just plain good. </p> <p>I had the pleasure of working with Robyn Goodman on CINDERELLA. If you look at her credits, what you see is someone who has guided and produced musicals as varied as AVENUE Q, ALTAR BOYS, and CINDERELLA. She has taste, she has talent, and she has smarts. Keep your eyes on the Bucks County Playhouse… I think it is poised to be one of the important incubators of new work in the musical theater. And let everyone learn from the genius of Oscar Hammerstein II!</p> SHOW BOAT SAN FRANCISCO OPERA CLOSING NIGHT http://www.rnh.com/blog/87/SHOW-BOAT-mdash-SAN-FRANCISCO-OPERA-mdash-CLOSING-NIGHT 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_87 <div style="height: 0px;"></div> <dl id="image_722829" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 285px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7206/Heidi%20Stober,%20Patricia%20Racette,%20Angela%20Renee%20Simpson%20and%20Morris%20Robinson.JPG"><img class="left " style="margin: 10px;" title="Heidi Stober, Patricia Racette, Angela Renee Simpson and Morris Robinson" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7206/Heidi%20Stober,%20Patricia%20Racette,%20Angela%20Renee%20Simpson%20and%20Morris%20Robinson.JPG" alt="" width="275" height="183" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Heidi Stober (Magnolia Hawks), Patricia Racette (Julie La Verne), Angela Renee Simpson (Queenie) and Morris Robinson (Joe) with Chorus. Photo Credit: San Francisco Opera SHOW BOAT, © Cory Weaver</dd> </dl> <p>If you really like theater, there are few experiences as cool as standing off stage in the wings during a curtain call. If that moment marks the end of a limited run of a production that has clearly energized the theater, it becomes all the more remarkable. That is what I was lucky enough to witness on July 2 of this year at the San Francisco Opera.</p> <p>The production was <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/89/Show-Boat">SHOW BOAT</a>, done as a joint production among four American opera companies. Performances took place over a four year period at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Washington Opera, and San Francisco Opera. While there may be other stops in the future, San Francisco was the last one of the initial dates. It was director and impresario Francesca Zambello who conceived the production, and it was in her apartment many years ago that I first talked about it with her and Bill Mason, at the time the General Director of Lyric Opera of Chicago.</p> <p>David Gockley, General Director at San Francisco, has a history with <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/89/Show-Boat">SHOW BOAT</a>. When he was at Houston Grand Opera in the 1980's, he created a <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/89/Show-Boat">SHOW BOAT</a> that made its way to Broadway, where it played the Gershwin Theater. Not only is he a fan, but as an enlightened American opera intendant, he is very smart about the intersection of opera and musical theater. His note in the program was extremely well stated - about how Broadway today cannot support the resources needed to present pieces from the era of <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/89/Show-Boat">SHOW BOAT</a>, and how several of the members of the company might have spent more of their careers in musicals in another era. He stated that opera companies should welcome the few titles that 'cross over' successfully, and give them the full treatment. </p> <p>David was very smart about what would be playing in his theater. Having seen the production in its previous stops, and knowing he wanted to capture it on film, he wanted to be very careful in casting. From the beginning he had Heidi Stober and Patricia Racette, both known to his opera audiences, as Magnolia and Julie. Michael Todd Simpson had filled in during the Washington Opera run last year, and proved to be a dashing Ravenal.</p> <div style="height: 0px;"></div> <dl id="image_722830" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 260px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7207/Kirsten%20Wyatt%20(Ellie%20Mae%20Chipley)%20and%20John%20Bolton%20(Frank%20Schultz)%20with%20chorus%20and%20dancers.JPG"><img class="left " style="margin: 10px;" title="Kirsten Wyatt (Ellie Mae Chipley) and John Bolton (Frank Schultz) with chorus and dancers" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7207/Kirsten%20Wyatt%20(Ellie%20Mae%20Chipley)%20and%20John%20Bolton%20(Frank%20Schultz)%20with%20chorus%20and%20dancers.JPG" alt="San Francisco Opera SHOW BOAT" width="250" height="166" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Kirsten Wyatt (Ellie Mae Chipley) and John Bolton (Frank Schultz) with chorus and dancers. Photo credit: San Francisco Opera, © Cory Weaver</dd> </dl> <p>Morris Robertson and Angela Renee Simpson, both with fine opera credits, played Joe and Queenie. But for the more 'musical theater' roles, he sought the assistance of ace Broadway casting director Bernie Telsey to find an amazing group: fresh from <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/22/Cinderella">Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA</a> came Harriet Harris, as funny a Parthy as there ever was. (I swear she found laughs where there weren't any...) For Frank and Ellie, the song and dance team who are perennially somewhere between trying too hard and constantly being overlooked, John Bolton and Kirsten Wyatt, both so wonderful in A CHRISTMAS STORY, struck the perfect posture. And in a brilliant piece of casting, Captain Andy was played by rubber-legged Bill Irwin, as capable of cracking a joke as giving Charlie Chaplin a run for him money in the world of the wobble-walk.</p> <p></p> <div style="height: 0px;"></div> <dl id="image_722832" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 260px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7209/Kirsten%20Wyatt,%20John%20Bolton,%20Bill%20Irwin,%20Patricia%20Racette,%20Patrick%20Cummings.JPG"><img class="left " style="margin: 10px;" title="Kirsten Wyatt, John Bolton, Bill Irwin, Patricia Racette, Patrick Cummings" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7209/Kirsten%20Wyatt,%20John%20Bolton,%20Bill%20Irwin,%20Patricia%20Racette,%20Patrick%20Cummings.JPG" alt="San Francisco Opera SHOW BOAT" width="250" height="166" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Kirsten Wyatt (Ellie Mae Chipley), John Bolton (Frank Schultz), Bill Irwin (Cap'n Andy, Patricia Racette (Julie La Verne), Patrick Cummings (Steve Baker)Photo credit: San Francisco Opera, © Cory Weaver</dd> </dl> <p>Back to the curtain call. I had been told that the show was doing sellout business, that they tried but failed to add performances to the schedule. Hey, the day after the final two back to back performances of <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/89/Show-Boat">SHOW BOAT</a>, Patricia Racette would perform in MADAM BUTTERFLY at the house - no wonder they couldn't just add a couple of performances! Clearly this was a company that enjoyed performing <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/89/Show-Boat">SHOW BOAT</a>, and had bonded. Watching them take their bows, and hearing the audience from a slightly ajar position, you could see how much the company cared for each other. When the cheering finally stopped - after many group walks downstage hand-in-hand - and the front drop was brought in, the principles started to hug one another while the choristers from upstage came dashing down to embrace their leaders. Tears - OK, this is the opera world and tears are sometimes just part of the drill - were quite literally streaming down faces. Heidi Stober, portraying her first musical theater role, was awash, hugging David Gockley and thanking him so much for the opportunity.</p> <p>This isn't, believe me, the way it usually happens. Opera curtain calls are more formal and quite different from those of the musical theater. So when a major work like <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/89/Show-Boat">SHOW BOAT</a> is given a happy home at opera companies like San Francisco Opera, and it touches the artists involved, it allows everyone to share in the joy. It also says something about the continuum of the world of musical theater. One wonders what</p> <div style="height: 0px;"></div> <dl id="image_722833" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 160px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7210/Morris%20Robinson%20(Joe)%20with%20chorus.jpg"><img class="left " style="margin: 10px;" title="Morris Robinson (Joe) with chorus" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7210/Morris%20Robinson%20(Joe)%20with%20chorus.jpg" alt="San Francisco Opera SHOW BOAT" width="150" height="103" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Morris Robinson (Joe) with chorusPhoto credit: San Francisco Opera, © Cory Weaver</dd> </dl> <p>Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II would have felt sitting in the War Memorial Opera House on the night of July 2, 2014. I think they would have been pleased. It was, after all, 87 years ago that their <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/89/Show-Boat">SHOW BOAT</a> first saw the light of day. Old Man River does indeed keep rolling along!</p> <p></p> <p></p><p></p><p>More <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/89/Show-Boat">SHOW BOAT</a> videos</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/S1_9_VHpq6Y" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> MARY RODGERS GUETTEL http://www.rnh.com/blog/88/MARY-RODGERS-GUETTEL 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_88 <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7201/Mary%20Rodgers%20Guettel-2008-LeoSorel%20pic.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 10px;" title="Mary Rodgers Guettel-2008-LeoSorel pic" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7201/Mary%20Rodgers%20Guettel-2008-LeoSorel%20pic.jpg" alt="" width="192" height="231" /></a>It's been very hard to figure out what to write about Mary. I knew her for so many years, under so many different situations. She was a life force, that is for sure, and I owe her so much.</p> <p>So let's get the debt out of the way first. Quite simply, I have her to thank for my career at Rodgers & Hammerstein. She knew me as that child of Betty and Schuyler Chapin's who was very interested in the world in which she circulated. Dinners at the Chapins or the Guettels were always full of stories about people I admired - Hal Prince, Steve Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, John Kander - and of course her parents, Richard and Dorothy Rodgers. I listened intently. I asked if she would come to the college production of ONCE UPON A MATTRESS that I had directed - and she did, luckily tagging along with my parents so they could cushion the experience with some martinis and a good meal. (She was ever gracious, although I am not sure my production was anything to write home about...) When I created a series of revues at the Musical Theatre Lab, modeled after the experience Mary and her contemporaries had at Tammiment and Green Mansions in the Catskill and Pocono mountains in the 1950's, she was a loyal and cheerful attendee. So when I got the call from her asking what I was up to and whether I would talk to the people at the Rodgers & Hammerstein office "since I think they could use you," it was the catalyst to a career. Simple as that.</p> <p>The more I got to know Mary, the more I realized her life was a balancing act. Fueled by her passionate and energetic outlook, she was always on the prowl for some cause, some composer, some school, some person, or some show. You had to keep up with her - she didn't suffer fools. But there were also huge responsibilities to family, friends, institutions, colleagues. She meant so much to so many people.</p> <p>She was also one of the most generous people I have ever met. She came from a family that understood philanthropy - not only did Dick and Dorothy Rodgers set up a couple of family foundations over the years, but I have always found it interesting that they and Roger L. Stevens are the only people from the world of Broadway to be among the original funders of Lincoln Center. (The list still appears in most programs on the campus today.) But I always got the feeling from Mary that her parents'generosity - at least to the family - came with strings attached. Which may be why Mary didn't do that. For causes she believed in or events that she liked she would write the first check. And so often I would hear her say, simply, "I'll pay for that."Whether it was the cost to add strings for the original cast album of THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA or assistance for a colleague needing a medical procedure, she was always there.</p> <p>She loved taking pride in things. When her son Adam's composing career started to take off, there was no one more proud, more excited, and more present. When I wrote my book on FOLLIES, she volunteered to throw a book party, complete with a cake made in the image of the cover. When she discovered that my colleague Bruce Pomahac was as good as anyone at writing funny parody lyrics to familiar songs (even ones written by her), she beamed from ear to ear.</p> <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7202/Opening%20Night!%20010.jpg"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 10px;" title="Opening Night! 010" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7202/Opening%20Night!%20010.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="225" /></a>A slightly embarrassing tradition was created at the Rodgers & Hammerstein Christmas parties. One year the staff decided to make a presentation to me of something appropriately silly, and the presentation was made by a different member of the staff each year. At first I was nothing but embarrassed, but the second year I caught both Mary and Alice Hammerstein smiling with such pride, that I realized we all looked good. The fact that the staff galvanized to do something for their boss that was sincere but not stuffy, showed our owners that all was well at the family business. And when we took on the representation of the Irving Berlin catalogue, the three Berlin daughters joined in those Christmas parties as well. There are, of course, no rules about how family businesses are to run, but I took great pleasure is seeing the pride both Mary and Alice - and Dorothy Rodgers and Bill Hammerstein before them - took in "the office."</p> <p>For reasons we may never really know, when we all decided to take a look at how the business of Rodgers & Hammerstein was organized, in order to plan for the future, Mary made the decision to sell. She was resolute about it, and when Mary became focused on something, you didn't want to get in her way. She led the charge, but I am not sure she understood completely what it was going to mean to her. She so liked being in the center of everything, and suddenly she wasn't any more. And because most people in the arts world in New York forgot that the sale had taken place - most of us continued to work at the office - I guessed that people continued to call Mary to talk about the new R&H things happening, like the Broadway CINDERELLA and the Live TV production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. </p> <p>Because she isn't with us any more, I go back to some of my many, many memories.<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7203/Mary50sHead.jpg"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 10px;" title="Mary50sHead" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7203/Mary50sHead.jpg" alt="" width="168" height="214" /></a> Hank and Mary playing bridge with my parents in Long Pond as a very young Alec and I painted an exterior spiral staircase. New Year's Eve movie parties at the Guettels when we watched back-to-back movies and stopped only long enough to enjoy a "6 foot long hero sandwich." Sitting next to her in theaters or rehearsals when she got 'goosebumps' because something was so good. Delicately dealing with some members of the Hammerstein family who didn't share her optimistic outlook on things.</p> <p></p><p>The list goes on and on. Each day I wake up with a new Mary story. I think that will continue for a very long time.</p> Restoring OKLAHOMA! http://www.rnh.com/blog/89/Restoring-OKLAHOMA 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_89 <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7211/OK-Beautiful%20Mornin%20sheet.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 10px;" title="OK-Beautiful Mornin sheet" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7211/OK-Beautiful%20Mornin%20sheet.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="276" /></a>Restoring <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a>Our newly available restoration of <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a> arrives on the heels of the R&H restorations we've previously released, those for <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/20/Carousel">CAROUSEL</a>, <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/312/Allegro">ALLEGRO</a>, <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/97/South-Pacific">SOUTH PACIFIC</a>, <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/60/THE-KING-AND-I">THE KING AND I</a>, <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/80/Pipe-Dream">PIPE DREAM</a> and <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/95/The-Sound-of-Music">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a>. It took us this long to get around to <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a> for the simple reason that the performance materials for this show, Rodgers & Hammerstein's first mega-hit, looked to be in remarkably good shape, and there seemed to be little need to restore them. </p><p>Until we took a closer look.</p><p>Broadway musicals, even the classics, do not step like Venus out of the half shell. They are born in chaos, and <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a> was no exception. Even though most of the script and the songs were ready to go on the first day of rehearsal, there would be only six weeks until the first public performance. In this time the vocal arrangements, the dance music, the overture, the incidental underscoring and the change of scene music had to be created, orchestrated and copied. And each time a change was called for these had to be recreated, reorchestrated and recopied. By the time <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a> opened on Broadway (March 31st, 1943) the musical parts and the script were filled with layers upon layers of alterations, so much so that they were almost impossible to follow. After the Broadway production closed a team of copyists did their best to decipher the "chicken scrawl" on each page, but mistakes and inconsistencies remained. Our job was to identify and eliminate these.</p><p>We were lucky enough to have had earlier conversations with Jay Blackton, <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a>'s original musical director and conductor and with Gemze de Lappe who performed in the Broadway production and assisted Agnes de mille on several subsequent productions. We also had access to Robert Russell Bennett's full orchestra scores.<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7213/OK-SurreyWithFringe-cvr.jpg"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 10px;" title="OK-SurreyWithFringe-cvr" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7213/OK-SurreyWithFringe-cvr.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="266" /></a></p><p>Once we dug in we realized how much had been lost over the years: wrong or missing notes, omitted harp and violin parts and inconsistent articulation and dynamics throughout the score. And so much of Rouben Mamoulian's work (he was the original Broadway director) had been left out or watered down. We were lucky that Gemze could recall so many of the comic bits that Mamoulian created and are now once again included in the libretto. One that particularly comes to mind is the scene with Aunt Eller and the cowboys when she looks into the "Little Wonder" for the first time.)</p><p>What we have been ultimately able to achieve is a user friend set of performance materials that captures in every detail both the comic and the dramatic power of <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a>'s timely script and game changer of a musical score. <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a> okay is now <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a> even better!</p><p></p><h2><a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma#shows-materialnotes"><span style="color: #ffffff;">Read more about the restored materials for OKLAHOMA!</span></a></h2><p></p> CARRIE the musical - Creative Solutions from Theaters http://www.rnh.com/blog/85/CARRIE-the-musical-Creative-Solutions-from-Theaters 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_85 <p>CARRIE the musical offers some unique challenges to theaters. How do you represent the destruction at the prom? Do you show blood in liquid form or using lights? How do you dramatize Carrie's telekinetic powers?</p> <p>These challenges offer amazing opportunities to show creativity and approach the show differently than done in the past. Here are examples of the imagination directors have brought to CARRIE the musical. We hope that they might spark your creativity. <a title="CARRIE the musical Technical Discussion Forum" href="http://www.rnh.com/costume-and-set-rental-discussion/355/Carrie-Technical-Solutions">And when you hit upon a particularly inventive or memorable staging idea, we hope that you’ll share it with us so that we can add it to this blog!</a></p> <h2><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>Beck Center for the Performing Arts –Lakewood, Ohio: Gregory Daniels, Choreographer</strong></span></h2> <p>Gregory Daniels worked closely with director Victoria Bussert to create a highly physical show.</p> <div style="height: 0px;"></div> <dl id="image_721813" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 218px;"> <img class="left " title="The cast of CARRIE dances hard at the Beck Center" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7180/Unknown-1.jpeg" alt="The cast of CARRIE dances hard at the Beck Center" width="208" height="138" /></dl> <p><strong>GREGORY DANIELS:</strong>We decided to do the entire production with hip hop inspired dance (except for an invented pas-de-deuxflashback with a young Margaretat the end of Act I). We felt its kinetic rhythms would bring out the teenage angst that had been so brilliantly written in the music. As Carrie is the outsider, we had the rest of the ensemble do “cool" kids moves -- likewhat the “in crowd" would do. The percussive moves also showed the frustrations that the kids were going through in their incredibly stressedlives as teenagers. It was insanely, athletically physical -- bruising, frenetic, intensely committed.</p> <dl id="image_721813" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 194px;"><img class="right " title="What magic helps CARRIE move this chair?" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7181/Unknown-5.jpeg" alt="What magic helps CARRIE move this chair?" width="194" height="130" /> </dl> <p></p> <p><strong>Moment:</strong>Telekinesis</p> <p><strong>GREGORY DANIELS:</strong>The show, due to Carrie's supernatural powers, presents someunusual challenges -- ways for us to manifest telekinesis, windows slamming, the iconic blood drop and the destruction. We did our best to address these technical problems and find theatrical solutions to accomplish the TK effects. A statue needed to be levitated and chairs had to mysteriously move and tilt. We brought in a magic consultant who employed invisible wires that were strategically placed to achieve the illusion of levitation, along with the use ofstrobes when these events occurredto help make them additionally credible and effective.</p> <p><strong>Moment:</strong>The bucket drop</p> <dl id="image_721813" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 154px;"><img class="left" title="The mechanics of the CARRIE blood drop" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7182/Unknown-6.jpeg" alt="The mechanics of the CARRIE blood drop" width="154" height="233" /></dl> <p><strong>GREGORY DANIELS:</strong>The blood dropon top of Carrie is, of course, what everyone is anticipating. Jordan Janota designed a prom stage for the King and Queen coronation that had a grate on it. The blood would go through, leaving the stage floor dry for the destruction. The problem was to make sure that the blood fell in precisely the same place during everyperformance. Jordan designed a funnel<strong>-</strong>like system so thatwe knew preciselywhere itwould fall each night, and Carrie knew exactlywhere to stand on the platform. Before this apparatus was designed, we had an evening of blood drop testing. Let's just say there was blood from one side of the stage to the other!</p> <p>Another major challenge was protecting Carrie's mic during the blood. I called a sound design friend who suggestedthat we waterproof it with two condoms (one from the bottom and one fromthetop) with a notch cut out for the connections. We also put a small piece of latex between the mic and mic cap. Our Carrie never had to interact with apparatus at all. She put it on at the top of the show and the sound was never affected.</p> <p><strong>Moment:</strong>The Destruction</p> <dl id="image_721813" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 158px;"><img class="right" title="An inferno on stage" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7183/Unknown-9.jpeg" alt="An inferno on stage" width="158" height="105" /></dl> <p><strong>GREGORY DANIELS:</strong>The destruction was another challenging undertaking. It had to look as though Carrie was <span style="text-decoration: underline;">making</span> everything happen. We really worked with the cast on theirphysical movements so it appeared as though theywere being uncontrollably hurled about -- first slowly and then up to greater speed. Bodies were being throwneverywhere. We also accentuated the destruction with high<strong>-</strong>powdered strobes -- having, for example, one male student coming toward Carrie pushing a little table that was on wheels; then having her reach out at him, creating the illusion that her power was causing him to move backwards in the strobe like a silent movie. The fire afterwards was achieved through a rotating gobo and moving fire projections.</p><p></p> <h2><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>ATLANTIS PRODUCTIONS -Manila,</strong><strong>Philippines: Bobby Garcia, Director</strong></span></h2> <p><strong>BOBBY GARCIA:</strong> In general, I found that as daunting as some of the special effects moments seemed at the onset, making sure that they all stayed true to the tone of how we were choosing to tell this remarkable story really dictated how far we would go with each effect.</p> <p><strong>Moment: </strong>Prologue</p> <p><strong>BOBBY GARCIA: </strong>Thematically, I wanted to start the show off with the spirits/ghosts returning to the place that they perished, relive their lives, and watch their own deaths until their lessons were learned. Their journey echoes Sue's journey of the cycle never ending. We began with a cellphone’s "found footage" of the chaos at the prom on the T.V. screens, and then we framed the show with Sue's interrogation as seen on the TVs. The video content on the screens later helped establish the different scenes (from locker room to Chris's house, etc.) The only times we covered the TV screens were in the White home as I wanted no hint of modern technology there.</p> <p><strong>Moment: </strong>In the library scene where Carrie reads about telekinesis and tries to control it for the first time, she causes a book cover to open... and then some pages to flip past. It's graceful and eerie and strangely beautiful.</p> <p><strong>BOBBY GARCIA: </strong>What was originally supposed to happen was that the book was supposed to fly off the chair in one direction and then the chair would fly off in another direction. But because of how the book was rigged, pages fluttered before the book flew off the chair. We loved how it looked so much that we made sure we had that moment of the fluttering pages before the book went flying off the chair and the chair flew in another direction.</p> <p><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="IMG_8250-2" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7025/IMG_8250-2.jpg" alt="Atlantis Productions: CARRIE the musical in Manila, Philipines" width="210" height="315" /></p> <div><p><strong>Moment: </strong>End of Act I - "I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance" - when Carrie thrusts Margaret into an upstage chair, which then lifts her into the air.</p> <div><p><strong>BOBBY GARCIA:</strong> I really wanted to end the act with a visual threat to Margaret so that Carrie's, "I am not afraid of you at all...." rang clear to her mother. So we decided to have Carrie flexing Margaret into a chair and then flexing her up into the air. Carrie then sang her lines as she held Margaret suspended off the ground. I felt it was a strong visual to show who was in charge now. It was remarkably easy to do with a simple counterweight system.</p> <p><strong>Moment: </strong>The Destruction - Carrie, at the height of the Destruction, reached up at arches that appear to be the support beams of the gymnasium ceiling above, causing them to collapse one after another to create the "Phantom"-like illusion of the roof coming crashing down on the Prom-goers.</p> <p></p> <h2><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>RAY OF LIGHT THEATRE - SanFrancisco, CA:<strong>Jason Hoover, Director</strong></strong></span></h2> <p><strong>Moment:</strong> End of Act I - "I Remember How Those Boys Could Dance" -- Carrie flips the dining room table.</p> <p><strong>JASON HOOVER:</strong> Our initial idea for the dining room table was to have it actually fly up into the air and then flip over. We had planned on doing this by turning the legs basically into pogo sticks, then rigging them to launch up. However, we ran out of time. So what we ended up with was the following: A thin steel wire was run from the underside front portion of the table out the back of the table and through the wall panel upstage. We then created blocks for the back of the table legs so they wouldn't skid when pulled. At the correct time, a crew member hidden upstage center behind the walls gave the wire a good pull and flipped the table over. Physics did all the rest. The table was far enough upstage that it remained hidden from the audience. </p> <p><strong>Moment: </strong>The Blood Drop</p> <p><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="Carrie at Ray of Light Theater" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7048/carrie8A.jpg" alt="Carrie at Ray of Light Theater" width="262" height="175" /></p> <p><strong>JASON HOOVER:</strong> For the iconic prom scene where Carrie ultimately retaliates, there is blood everywhere. The sound designer, Anton Hedman, needed a way to conceal a mic on Carrie while they dumped about four gallons of blood on her head—right before the closing solo. We decided to use an E6i mounted to her tiara so we could conceal it. We positioned the mic face down and protected it with a simple funnel-shaped wrap of medical tape around the capsule and a solid wrap around the ear connection in order to repel most of the liquid. We were all amazed at how well it worked!</p> <p><strong>Moment:</strong> The Destruction – During Carrie’s rant and subsequent massacre of the Kids, she and the cast moved downstage until they were all at or below the apron. At the final moment, the entire back wall of the stage fell face- down behind Carrie – missing her by inches.</p> <p><strong>JASON HOOVER:</strong> The “Wall Fall,” as it became affectionately known, was actually the easiest of the tricks to pull off. The wall's dimensions were roughly 27 feet wide and 30 feet tall. It was created out of reinforced plywood (so we could actually hoist it up and reset it each night). It was attached to the back wall by a wire locking mechanism that was controlled electronically. So the release of the wall could only happen via a two-part button pressing system. At the right time, the buttons were pressed, a crew member gave the wall a little nudge, and away it went. Because it was so large, wind resistance kept it from coming down too fast.</p> <p><strong>Moment:</strong> Margaret stabs Carrie.</p> <p><strong>JASON HOOVER:</strong> We went about the knife two different ways. Initially, it was sheathed on a chair Margaret came onstage with. I eventually cut the chair and transferred the sheath to a pocket in her nightgown. We were careful to stage the scene so you couldn't see the knife's bulk in her gown. It also helped that the actresses in the scene were absolutely dynamite and people were hooked in.</p> <p></p> <h2><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>Balagan Theater - Seattle, Washington:<strong>Louis Hobson</strong></strong></span></h2> <p><strong>Moment: </strong>The Blood Drop</p> <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7024/IMG_2087_JeffCarpenter.JPG"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="IMG_2087_JeffCarpenter" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7024/IMG_2087_JeffCarpenter.JPG" alt="Balagan Theater production of CARRIE the musical" width="300" height="195" /></a></p></div> <div><p><strong>LOUIS HOBSON:</strong> Instead of using projections, we made a plan to fly in a 5 gallon bucket during the coronation with about a gallon of "blood" (a mixture of tempura paint, chocolate syrup, and soap) that had a trip wire attached to it. It worked as designed but did not get as much blood as we would have liked on Carrie. However, any more would have made the stage unusable for actors. We collected most of the blood in a stage unit that doubled as both a stage for Carrie and a collection trough for blood, but some always ended up on stage. We built the rolling unit with a grating on top and several collection bins underneath to collect the rest.</p> <p><strong>Moment:</strong> The Destruction</p> <p><strong>LOUIS HOBSON: </strong>During the massacre scene we used 4 oz. travel bottles full of water for a blood spray effect from each actor that was very effective. Under red light it looked very real.If I were to do it over again, I would have used a mix of projections and just water under red light for the blood drop. That would have allowed more "blood" to come down and made it safer for the rest of the cast. We then would have changed her into her blood 2.0 look and dressed her with the prop blood.</p> <p>Blood is an awful thing to deal with on stage, and the more we can make sure it stays off those prom dresses and tuxes, the happier everyone is.</p> <p></p> <p><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>Looking for more inspiration? Watch these:</strong></span></p> <p></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>Squabbalogic Independent Music Theatre - Sydney, Australia:"Evolution of The Blood Drop"</strong></span></p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GdGrFAF94Cw" width="450" height="262" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>Edinburg High School in Texas goes behind-the-scenes with CARRIE the musical</strong></span></p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9RG-zWYx0gw" width="450" height="262" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>Premiere Cast Recording: "IN"</strong></span></p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sYgRMHv68W4" width="450" height="262" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>Making-of the CARRIE the musical Premiere Cast Recording</strong></span></p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tdPVVWqNmp4" width="450" height="262" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p></p> <p><span style="font-size: small;"><strong>In promotion of the 2013 film release of CARRIE, Sony Pictures rigged a coffee shop with a telekinetic surprise.Since its release last October, this video has received a phenomenal 60 million hits -- #8 on YouTube's 2013's most hit-on video, and counting.</strong></span></p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VlOxlSOr3_M" width="450" height="262" frameborder="0"></iframe></p></div></div> Historic Restoration for the film OKLAHOMA! http://www.rnh.com/blog/86/Historic-Restoration-for-the-film-OKLAHOMA 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_86 <p><em>OKLAHOMA! was shot in the rare format Todd-AO. On April 10th, for the first time ever, a fully restored version of the historic film will premiere at the TCM Film Festival. President Ted Chapin gives his take on this beautiful restoration.</em></p><div style="height: 0px;"><em><br /></em></div> <div style="height: 0px;"><em><br /></em></div> <dl id="image_721398" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 400px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7149/0812.1-OKFilm-RRonSet.jpg"><img class="none" title="R" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7149/0812.1-OKFilm-RRonSet.jpg" alt="R" width="400" height="380" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Richard Rodgers on the set of OKLAHOMA! with film director Fred Zinnemann.</dd> </dl> <p>The film of OKLAHOMA! was produced by Rodgers and Hammerstein. They were theater guys. But because OKLAHOMA! was the biggest hit Broadway had ever seen, everyone knew the movie was going to be an event. A major event. And so it was. The newest movie technology was employed: Mike Todd’s widescreen process (which he nobly named after himself – Todd-AO) and it was shot in 70mm film stock – twice the normal size.</p><p>Choreographer Agnes deMille and Orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett ratcheted up their Broadway contributions to fill the movie screen, and an authentic looking Oklahoma territory was found for the location shoot. (OK, it was in southern Arizona, but no one complained about what it looked like.) A cast of actors entirely appropriate to their roles – it was Rodgers & Hammerstein who were going to sell this movie – was hired, and they delivered in both the musical and dramatic aspect of the show. This was a movie that was going to be noticed and noted.</p> <div style="height: 0px;"></div> <dl id="image_721395" class="wp-caption alignnone" style="width: 400px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7146/0822-2-OK-RivoliMovieMarquee.jpg"><img class="none" title="OKLAHOMA! film premiere marquee" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7146/0822-2-OK-RivoliMovieMarquee.jpg" alt="Film Marquee" width="400" height="150" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Marquee for the 1955 film release of OKLAHOMA!</dd> </dl> <p>Then the years went by. When I first got to this office, whatever prints of the movie – now reduced to the normal 35mm and made in Cinemascope – were housed in a warehouse in New Jersey, and when the few people who asked wanted to show it in a movie theater, someone would drag out the two hexagonal metal boxes that contained the many reels, and ship them to wherever the theater was. When they would return, we would invariably get notes about what bad shape they were in, how in at least one instance one of the reels was actually from the one other movie Rodgers and Hammerstein made – SOUTH PACIFIC – and we’d probably refund the rental money.</p> <div style="height: 0px;"></div> <dl id="image_721397" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 200px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7148/0829.01-OKFilm-ShirleyJones.jpg"><img class="left " title="Shirley Jones" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7148/0829.01-OKFilm-ShirleyJones.jpg" alt="Shirley Jones" width="200" height="150" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Shirley Jones, star of OKLAHOMA!</dd> </dl> <p>First next important step: CBS/Fox Home Video came to us asking to license the movie to the nascent home video world. They felt – accurately, as it turned out – that people might be prone to buying a cassette of a classic musical movie. So they took the best of the prints we had, and created the first of a series of ‘improved’ versions of the film for their market. The we turned over to the Samuel Goldwyn Company the distribution of the film itself, and under their supervision, a sparkling new 70mm Todd-AO version of the film was struck, and it played limited engagements in movie theaters around the country. And more people came to see it than they ever expected, causing those runs to be extended.</p> <p>Then the years went on, CBS/Fox became Fox Home Entertainment, the 70mm prints that Goldwyn had created were themselves run through many projectors and began to deteriorate. Collectors started asking when the original movie was going to be restored. Schawn Belston of Twentieth Century Fox explained to me, in his modest but brilliant manner, how important the film was to film archivists, and how important it was that Fox be allowed to go back to the elements of the film itself – all those things that we theater people don’t understand, like interpositives and nitrate negatives – to do a full restoration of the film. Well, now the magic has happened.</p> <p>Representing the original writers, producers, and owners of the film of OKLAHOMA!, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I started to take a look at the Blu Ray of the restored version, thinking I’d just take a quick look. Two and a half hours later, I was watching the final credits. It’s pretty astonishing.</p> <p>- Rodgers & Hammerstein President Ted Chapin</p> <p></p> <p><em><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7150/815Q5mtlK2L._SL1500_.jpg"><img class="right alignright" title="R" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/7150/815Q5mtlK2L._SL1500_.jpg" alt="R" width="200" height="130" /></a>The newly restored film of OKLAHOMA! is now available on Amazon as part of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Blu-Ray collection - joining other classic R&H films including THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE KING AND I, SOUTH PACIFIC, STATE FAIR and CAROUSEL.<em>Restored at 4K resolution, OKLAHOMA! can be seen at its unusual original rate of 30 frames per second.</em></em></p> <p><em>Order yours: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IZIGFNU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00IZIGFNU&linkCode=as2&tag=foxhe341-20">The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection - Exclusively available on Amazon</a></em></p> <p></p> Happy 100th Birthday Mary Martin http://www.rnh.com/blog/83/Happy-100th-Birthday-Mary-Martin 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_83 <p><br /><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6993/1013.03_SoundOfMusic_MaryMartin_Children_LonelyGoatherd_ToniFrissell_481.jpg.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="1013.03_SoundOfMusic_MaryMartin_Children_LonelyGoatherd_ToniFrissell_481.jpg" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6993/1013.03_SoundOfMusic_MaryMartin_Children_LonelyGoatherd_ToniFrissell_481.jpg.jpg" alt="Mary Martin in THE SOUND OF MUSIC" width="250" height="201" /></a>“I’ve got a bottle of Canadian Club in the room. Come on up and have a drink.” Not exactly words you would automatically think of coming from Peter Pan or Maria von Trapp. But come they did, from Mary Martin. She had just received the first Richard Rodgers Award from the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, which had been celebrated at a fantastic garden party in one of Pittsburgh’s posh neighborhoods. I took a ride back to the hotel with the honoree, and that’s what she said to me as the car pulled up to the William Penn Hotel. The answer was simple – “Sure.” So up we went – Mary Martin, her assistant Susan Grushkin, and me. And out came the Canadian Club.</p><p>Three things happened right away. First, she became real Texan. The drawl had obviously been replaced through the years by a middle-theater non-accent for the public, but once the spotlight was off, the girl from Weatherford came out. Second, while I wouldn’t say salty is the right word, certainly there was a loosening of the prim and proper. And third, she seemed somewhat out of touch with what was going on in the cultural landscape. She mentioned a book she had read in which she found a character appealing, one she might like to play if an adaptation could be created. The book was COLD SASSY TREE, the role was of a young woman, and a well publicized television version was on that very week.</p><p><br />But then there was a time when stars didn’t necessarily have to be in touch. And when Mary Martin was a star, she was…a…star. Her husband Richard Halliday took care of her, and that meant doing just about everything, from escorting her to rehearsals or the theater, arranging for her meals, to doing her hair. He kept such a close eye on her, that one Christmas during the run of SOUTH PACIFIC, Dorothy Hammerstein bought a small table at Mary’s request as a gift for Richard. The only way Mary could see it to approve it was for Dorothy to bring it to the Majestic Theater during a matinee, stand off stage in the wings and show it to Mary when she came off stage between scenes.</p><p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6992/3054AGYG-M%20Martin%20on%20train.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="3054AGYG-M Martin on train" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6992/3054AGYG-M%20Martin%20on%20train.jpg" alt="Mary Martin as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun" width="250" height="313" /></a>Two of Mary Martin’s triumphs in her long career were associated with Rodgers & Hammerstein. First was SOUTH PACIFIC. As producers, they hired her to do the National tour of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. It was based on that success that they asked her to do their next show. And that meant for the first time, Rodgers & Hammerstein were writing for a star. And she didn’t sign on instantly. A simple young woman from Little Rock certainly felt like a role she could comfortably create, but she w</p><p>as concerned when a bona fide opera basso, Ezio Pinza, was hired to play opposite her. Because her voice was not that of a high soprano, she asked, “What on earth do you want, two basses?” She was reluctant to compete vocally with someone who could sing rings around her – and the negotiated middle ground was, and this holds to this very day, that the two leads only sing together for 29 bars, and it is at a time in the show when they are both relaxed, somewhat giddy, and just a little bit drunk.</p><p><img class="left alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="1320-SoPac-RR-OHII-MM-JL-LH at MM last perf" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6994/1320-SoPac-RR-OHII-MM-JL-LH%20at%20MM%20last%20perf.jpg" alt="Mary Martin " width="250" height="196" />She triumphed in SOUTH PACIFIC, and she helped SOUTH PACIFIC triumph as well. She played the show for two years, and on her final performance, at the curtain call, Rodgers, Hammerstein, director/co-author Joshua Logan and co-producer Leland Hayward walked out on stage dressed in fatigues – with their names painted on the back of their jackets. While we don’t know exactly what they said, the photographs of the event are remarkable.</p><p> In a tin bucket they brought out with them was a diamond and pearl bracelet as a gift for their star. That tells you everything you need to know about the power of Mary Martin.</p><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="SOM OBC-Maria" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6990/SOM%20OBC-Maria&Kids-clr%20slide-FrankGoodman%20pic.jpg" alt="Mary Martin in the Original Broadway production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC" width="250" height="180" /><p>Then eight years later, a project was being formulated as another Broadway vehicle for Mary Martin. It was to be a play about the von Trapp family, in which many of the madrigals and folk songs used by the Trapp</p><p>And it is always good to remember, especially in this, Mary Martin’s centennial year, that THE SOUND OF MUSIC began life as a Broadway vehicle for her, one of its biggest stars. Without her, there wouldn’t ever have been “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,” and we’d all have had to figure out for ourselves that if you “climb every mountain,” you can find your dream.Family Singers would be used. Leland Hayward and Richard Halliday had the idea to ask Rodgers & Hammerstein to provide a few new songs to go along with the madrigals, to make the play feel more modern to the 1958 audiences. Well, we know what happened – Rodgers & Hammerstein felt an entirely new score would be more appropriate, and said that if everyone could wait for them to finish FLOWER DRUM SONG, they would be happy to join the team of Lindsay & Crouse, who were writing the play, and craft a musical. The result was THE SOUND OF MUSIC.</p> WHY THE SOUND OF MUSIC? http://www.rnh.com/blog/84/WHY-THE-SOUND-OF-MUSIC 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_84 <p>Guest blogger and theater historian Ethan Mordden discusses what it is about THE SOUND OF MUSIC that makes it an enduring classic.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a class="button" title="Download The Rodgers & Hammerstein Handbook" href="https://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/downloads/253/AnythingGoes_Mordden_RHChapter_157164.pdf">DOWNLOAD THE RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN HANDBOOK FROM ANYTHING GOES</a></strong></p> <p><a title="Anything Goes by Ethan Mordden" href="http://www.rnh.com/shop.html/0/0/?id=0199892830&stid=0&store=1">Learn more about ANYTHING GOES by Ethan Mordden.</a></p> <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6995/9780199892839.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="9780199892839" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6995/9780199892839.jpg" alt="ANYTHING GOES by Ethan Mordden" width="250" height="379" /></a>There are many truly beloved musicals, from Show Boat and Anything Goes through Carousel and Guys and Dolls to The Music Man and A Chorus Line. Yet The Sound of Music appears to be the single most popular title of all. The stage show is a perennial; the movie was extraordinarily successful on its original release and remains as basic to an American childhood as The Wizard of Oz and Peanuts; and the score is a favorite not for a few songs but as a whole. Even a number that functions purely as a plot explainer, like “Maria,” with its cantering schottische rhythm and poetic imagery (“How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?), bears a keen sense of delight. And “Edelweiss” has such authentic folkish tang that some people take it for an Austrian national song.</p> <p>It isn’t, of course. Like the rest of the score, it is the work of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, in fact the last lyric the latter wrote in his life. The song does remind us that the R & H scores are rich in atmosphere; Rodgers often composed with an eye on the optics of a scene. Oklahoma!’s “The Surrey With the Fringe On Top” has a cowboy’s bow-legged swagger in its very melody, and, in The King and I, the spellbound “We Kiss in a Shadow” suggests the shimmering of temple bells in the moonlight.</p> <p>There are basically two kinds of musicals—the “feel good” show, such as No, No, Nanette and Hello, Dolly!, and the serious show, such as West Side Story and Sweeney Todd. A few shows combine the two styles, and The Sound of Music is one of them. However, it does so rather deftly; it’s often hard to tell at any given moment whether you’re supposed to feel good or get serious. Consider the scene in which Maria meets Captain von Trapp for the first time, wearing a dress that even Mother Teresa would have rejected as unfashionable. The following dialogue is heard in both the play script (by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse) and the screenplay (by Ernest Lehman):</p> <p style="padding-left: 15px;">CAPTAIN: Before the children meet you, you will put on another dress.<br />MARIA: I haven’t any other dress. When we enter the Abbey our worldly clothes are given to the poor.<br />CAPTAIN: What about this one?<br />MARIA: The poor didn’t want this one.</p> <p>Anyone familiar with Mary Martin, the original stage Maria, will hear the tone of her blunt tomboy humor on “The poor didn’t want this one.” In the film, Julie Andrews delivers the line with disarming honesty. These are two equally effective ways of showing us that the Captain is utterly unprepared for this humble yet painfully honest and strangely determined sprite and why she is going to change his life from that of a distant, by-the-manual sea captain to that of a loving husband and father. It tells us, too, that The Sound of Music is a nuanced piece, giving its performers a lot of wiggle room in how they develop their characters.</p> <p>This may be one of The Sound of Music’s secret strengths. Compared with such busy musicals as Into the Woods and Wicked, greedily spinning out plots and subplots, The Sound of Music is simple: Maria meets the von Trapps, leaves the von Trapps, then rejoins the von Trapps. Yet there is much for the actors to discover, for on one level the story explores the essences of love: love of nature, of God, of family, of country, of one’s life’s partner. On another level, the musical is about places: the beautiful place of the hills that Maria so loves; the safe place of Nonnberg Abbey; the difficult place of the von Trapp estate, where everyone is starved for affection; and even the dangerous place of a rapidly self-Nazifying Austria.</p> <p>There is yet another place, though it is only mentioned: Vienna, where the Captain’s friends Max and Elsa are from, the major cultural capital of that part of Europe and, in its quiet way, an entity hostile to what Maria represents in the Captain’s world. Yes, she and he are of different social classes—but in an American musical, no matter where it is set, that’s never a problem. No, what sets these two apart is the worldliness of his background and the simplicity of hers. “She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee,” the very first line of “Maria,” tells us, again, how alien Maria is from the women the Captain knows. Imagine the glamorous Elsa climbing a tree!</p> <p>Of course, The Sound of Music doesn’t seem simple, because it contains so many disparate groups—the old and the young, the nuns and the Nazis, the sophisticates Elsa and Max. Then, too, everyone who loves this work has his own Sound of Music, seeing it as sentimental or spiritual, or as a family saga, a love story, even a historical piece. William Wyler, who was originally to have directed the film version, saw it as a saga of freethinkers vs. fascists, envisioning a somewhat apocalyptic Escape From Terror (with a tank breaking down the Abbey walls) that forced studio executives to hire someone with a more elevated perspective.</p> <p>Few musicals offer so trim a tale within so grand a worldview. Truly, there is no character movement among the kids, the nuns, the sophisticates, the Nazis. They are what they are. It is Maria, really, who undergoes the personal growth—for isn’t The Sound of Music almost entirely about someone who thinks she knows what she wants, then learns that she wants the opposite? Maria seeks refuge from the complicated life of emotions and personal boundaries. Like Robert, the protagonist of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, Maria fears linking up with a love partner; she thinks being single means never having to say you’re sorry. Both are wrong. As Lindsay and Crouse phrase it:</p> <p style="padding-left: 15px;">MARIA: The Mother Abbess...said that you have to look for your life.<br />CAPTAIN: Often when you find it, you don’t recognize it...Then... all of a sudden, it stands before you.<br />MARIA: Yes.</p> <p>This very touching moment reminds us that all of us start out thinking we can control our destiny, only to learn that destiny is a ski jump and we are sheer amateurs: once we take off, we have no idea where we’ll come down. Sometimes a thing just happens. This may be another of the show’s secret strengths: it mirrors our own experience, even in its different time and place. None of us is Maria, or the Captain, not to mention the Mother Abbess. Yet we recognize them. We’ve all had a Captain (tightly wound and distant) or a Mother Abbess (wise and a bit impenetrable) in our lives, sometime or other. And we’ve seen our Captain melt as he does, spellbound by music and Maria, which is the “feel good” part, and our Mother Abbess teach us something interesting about ourselves. The serious part.</p> <p>That may be why some of us can’t get enough of this marvelous show. A friend of mine, when he was very young, fell in love with the movie’s soundtrack LP, and played it over and over, all afternoon after he got home from primary school, day after day after day. Then, suddenly, he could not find the disc...and his parents, when he asked, claimed they had no idea on earth where it could have got to. I asked him if he realized, back then, that they must have hidden it, and he said no. At that age, everything’s a mystery. Sometimes a thing just happens. </p> <p><strong>ABOUT THE AUTHOR:</strong><br />Ethan Mordden’s first Broadway show was another Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I. He was raised in Pennsylvania, Venice, Italy, and the suburbs of New York City. Educated at the Locust Valley Friends Academy and the University of Pennsylvania, he has written extensively for the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and the New York Times.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a title="Anything Goes by Ethan Mordden" href="http://www.rnh.com/shop.html/0/0/?id=0199892830&stid=0&store=1">Purchase a copy of ANYTHING GOES by Ethan Mordden</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a class="button" title="Download The Rodgers & Hammerstein Handbook" href="https://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/downloads/253/AnythingGoes_Mordden_RHChapter_157164.pdf">DOWNLOAD THE RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN HANDBOOK FROM ANYTHING GOES</a></strong></p> GUEST BLOG: Liesl from THE SOUND OF MUSIC Live! on NBC http://www.rnh.com/blog/81/GUEST-BLOG-Liesl-from-THE-SOUND-OF-MUSIC-Live-on-NBC 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_81 <p><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6966/2013-10-28%2018.13.32.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="2013-10-28 18.13.32" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6966/2013-10-28%2018.13.32.jpg" alt="Ariane Rinehart and Carrie Underwood" width="250" height="333" /></a>I'm so incredibly excited and honored to be a part of NBC's The Sound of Music LIVE! Besides having the opportunity to work with some of Broadway's finest (Rob Ashford, David Chase, Christian, Laura, and Audra...need I go on?) and of course Carrie and Stephen, it's amazing to be a part of such a huge and new production. I mean, The Sound of Music is by no means new, but how we're presenting it certainly is. Many people know The Sound of Music, but not necessarily the stage production. It's thrilling to be a member of this talented team as we show to the world the Broadway production of the Sound of Music in a way that has really never been done before. Live. On NBC. One night only. No pressure...</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; text-align: center;">Being a part of this production is certainly a wonderful change of pace. I've been doing theatre since I was very small (I've been a von Trapp twice before, first as Marta then as Brigitta. I'm growing up with the family!), but I am currently a Junior at Barnard College majoring in sociology - not quite the musical lifestyle. I'm taking the semester off and temporarily exchanging a day full of academics for one filled with acting, dancing, and of course... the sound of music (...I can't stop from poorly slipping quotes and references from the show into my daily conversation). I may not presently be in classes, however I'm proud to say that I'm definitely working to infuse some of my bold, Barnard woman spirit into Liesl - I'm convinced she'd have been a perfect Barnardian. Even though Liesl is only sixteen (going on seventeen), she's a very composed and intelligent woman. She's a young girl, but she's had to grow up quickly and fill a motherly role for her younger siblings. She is very strong and mature, however she still requires guidance and support in her life, qualities we are able to see in her relationships both with Rolf and with Maria. I love her playful spirit with Rolf as he informs her that she needs someone a little older to show her the ropes of life (and she responds with a sort of, "Oh do I now? I had no idea. Please do go on..."), yet she really begins to trust in Maria and forms a beautiful relationship with her. I love playing these two sides of her - the confident woman used to taking care of others and the girl who still needs some taking care of. I think she's a very relatable character, even today in a very different time than the story's setting.<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6967/Carrie_Kids.jpg"><img class="right alignright" style="margin:20px 5px 0px 5px; width:275px; height:165px;" title="Carrie_Kids" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6967/Carrie_Kids.jpg" alt="Carrie Underwood, Ariane Rinehart and the " width="330" height="220" /></a></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; text-align: center;">All in all, this whole experience is a dream come true: A classic, beloved show. Rodgers and Hammerstein. Beautiful dancing. Incredible talent. An ENORMOUS audience to play for. What's not to love? Needless to say, December 5th is going to be magical, for me, for the cast and creative team, and of course, for the audience, and I'm so excited to see it all come together!</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; text-align: center;"><br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; text-align: center;"><a class="button" title="The Sound of Music Live! on NBC" href="http://www.nbc.com/sound-of-music/" target="_blank">Learn more about THE SOUND OF MUSIC Live! on NBC</a></span></strong></p> KURT WEILL ON BROADWAY http://www.rnh.com/blog/82/KURT-WEILL-ON-BROADWAY 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_82 <p><em>Some of Broadway's best took the stage at New York's Symphony Space on October 7, 2013, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of One Touch of Venus and the release of the first complete recording of the show (<a title="One Touch of Venus Cast Album" href="http://www.jayrecords.com/recording/one-touch-of-venus/" target="_blank">available on JAY Records</a>). Hosted by <a title="Ted Chapin" href="http://www.rnh.com/bio/193/Chapin-Theodore-S." target="_blank">Ted Chapin</a>, the evening highlighted songs from <a title="One Touch Of Venus" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/108/One-Touch-of-Venus" target="_blank">One Touch of Venus</a> as well as favorites from other <a title="Kurt Weill Bio" href="http://www.rnh.com/bio/118/Kurt-Weill" target="_blank">Weill</a> shows, including Street Scene, <a title="Lady In The Dark" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/61/Lady-in-the-Dark" target="_blank">Lady in the Dark</a>, Love Life, <a title="Lost In The Stars" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/64/Lost-in-the-Stars" target="_blank">Lost in the Stars</a>, <a title="Knickerbocker Holiday" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/59/Knickerbocker-Holiday" target="_blank">Knickerbocker Holiday</a>, <a title="The Threepenny Opera" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/105/The-Threepenny-Opera">The Threepenny Opera</a>, and Happy End. The starry cast featured Melissa Errico, Brent Barrett, Judy Blazer, and Ron Raines alongside winners of the <a title="Lotta Lenya Competition" href="http://www.kwf.org/LLC" target="_blank">Lotte Lenya Competition</a>. The evening was music directed by Weill specialist James Holmes and directed by Richard Jay-Alexander. Below are excerpts from Ted Chapin’s narration, edited to follow the order of the Broadway World video of highlights from the concert.</em></p> <p></p> <p><iframe src="http://www.broadwayworld.com/videoembed225.cfm?colid=594059" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Ted Chapin:</strong></p> <p>Tonight is a celebration, first of ONE TOUCH OF VENUS. The reviews were good – “a new musical comedy that is adult, professional, often comic, and genuinely musical…whose subversive and anarchic elements were so skillfully packaged that they went almost unnoticed.” The show was a hit – 567 performances – the longest original run of any of Weill’s Broadway shows. Three members of the creative team had never worked on a musical before – librettist S. J. Perlman, lyricist Ogden Nash, and director Elia Kazan. It was a very American show, contemporary, sassy, and sexy. The plot is about a statue of Venus that comes to life, experiences the real world, sees that all is not as it should be, and goes back to being a statue. Along the way there are the prerequisite love complications, some good humor, many great songs, and some interesting commentary on life in America, circa 1943.</p> <p><strong><em>I’m a Stranger Here Myself (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS)</em></strong> - Melissa Errico</p><p>“Oh, why not just go on and say it? As the love goddess who fell to earth in the<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6943/_MG_3014-39.jpg"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="_MG_3014-39" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6943/_MG_3014-39.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="300" /></a> charming concert version of ONE TOUCH OF VENUS, Melissa Errico is, in a word, divine.” That was the critic of the Times when Melissa performed the role at Encores! in 1996. Venus begins as a statue, but an unsuspecting barber, Rodney, decides to slip the engagement ring he is carrying for his fiancé onto the statue’s finger. She comes to life, and seeing a handsome man in front of her, assumes Rodney is her love. He is still loyal to his girlfriend. And the plot takes off. Mortals are so peculiar, and not very sophisticated in the world of love. Rodney sings of his girlfriend, but Venus is struggling with increasingly strong feelings for him.</p> <p><strong><em>How Much I Love You (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS) </em></strong>– Brent Barrett<br /><em><br /><strong>Foolish Heart (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS) </strong></em>– Melissa Errico</p><p>It is important to point out that all the orchestrations you hear were created by the composer himself. Kurt Weill was unique among the Broadway composers of the 1940’s that way. As Kurt Weill was writing ONE TOUCH OF VENUS, he became an American citizen. So here he is, as American as he could get. And this song has one of those wonderful 1940’s lead-in lines to a comedy song: “I always say the minute you cross the Hudson River you’re in the Wild West!”</p> <p><em><strong>Way Out West in Jersey (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS)</strong> –</em> Maren Weinberger, Analisa Leaming, and Jacob Keith Watson<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6946/_MG_3079-49.JPG"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="_MG_3079-49" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6946/_MG_3079-49.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="219" /></a></p> <p>The character who first brings the Venus statue to the Whitelaw Savory Foundation of Modern Art is none other than…Whitelaw Savory. The statue reminded him of someone…someone he feels he wants to meet again after a long journey. “In love with a memory?,” Venus asks. “You’re not very practical, are you?” She is far smarter than he is in the ways of love, and she leaves him with his memories.</p> <p><strong><em>West Wind (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS)</em></strong> – Ron Raines</p><p>Here is a first – a barbershop quartet, sung in a barber shop! Here is our barber<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6944/_MG_3442-107.JPG"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="_MG_3442-107" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6944/_MG_3442-107.JPG" alt="" width="200" height="300" /></a> commiserating with his cronies, including the shady guys who first unloaded the statue from the truck in the beginning of the show.</p> <p><br /><strong><em>The Trouble with Women (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS)</em></strong> – Jacob Watson, Richard Todd Adams, Cooper Grodin, Zachary James)</p> <p>ONE TOUCH OF VENUS was originally conceived as a vehicle for Marlene Deitrich to make her Broadway debut. That proved to be too scary a thought, and so the role fell to Mary Martin – which may seem like an unlikely choice. She had been unhappily in Hollywood, but needed a return to Broadway. Funny as we now think of her in those tomboy and nun roles she played later on, here she is, the goddess of sex. In her autobiography she wrote, “Me? In a part for Dietrich? And Venus?” Martin’s husband/manager Richard Halliday insisted they listen to Weill play the score, which he did in a “kind of quavery, German sound.” She was halfway there. It took a little more convincing before Martin signed on, and one important piece was engaging the couturier Mainboucher to design her clothes. Back to Weill’s apartment they all went, only this time Mary Martin sang “That’s Him.” “As Kurt played the introduction, I picked up a little chair and carried it over right in front of Main. I sat on it sideways and sang the song, right smack into those kind brown eyes. When I finished, he said, “I will do your clothes for the show if you will promise me one thing. Promise me you’ll always sing this song that way.” Which, of course, she did.</p> <p><strong><em>That’s Him (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS)</em></strong> – Melissa Errico</p><p>Now to our last song, which has become the best-known standard from the score. Inspired by a line in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING – “Speak low if you speak love.” Weill may well have quoted it to lyricist Ogden Nash as “speak low wenn you speak love,” since ‘wenn’ is the German word for “if.” So “when” it became! Either way, it inspired a classic Kurt Weill song.</p> <p><strong><em>Speak Low (ONE TOUCH OF VENUS)</em></strong> – Melissa Errico, Brent Barrett</p><p>Now we move away from ONE TOUCH OF VENUS and on to the rest of Kurt Weill’s<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6945/_MG_3189-61.jpg"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="_MG_3189-61" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6945/_MG_3189-61.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="300" /></a> Broadway career – there were 8 shows in all, from 1936’s JOHNNY JOHNSON to LOST IN THE STARS in 1949. For the most part, Weill chose to work with different collaborators on each show – which tells you how varied he wanted them to be. </p> <p>One lyricist he worked with more than once was Ira Gershwin. Their first collaboration was the extraordinary LADY IN THE DARK. The story came from librettist Moss Hart, who was going through psychoanalysis. Originally he conceived a play, called I AM LISTENING, with one song which the leading character kept trying to remember in her dreams. That morphed into the novel idea of musicalizing three of the lead character’s dreams, but not the rest of the show. So LADY IN THE DARK ended up kind of as a play-with-musicals.</p> <p><strong><em>This Is New (LADY IN THE DARK)</em> </strong>– Doug Carpenter</p><p>STREET SCENE was, for lack of a better term, Weill’s Broadway opera. If part of the task of a Broadway composer is to maintain a personal stamp while adapting to the specific circumstances at hand, Weill was a master. He always wanted to explore new ways of blending music and theater, and opera was still a form acceptable to the world of Broadway. Elmer Rice’s 1929 Pulitzer Prize-winning play STREET SCENE gave him a good opportunity to create a wide raging score that encompassed many styles, from soft-shoe, boogey-woogie, to soaring ballads. Noted poet Langston Hughes provided the lyrics.</p> <p><strong><em>Wouldn’t You Like to Be on Broadway? (STREET SCENE)</em></strong> – Brent Barrett</p> <p><strong><em>What Good Would the Moon Be? (STREET SCENE) </em></strong>– Analisa Leaming</p> <p><strong><em>One Life to Live (LADY IN THE DARK)</em></strong> – Melissa Errico</p> <p><strong><em>Lonely House (STREET SCENE) </em>– Jacob Keith Watson</strong></p><p>These Broadway musicals by Kurt Weill do not get quite the attention they deserve these days, although they are performed around the world. The one, though, that I feel is unjustly overlooked is LOVE LIFE. Let’s put it this way: the chapter in Foster Hirsch’s book on Kurt Weill’s stage career titles the chapter on this show: “Before Sondheim.” The show is credited as “a Vaudeville” and the idea came from Weill’s neighbor in New City – Alan Jay Lerner, fresh from his success with BRIGADOON. His idea was to tell the story of an American family, over 150 years, from 1791 to 1948, but while the time period changes, the characters stay the same age. Their “love life” reflects and is altered by the changing world throughout American history. The story is interrupted by vaudeville numbers ‘in one.’ At the end, the marriage is pretty much on the rocks, and in some ways the show seems to be saying that American values – which include free enterprise and ambition – may well be causing the destruction of the American way of life. The next song proved to be more than an inspiration to Alan Jay Lerner, who took that lyric, reworked it slightly with Frederick Loewe, and it became a highlight in the movie GIGI ten years later.</p> <p><strong><em>I Remember It Well (LOVE LIFE) </em>– Ron Raines, Judy Blazer</strong></p><p>Weill worked with playwright Maxwell Anderson on two musicals. In telling the story of Pieter Stuyvesant in KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY, they went straight for the question, as one of the songs asks, “How Can You Tell An American?” In their world, an American is someone who understands the freedoms a country has to offer and hates any restrictions on those freedoms. Coming in the mid-1930’s, the parallel to what was happening in the world was not a coincidence. Politics were never very far from Kurt Weill’s world.</p> <p><strong><em>It Never Was You (KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY)</em> –Brent Barrett, Maren Weinberger</strong></p><p>No celebration of the theater music of Kurt Weill is complete without a song from THE THREEPENNY OPERA. We have come to appreciate it as Weill’s best known show, and even though it originally premiered in Germany in the late 1920’s, the production at the Theater de Lys downtown remains one of the longest running shows in Off-Broadway history. It has also been produced in four distinctly different productions on Broadway, making it Weill’s most produced Broadway show.<br />Army Song (THE THREEPENNY OPERA) – Cooper Grodin, Zachary James<br />We all know and respect songs that have come to have lives outside of the shows for which they were written. Here is a Kurt Weill standard, written for 1929’s HAPPY END, again first produced in Germany. A Broadway production in the 1970’s had Meryl Streep in one of the leading roles.</p> <p><strong><em>Surabaya Johnny (HAPPY END)</em> – Melissa Erico</strong></p><p>The other musical Weill wrote with Maxwell Anderson was based on Alan Paton’s CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY. The two had wanted to write a show that dealt with the injustice of American segregation years before, and they had sketched out several numbers for the earlier idea. Nothing came of it, but when they secured the rights from Alan Paton, they found a story that provided the metaphor they needed. They were able to use some of the songs from before, including this one, which became the title song for LOST IN THE STARS.</p> <p><strong><em>Lost in the Stars (LOST IN THE STARS) </em></strong>– Justin Hopkins</p> <p><strong><em>Here I’ll Stay (LOVE LIFE)</em></strong> –The Company</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong><strong><em><a title="One Touch Of Venus" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/108/One-Touch-of-Venus" target="_blank">One Touch of Venus</a></em></strong>, <strong><em><a title="Lady In The Dark" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/61/Lady-in-the-Dark" target="_blank">Lady in the Dark</a></em></strong>, <strong><em><a title="Knickerbocker Holiday" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/59/Knickerbocker-Holiday" target="_blank">Knickerbocker Holiday</a></em></strong>, <strong><em><a title="Lost In The Stars" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/64/Lost-in-the-Stars" target="_blank">Lost in the Stars</a></em></strong>, <a title="LoveMusik" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/326/LOVEMUSIK" target="_blank">LoveMusik</a> and <strong><em><a title="The Threepenny Opera" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/105/The-Threepenny-Opera">The Threepenny Opera</a></em></strong> are available for licensing through R&H Theatricals.</strong></span></p><p></p><p><span style="font-size: x-small;">*All photos by Rahav Segev, courtesy of Symphony Space.</span></p> The Sound of His Music Never Stopper - Richard Rodgers Just Kept On Writing http://www.rnh.com/blog/80/The-Sound-of-His-Music-Never-Stopper-Richard-Rodgers-Just-Kept-On-Writing 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_80 <p>We all know about Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Rodgers & Hart. But how about Rodgers & Sondheim? Or Rodgers & Harnick? Or for that matter, Rodgers & Rodgers? </p><p>In October The Musical Theater Project will celebrate the great composer’s work during the years that followed Oscar Hammerstein’s death: from 1960 until Rodgers’s own passing in 1979 at the age of 77. </p><p>The Song Is You! concert and cabaret series will be presented by The Musical Theater Project on October 27 at Cleveland Institute of Music’s Mixon Hall is a survey in song documenting what Rodgers called the “last third” of his career. I’ll co-host it with Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization in New York City. Nancy Maier is our music director. The vocalists are Katherine DeBoer, Jared Leal, Lindsey Mitchell and Kevin David Thomas, and actor George Roth will offer Rodgers’s own testimony.</p><p></p><div style="height: 0px;"></div><dl id="image_715740" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 214px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6909/Ted_BillRudman.jpg"><img class="left " title="Ted Chapin and Bill Rudman" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6909/Ted_BillRudman.jpg" alt="Ted Chapin and Bill Rudman" width="204" height="136" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Ted Chapin and Bill Rudman</dd></dl>Ted and I have been planning the event – titled “Rodgers Without Hart or Hammerstein” – for more than a year. We believe it’s the first time anyone has created a concert focusing on this period of Rodgers’s life, which was astonishingly productive. As Ted points out: “When Hammerstein died nine months after The Sound of Music opened on Broadway, Rodgers, then 58, certainly could have rested on his laurels. After all, by 1960 he had been writing for the theater for 40 years. But no retirement for this man!”<p></p><p>In fact, there were five Broadway shows ahead of him, plus two films, a musical created for television, and lots more. He collaborated with two masterful lyricists – Stephen Sondheim and Sheldon Harnick – and two very good ones: Martin Charnin and himself. Among the songs that came out of those later musicals are “The Sweetest Sounds,”“I Have Confidence,” “Something Good” and the glorious “Do I Hear a Waltz?”</p><p>Our story is also one of personal courage. During his final years, Rodgers was weakened by a heart attack, two strokes and cancer of the larynx. But as Sheldon Harnick told us, he never stopped composing, and his “gallantry and wit never failed him.” In TMTP’s multi-media concert, Sheldon will be seen on video along with six other artists recently interviewed by me and my colleague Ken Bloom. All of them – including Tony Award-winning actor-singer John Cullum – worked with the composer, and their perspectives are fascinating.</p><p>Ted and I have two goals for the concert: that you leave Mixon Hall feeling you know Rodgers the composer – and Rodgers the man – better than you did when you came in. Certainly no artist in the history of the American musical has been more dedicated to this art form. In his autobiography, Musical Stages, he recalls seeing his first musical at the age of seven: “I couldn’t eat my dinner or sleep that night. I had taken my first deep drink of the heady wine known as theater.”</p><p>That passion, as you’ll learn in October, remained with Richard Rodgers until the very end of his life – and it is as inspiring to encounter as the hundreds of melodies he left us.</p> Who is Conducting Tonight? http://www.rnh.com/blog/79/Who-is-Conducting-Tonight 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_79 <p>The house lights dimmed. Then they dimmed even lower. Starting high up in the balcony, some people started to applaud. Others followed suit, until most everyone was clapping, nicely. The conductor, you see, was entering the pit, walking through the orchestra, up to the podium. When he got there, he stepped up, and looked out to the audience, acknowledging the warm hand. He then turned around, lifted his baton, and gave the downbeat to the overture of…a musical. Kern and Hammerstein’s SHOW BOAT.</p> <p>This production was in the Opera House of the Kennedy Center and it was presented under the auspices of the Washington Opera. Now in the opera world, the conductor always makes an entrance. The orchestra pit is always large enough to accommodate his walk-through. The podium is prominent enough to be seen clearly by those on stage as well as the instrumental players arranged out in front of him. This clearly acknowledges the importance of the music, and the importance of the person whose task it is, at each performance, to guide that music. At the curtain call, the conductor leaves the podium and comes up to the stage level where he is brought out by the leading lady to join the company in a bow. This allows him to walk to the lip of the stage, and gesture toward the orchestra for a hearty acknowledgement from the crowd.</p> <p>But SHOW BOAT is not an opera. It is a musical – in fact, one of the greatest of all American musicals. So seeing the Jerome Kern music being accorded this kind of respect – in a hall that will have as its next tenant a touring production of ANYTHING GOES - made me think about the role of the conductor of musicals, and even more so, the role of the conductor of musicals on Broadway today.</p> <p>Broadway theaters – most all of them, even many of the smaller ones – have orchestra pits. In the old days, those pits were in front of the stage, on a level slightly lower than the floor of orchestra level of seats, so patrons sitting in the front rows could see over the instruments to the stage. Placing the pit in front of the stage allowed there to be an acoustic sound – the architecture of the auditoriums was created for a blend of sound from the stage and the pit to come together without the need for amplification, which wasn’t in existence when these buildings were built. But the pits were all lowered, and pushed back under the front of the stage, making it harder to hear the music that was created there. Leaving an open space helped, but today’s set designs often come right out in front of the proscenium blocking off any direct access. Every instrument and every singer is miked today, and the reality is that the sound is created by the person manning the sound deck in the rear of the theater. Hopefully, that operator follows the design that the sound designer has created. Sometimes yes, sometimes not so much.</p> <p>But where is the conductor? And how important is he? (Many of today’s popular conductors are women.) Interesting question. In a perfect world, he is a collaborator with an equal say from the very beginning of the rehearsal process. In performance, he is the person through whose gestures flow the synthesis of the creators work on a musical. He has a unique responsibility, since he is carrying many a gauntlet, including the work of the composer, the lyricist, the arranger(s), the orchestrator and anyone else on the musical team – but also, especially today, it can also mean the director, the choreographer, the scenery, costume, lighting and sound designers, the producers, maybe even the star. So you can see that it’s a tricky position. Sometimes, alas, he is the person at the end of the chain who simply picks up the baton to keep orchestra, performers, and physical production together in performance.</p> <p>Sometimes there will be an announcement that “at this evening’s performance, the [name of show] orchestra will be conducted by [name of conductor].” That is, I suppose, a good step in the direction of giving credit where credit is due. (Musical contractors, the person who actually hires the various musicians that make up the orchestra, now get billing on the title page of the program.) Rarely, in my experience, has that announcement meant much to the audience. And I am not sure where it comes from, since it doesn’t seem to be consistent. Other times there is not only no mention of the conductor, but judging by what you hear from the speakers, you’re not even sure if the orchestra is in the building. In some shows, a bunch of people come out on stage during the curtain call, all wearing black, and one of them is holding a baton. Most of the audience has no idea who there are – but they are the live musicians who have been providing the accompaniment. Often, the only way to see that there even is a conductor is to look at the front of the balcony rail and watch the TV monitors which show a blurry black and white shot of someone waving his hand or a baton during the songs. Who knows where he actually is?</p> <p>It seems a little odd that a theatrical genre with the word ‘music’ in its name would seem to favor other aspects over, well, the music. Go to - well, I will admit to favoritism here – Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA at the Broadway theater for a lesson in the importance of a visible conductor. Luckily the Broadway Theater is large enough to accommodate a decent sized orchestra, but also credit goes to set designer Anna Louizos whose set comes downstage far enough to let all the action take place properly, but also makes room for a real sense of an open orchestra pit from which the sound can come. The height of the podium allows the Conductor to have a real presence, almost in…well shall I say, an opera house style? Clearly he is in charge of the music all night long, and in the case of CINDERELLA, we can watch each performance conducted with all the passion of an opening night.</p> <p>I don’t think Broadway will ever adopt the opera house tradition of a house-to-half applause entrance for a conductor – that tradition has never made the transition. But wouldn’t it be nice to give a little more respect and acknowledgement of the task than what comes across on a grainy black and white monitor on the balcony rail?</p> <p></p> Pit Sit http://www.rnh.com/blog/78/Pit-Sit 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_78 <p>I had a, well, magical experience on Saturday night. Andy Einhorn, the indefatigable conductor and musical director of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA, invited me to sit in the orchestra pit of the Broadway Theatre during the performance. Because the pit is big enough, there is a space where, once the orchestra members are settled in their seats, a chair can be placed safely, between the bows of the violins and the constant instrument shifting of the woodwind section.</p> <p>It is pretty clear that Richard Rodgers’ music lends itself to an orchestra of real instruments. The score of CINDERELLA is based on what was written for a commissioned 1957 TV Network television special, augmented cleverly by songs from the very small R&H ‘trunk’ of unused songs. David Chase was the man in whose hands the responsibility landed to make it all sound like a whole. And with orchestrator Danny Troob and conductor Andy Einhorn, Mr. Rodgers is being extraordinarily well served.</p> <div style="height: 0px;"></div> <dl id="image_711023" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 220px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"> <a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6702/2013-RR%20conducting.jpg"><img class="right " style="margin: 5px;" title="Richard Rodgers Conducting" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6702/2013-RR%20conducting.jpg" alt="Richard Rodgers Conducting, 1949" width="210" height="260" /><br /> </a> </dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd"> Richard Rodgers conducts SOUTH PACIFIC, 1949 </dd> </dl> <p>“Sounding like a whole” is, more than anything, what you learn sitting in the pit. The orchestrations that Danny Troob created for the arrangements David wrote not only make the score sound good, but all “of a piece.” When people who don’t feel skilled at judging Broadway orchestrations ask what makes a good orchestration, I say listen to CINDERELLA. Admitting my bias here, I would say that these orchestrations are the best in many a year. Troob had good music to begin with, but how he laid it out among the instruments at hand, with nuance, spirit, humor, passion and romance is pretty astonishing. Hearing the orchestrations in true surround-sound, I understood why these orchestrations are Tony-nominated, and deserving of the award.</p> <p>The CINDERELLA orchestra is 20 players strong. Behind me was the harp, and in front of the harp, 1 cello and 1 viola. To my right, were the 4 violins. In front of the violins, a keyboard player (usually the associate conductor) was seated at an electronic keyboard. Beyond the woodwinds, seated against the back wall of the pit were the 2 French Horns, which I could eyeball between the stands of woodwinds. To the right of the podium were the 2 trumpets and the 1 trombone. Behind them, 1 bass, and the two percussion players, one on drums and the other manning a wide variety of tingly and funny sounding things.</p> <p>Why that complement of players? Here is where the Messrs. Chase (who recommended the make-up of the group) and Troob (who gave input on the group, and then determined which instrument played what at any given time) showed their stuff. Some observations: two French Horns give a particular and heralding sound. Right from the start of the Overture, you hear 2 horns together, and it sounds majestic. CINDERELLA is, after all, a fairy tale, and you want the sound of horns in a fairy tale. The 4 violins are enough to sound like a string section – when romance kicks in, and you want strings to soar, 4 playing together with passion sound just fine. The one viola, then, can provide a little darker and lower pitched tone to the strings, and when used as a solo, can be slightly melancholy. Similarly the cello, which is lower pitched to give the strings a bit of a bottom (of course the bass sitting across the pit is there primarily to give a, well, base to the sound) can be very impressive in its solo moments. The woodwinds were a marvel. The 4 players each spent the night gracefully switching instruments, and the player I was closest to manned three instruments: a flute (blown across its mouthpiece), a clarinet (a single reed attached to the body of the instrument) and a bassoon (a double reed attached to a tube that leads into the body). I asked the player, Daniel Sullivan (not the director…) the sequence in which he learned those three distinctly different instruments, each with its own particular means of creating a sound. (Answer: clarinet, Flute, bassoon). One colleague, Jonathan Levine, stayed in the clarinet family, switching among three instruments of different pitch – high, middle, low. Similarly, Katherine Fink stayed within the flute family, also changing among three differently pitched one: high (piccolo), middle, and low. Then Lynne Cohen alternated two double reed instruments, similar in style, with one (English Horn) pitched lower than the other (oboe.) I explain all this – aside from the fact that I was in their midst – to say how mind-blowing it was to watch and listen all night long as Troob pulled different colors out of these instruments, often working in different grouping, depending on what the music needed at any given time. The particular tight sound of the highest clarinet, to the mellow sound of the lower double reeds (bassoon and English Horn) gave a sense there were 20 players in that section alone. The keyboard was also fun to watch. There was a computer screen on which large numbers were progressing all night long – each number indicated the next ‘patch’ that was programmed into the keyboard. It could be a Celeste when the Fairy Godmother was describing the Venetian glass slippers, or a honky-tonk piano when Charlotte pounds away in “A Lovely Night.”</p><div style="height: 0px;"></div><dl id="image_711106" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 270px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6710/TedWilliam-SMALL.jpg"><img class="left " title="TedWilliam-SMALL" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6710/TedWilliam-SMALL.jpg" alt="Ted Chapin and William Ivey Long" width="260" height="173" /></a><br /></dd><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Ted Chapin and William Ivey Long waiting for the opening night performance. <span style="font-size: xx-small;">Photo Credit: <a title="Nathan Johnson" href="http://nathanjohnsonphotography.com/">Nathan Johnson</a></span></dd></dl>Across the pit was the now-familiar orange and blue trumpet of Dominic Derasse, which I first became aware of in SOUTH PACIFIC at Lincoln Center Theater, when the stage opened to reveal the full orchestra. Orange or not, the man plays a mean trumpet, and as with the French Horns, two trumpets create a fanfare of sound that announces their strong presence. Mark Vanderpoel at the bass, slouch cap on all night, did what bass fiddles are there to do: provide a bottom to the sound, and occasionally get to use the bow for a melodic step-out. And Rich Rosenzweig, at the drums, was the most familiar face, since his trap-set had been in the rehearsal studio when the orchestra was still a dream and the piano provided the accompaniment. <p>I should also add a word about the sound. As I looked around the pit expecting to see lots of microphones hanging overhead, I saw only a few. The violins each had a small unobtrusive black thing attached to the bridge – no wires attached. That was a microphone, I was told, which is somehow grabbed by the sound board. Looking around, I saw a few small microphones placed near the bells of instruments. I was quite amazed – this is why the sound for this production is so skillfully created, and creates the impossible task so well: it makes an acoustic musical sound, well, acoustic. Taking care to mike each instrument in the best and most natural way possible, Nevin Steinberg has at his finger tips the most technically sophisticated way to make the whole sound like it isn’t really amplified. That is a very hard task – it is far easier to mike pop music that has had amplification as part of its very existence from the beginning. Amplifying a show that has its musical core in a pre-amplified time is a very tough challenge. Bravo to Nevin.</p> <p>By the end of the night, I felt I had been swimming in the most beautiful, clear-watered pond I could imagine. Listening to the responsive Saturday night crowd laugh and cheer, and hearing thumps from the stage floor above just added to the magic. Two last things: A piece of the fox’s tail ended up, by mistake, in the pit, on the conductor’s podium. Andy Einhorn shrugged, but shortly afterward I noticed the light going on that signals the stage manager wants to speak with the conductor. The wardrobe department wanted the fox tail back, and so the pit door slid open, and a serious minded woman showed up to take the tail – it would, after all, need to be reattached for the next performance. And at one point the door opened quietly, and Laura Osnes appeared to say hello. It was, she said, the one time in the show she had enough time off stage when she could come down and greet the visiting pit guest. Now that, my friends, is a star!</p> CINDERELLA Steps into Tony History http://www.rnh.com/blog/77/CINDERELLA-Steps-into-Tony-History 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_77 <p>With the 9 Tony Award nominations for Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA announced this morning, once again Rodgers and Hammerstein stand tall and proud among the best of Broadway.</p> <div style="height: 0px;"></div> <dl id="image_709890" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 320px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6689/575004_350287798415587_21928230_n.jpg"><img class="center" title="575004_350287798415587_21928230_n" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6689/575004_350287798415587_21928230_n.jpg" alt="Rodgers and Hammerstein take a bow on opening night 2013, Photo Credit Walter McBride " width="320" height="213" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Rodgers and Hammerstein take a bow on opening night 2013, Photo Credit Walter McBride </dd> </dl> <p>Perhaps Rodgers & Hammerstein are unique in the world of the Tony Awards for having received so many nominations, awards, and special Tony awards over the years – not only for the premiere productions, but for revivals, subsequent revivals, even revisals, and shows whose Broadway premieres came years after their initial creation. STATE FAIR led that particular way in 1996, when the first stage version of the beloved 1945 film received two Tony nominations.</p> <p>CINDERELLA, originally created for CBS Television in 1957, has never been on Broadway before, and this spectacular multi-nominated production brings with it not only Rodgers & Hammerstein pedigree, but a host of collaborators and performers whose amazing work was acknowledged this morning. It’s a rare breed – a title familiar enough among the world of musical theater to be recognized as a classic – hence the classification of it as a Revival (now a nominated Revival!) – and yet new enough to have an entirely new book (now a nominated book!) as well as an entirely new and fresh take on the fairy tale world the story warrants (now with nominated costumes, lighting, sound, orchestrations!) And then the cast – when Cinderella, the Prince, and the Fairy Godmother all get Tony nominations, you know something is right with the world. Especially with the world of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA.</p> Spain Embraces "THE SOUND OF MUSIC" http://www.rnh.com/blog/76/Spain-Embraces-THE-SOUND-OF-MUSIC 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_76 <p>Gran Via, a beautiful thoroughfare in the heart of Madrid, is known as Spain’s own Broadway – and little wonder: within a few small blocks of each other are a half dozen resplendent old theatres, any one of which could hold its own with Broadway or London’s West End. Home grown product – including hit “jukebox” musicals based on the songs and careers of Spanish pop legends – thrive alongside such fare as Los Productores (The Producers), El fantasma de la opera (Phantom of the Opera), and la Bella y la Bestia (Beauty and the Beast). Right now, the Lion King’s internationally-recognized visage glowers down from the marquee for El Rey León, while across the street another internationally-beloved musical is drawing crowds of its own: <a title="Sonrisas y Lagrimas" href=" http://www.sonrisasylagrimas.com/index.php">SONRISAS Y LAGRIMAS</a> (Smiles and Tears) – the Spanish title for THE SOUND OF MUSIC.</p><p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6522/TSOM_Spain_Bert.JPG"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="The Sound of Music in Spain" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6522/TSOM_Spain_Bert.JPG" alt="The Sound of Music in Spain" width="280" height="152" /></a>As I am now based in London, where Rodgers & Hammerstein is launching our own European theatrical licensing division – R&H Theatricals Europe – I had the great pleasure of hopping down to Madrid for 24 hours in late December, to see SONRISAS…, meet the cast and equally hardworking crew, and revel in a production of the timeless musical that seems to “bloom and grow forever” – and everywhere.</p><p>Madrid is a town that never sleeps – and I was therefore not surprised when the evening performance began at 9PM. (On Saturdays, the matinee is at 6PM, the second performance starts at 10PM, finishes close to 1AM and yes, I am told it is often populated with very happy and wide-awake children at that hour!) The production was beautifully designed and staged. Maria’s “tom-boyish” qualities were wonderfully captured by Argentina-born Silvia Luchetti, and the Captain’s soulful blend of melancholy and majestic was conveyed superbly by Carlos Hipólito (whose most recent previous role was as Benjamin Stone in a Madrid production of FOLLIES; after our performance, Señor Hipólito serenaded me with a few lines of “The Road You Didn’t Take” en Español!) </p><p>THE SOUND OF MUSIC is known all over the globe, as popular as ever throughout the Spanish-speaking world. In Central and South America, where it is known as La novicia Rebelde (The Rebellious Novice), we have had recent successes in Mexico City, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina (as well as in Portugese-speaking Brazil). The current Spanish production began in Tenerife in early 2012, and played throughout Spain until September, when it arrived at Madrid’s Teatro Coliseum for what we hope will be a long, long way to run. (Specifically, a full season in the Spanish capital before resuming a tour across Spain starting in Summer ’13).</p><p>I have seen this musical many times, and it never fails to move me – and it never fails to impress me with its construction and its story telling: the characters so expertly drawn by Lindsay & Crouse, and the timeless songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein (with a special salute to the new Spanish translation by Miguel Antelo!) In Vienna, Salzburg, Moscow, Haifa and now Madrid, I hear the songs, I re-live the story and it works every time – no matter where, no matter what language. Or, as the Mother Abbess might ponder, “How do you find the word that means Maria?”</p> Ted Chapin Travels to Melbourne http://www.rnh.com/blog/73/Ted-Chapin-Travels-to-Melbourne 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_73 <p></p><div style="height: 0px;"></div><dl id="image_691155" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 290px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6411/TedChapin_DavidCampell_SydneyOperaHouse.JPG"><img class="left " title="Ted Chapin in front of the Sydney Opera House earlier this month, seen here with performer David Campbell." src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6411/TedChapin_DavidCampell_SydneyOperaHouse.JPG" alt="" width="280" height="210" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Ted Chapin in front of the Sydney Opera House earlier this month, seen here with performer David Campbell.</dd></dl><p></p><p>It turns out that Melbourne, Australia, longs to be the third global capital of musical theater. In fact, Jeff Kennett, a Premier of the state of Victoria, in which Melbourne lies, announced early in his term that he wanted Melbourne to become ‘the third point of a cultural triangle for musical theater’ after New York and London.</p><p>Which put the day-long symposium – “Rodgers And Hammerstein – Understanding The Phenomenon” – hosted by the Victorian College of the Arts on August 13th, into perspective. It is true that Melbourne has many more theaters than any other city in Australia, with Sydney being a case study of a major urban center that let many of its old playhouses fall to the wrecking ball. And it is true that there is a loyal audience for musical theater - when I was there, a starry production of ANNIE was coming to the end of its run, a new Australian musical using the music of Cat Stevens had closed to make way for SOUTH PACIFIC, local singer/actress Rhonda Burchmore was about to open in a musical based on the life of Julie London, and a press conference was held for a production of A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM this fall that will star Geoffrey Rush.</p><p>Since I was in Australia for the opening of Opera Australia’s remounting of the Lincoln Center Theater’s production of SOUTH PACIFIC at the Sydney Opera House – which went extraordinarily well - I became a participant in the symposium. And in many ways it was both eye-opening and reassuring. Eye-opening because of the different prisms through which the Rodgers & Hammerstein works were examined, and reassuring because of the devotion for the work and the extraordinary high regard in which they are held. Papers were presented throughout the day, from composers, historians, students, professors, and lyricists, all focused on Rodgers and Hammerstein. What came across loud and clear was love and appreciation for the R&H works, and a clear understanding of how vital they remain today to anyone interested in musical theater. I was impressed by the collective knowledge of these participants, and the passion of Peter Wyllie Johnston, the head of the Australian Centre for Music Theatre, whose brainchild the symposium was. He chose the participants, from, according to him afterward, many who expressed interest. And for him it was a strong indication of his passion in studying, encouraging, and training future generations to create, perform and celebrate the musical theater. By the end of the day, which concluded with a gala dinner held for what looked like the cream of the Melbourne arts scene, it felt like the day had been a great success.</p><p>It was a special pleasure to sit on the other side of the world and hear people reference productions and projects that have occurred during my time at the office. Who knew what an enormous impact our studio recording of ALLEGRO had? It was praised often, and provided the focus for one paper that was devoted entirely to ALLEGRO. One point that was made in the paper was how similar the ascending melody of the title song is to Rodgers’ earlier song “Johnny One Note.” It was a surprise to hear an interview I did with Stephen Sondheim at the Paley Center earlier this year made reference to as part of a paper asking whether Richard Rodgers’ music for OKLAHOMA! was actually revolutionary or similar stylistically to his final Rodgers & Hart score, BY JUPITER. And I had forgotten how good Sondheim’s new introduction to the 1985 reissue of Hammerstein’s LYRICS was, but when it was quoted from I thought back to encouraging Bill Hammerstein to pursue that project.</p><p>We who toil in the trenches don’t often get an opportunity to pull way back and look at what we do from other people’s points of view. The papers varied, from a passionate list of favorite aspects of Hammerstein’s lyrics – which included a convincing argument about why Maria would of course describe a lark as “learning to pray” since she only knows the world of the convent – to a detailed précis of how two songs - SOUTH PACIFIC’s “This Nearly Was Mine” and “Love To Me” from Adam Guettel’s THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA - serve almost identical dramatic positions in their shows, showing a genetic generational influence. It was fascinating to hear from Australian musical theater historian Frank Van Straten the history of Rodgers & Hammerstein productions in the country, starting with the Melbourne premiere of SOUTH PACIFIC in 1952. Who knew that the Australian premiere of THE KING AND I was by an amateur group, or that James Hammerstein insisted on an American director for a production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC in the 1980’s because he felt everything he had seen in the country “was shit”? Seeing photographs of the sumptuous 1991 production of THE KING AND I took me back to my first visit to Melbourne. Only a block away from where the symposium took place stands the Victorian Arts Center where I first saw that production, which prompted me to get the ball rolling toward its journey to Broadway and the first-ever Tony Awards for an Australian production. In my talk I read excerpts from letters between Hammerstein and Rodgers from 1956, the only time in the collaboration when the two men were separated and corresponding about the details of a project. The project was CINDERELLA and Hammerstein was in, of all places, Melbourne, attending the summer Olympics. The hotel Hammerstein was staying in – The Windsor – still stands prominently at the top of the city’s main business district.</p><p>The papers presented may well become a published collection. I hope that does happen, because there were things to be learned and observations to be contemplated. Of course I didn’t agree with everything, but that is very much a part of academic and intelligent discourse. Clearly it was a big deal for Melbourne – the Lord Mayor himself came by in the middle of the day to give a rather inspiring brief talk – and the day kicked off with a talk by Andy Hammerstein whose grandmother Dorothy grew up in the Williamstown section of Melbourne. More connections with Australia!</p><p>But the day belonged to Rodgers and Hammerstein. And another reminder of just how extraordinary their work was, is, and will continue to be. The fact that they are now being examined and studied in ways they weren’t when they were being created, is a good indication for a strong future.</p> Lost in the Stars Returns to Its Roots in South Africa http://www.rnh.com/blog/72/Lost-in-the-Stars-Returns-to-Its-Roots-in-South-Africa 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_72 <p><strong>“Though it is a story of the ages wrestling issues of biblical dimensions, Lost in the Stars is a simple story of the human heart – one of heartbreak and intolerance as well as truth, reconciliation, compassion, and finally, moral transformation." – Tazewell Thompson</strong></p><p><em>This summer (July 22 – August 25, 2012), the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, N.Y., joins forces with Cape Town Opera to present Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson’s 1949 “musical tragedy” Lost in the Stars, based on Alan Paton’s classic anti-apartheid novel, Cry, the Beloved Country. Directed by Tazewell Thompson, who led a November 2011 production in Cape Town, and conducted by John DeMain, the Glimmerglass production features Eric Owens as Stephen Kumalo. Thompson wrote a moving account of his experience working in South Africa on the Weill-Anderson musical; here we share an excerpt:</em></p><p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6404/LostInTheStars_CapeTown01.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px 7px;" title="LostInTheStars_CapeTown01" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6404/LostInTheStars_CapeTown01.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="200" /></a>On closing night I leave the hotel and set out for the Artscape orchestra rehearsal room to give my pre-opera talk. The winds are back. Actually, they had never left from the night before. All night long the windows of my suite had rattled and I could see the whipped-up ocean waters tossing barges and boats about, bending down the trees, and raising whirlwinds of debris everywhere. As I venture forth this evening, I am really fighting the winds, more ferocious even than last night, so powerful that I am thrown to the pavement even while holding onto the bent sidewalk poles, constructed and placed for just such displays of natural temperament. These gale force winds are welcomed by Cape Town residents from late November through early February. They are known as Cape Doctor Winds because the locals believe they blow away pollution, sins, and pestilence, cleaning the air for the rest of the year. You find a wide variety of plants, trees and vegetation in the city due to the seeds hurled by the winds from all parts of Cape Town that have pollinated and rooted throughout the downtown area. They say many a hopeful lover will tear up sheets of paper bearing the name of their intended written over and over and toss them into the winds, hoping one will blow into the window or doorstep of the one they long for. There is no love or help for me tonight as I brave the relentless, terrifying velocity of the winds that are behaving like a gigantic trapped tiger caught in the bowl of the city between Table Mountain and the South Atlantic Ocean.<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6388/raw_file_url.jpg"><img class="left alignright" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6388/raw_file_url.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="375" /></a></p><p>Eventually, I reach my destination; clothes all askew, with bruises and scratches on my face and arms. The house is packed and overflowing with patrons, many sitting on the steps leading down to the orchestra pit. In the center of the house there are rows and rows of young black teenagers dressed in white; the girls in white dresses with white wraps around their heads and the boys in white shirts and black ties. I ask them who they are during intermission; they tell me they are a group of fifty-five Anglican students from one of the townships. Many of them carry paperbacks of Cry, the Beloved Country in their hands; the book is part of their curriculum. They all listened to a recording of Lost in the Stars in preparation for this evening’s performance. While they are excited to meet someone from “New York City, America,” they are more thrilled to meet a black man in charge of directing the production onstage. Throughout all the weeks of rehearsal, I could never get the company to call me Tazewell, or Taz; it was always Mr. Thompson, Sir, or Mr. Director! So formal in their culture and so proud of my position as a black man director, their first.</p><p>This final performance is especially rich, full-throated and powerful. The scenes and songs are connecting in a way that seems even more meaningful tonight. There are the same reactions (bigger than ever) to lines about never returning from Johannesburg and John Kumalo’s disdain for his brother’s religious collar. The pain and humiliation of a father seeing his son in jail accused of murdering a white is extremely palpable in the house; the shebeen scene with Gloria’s song, “Who’ll Buy,” has the audience clapping and finger-snapping to the rhythm of the song; the title song receives an amazing round of cheers and applause as our corrugated curtain comes in for the intermission. The crowd loves Irina all through the show. Her unfortunate plight touches them in a deeply emotional way—it really hits home. Her two songs receive long ovations.</p><p>Act Two: The Leader’s song, “The Wild Justice,” draws new reactions from the house: whispers and sounds of disgruntlement, lots of head-shaking. Kumalo’s operatic “Soliloquy” is robust and searing. However, the most incredible moment of all three nights happens during the trial scene. When Absalom Kumalo receives his death sentence, there are screams and anguished cries from the audience; a few patrons stand up and jeer at the announcement. As Absalom is led off to his cell, a woman waves her white handkerchief in the air and makes a tearful sound in her native language.</p><p>I have had so many wonderful and fulfilling experiences in my career; travels across the country and overseas, exploring the human condition through the great works composed and written for the stage. It will be a very long time, if ever, that something will come along to top my time in Cape Town, rehearsing and directing the poet-playwright Maxwell Anderson and the genius Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars in South Africa. I thank The Kurt Weill Foundation, The Sterling Clark Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Francesca Zambello for helping to make this all possible, for bringing me home to the land of my ancestors and connecting me to a people and culture that is my own. And the winds come at night to bring me back and remind me.</p><p>I rejoice that the theater exists as a means for writers like Anderson, together with composers like Weill, to work together with actors, singers and other artists and connect themselves to our world, pierce through its density, to show to our fellow humans something of its mystery and violence and prejudices and terror and pity and capacity to change. -Tazewell Thompson, Director</p><p><a title="Kurt Weill Newsletter 30.1" href="http://www.kwf.org/images/newsletter/kwn301p1-12.pdf">For the full text, see the Kurt Weill Newsletter 30.1</a>.</p><p><a title="Kurt Weill Foundation: Glimmerglass LOST IN THE STARS" href="http://www.kwf.org/current-news/current-news/45-current-news/554-lost-in-the-stars-takes-glimmerglass">Click here for more information on the Glimmerglass production.</a></p><br /><p></p> Let's Hear It For The Girls! Part III http://www.rnh.com/blog/71/Let-s-Hear-It-For-The-Girls-Part-III 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_71 <p>It's Saturday, July 7.</p> <p>The Umeda Arts Theatre in the heart of Osaka, Japan, is part of a multi-level complex that includes a world-class hotel, beautiful shops and many restaurants (including a Starbucks - thank god!) FOOTLOOSE won't start until 3 p.m. (an opening matinee instead of an opening night), but by noon the area around the Umeda is buzzing with excited theatre-goers, filling the restaurants or eating their bento box lunches on the plaza in front of the posters advertising the premiere of the Takarazuka Theatre production of our show.</p> <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6370/C.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" title="FOOTLOOSE Takarazuka Cast" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6370/C.jpg" alt="FOOTLOOSE Takarazuka Cast" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="365" height="244" align="left" /></a>By 2:30, the crowd is surging into the theatre, running up the escalators to the vendors selling everything from Takarazuka t-shirts and pencil cases to handkerchiefs that bear the celebrity endorsement of Kei Otozuki, the star of the Snow Troupe (see <a title="Let's Hear It For The Girls! Part II" href="http://www.rnh.com/blog/2012/07/Let-s-Hear-It-For-The-Girls--Part-II">Part 2 of "Let's Hear It for the Girls"</a> for a fuller explanation of just what being a troupe’s STAR means.)</p> <p>As I enter the theatre, I'm greeted by a line-up of many Takarazuka company executives, including Mr. Koichi Kobayashi, who now runs the theatre company that his great-grandfather created in 1913. (Overdinner after the show, he'll tell me how his grandfather was responsible for building the Hankyu International Hotel, where I'm staying, as well as the many other Hankyu hotels, department stores and train lines that fill the landscape of Osaka.)</p> <p>Once 1,800 theatregoers are settled into their seats, the lights dim, the crowd cheers excitedly, and the show begins. For me, it’s even more thrilling than it was at the dress rehearsal the day before, because now the audience is a show unto itself. They applaud the entrances of the principal players; they clap in tempo whenever a song kicks into rhythm (“Holding Out for a Hero,” for instance); and they laugh at moments of unexpected humor (the director, a lovely lady named Naoko Noyanagi, has obviously found delightful ways to play to the local sensibilities.)</p> <p>Intermission is a half-hour long, and the audience savors every moment of it, relaxing with food and drink (and their cellphones) in the many theatre lobbies and all over the terrace in front of the Umeda. Many of them take the opportunity to purchase battery-operated glo-sticks, because in Act I, Kei has hinted that they’ll need them for an audience participation moment in Act II.</p> <p>Sure enough, in the middle of “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” Kei steps forward and, addressing the audience directly, teaches them a simple bit of choreography using the light wands. In front of me, I can see ten rows of bobbing light sticks, but what I see when I turn around takes my breath away.</p> <p>Hundreds upon hundreds of glow sticks bob and spin and dance in the darkened theatre – on the orchestra level… and in the mezzanine… and, high above, in the second balcony. See? It’s almost like (as my old friend Peter Allen used to say) the audience is playing for me!</p> <p>And once the final, exuberant “Footloose” ends, this audience knows that the show isn’t over. No, no, no – far from it!</p> <p>Takarazuka has a long tradition of adding a revue to their performance, an elaborate ‘mega-mix’ in which several of the favorite numbers from the show are re-imagined and re-staged… sometimes in elaborate, bejeweled and feathered costumes that would have looked out of context in the show!</p> <p>We see a new version of “The Girl Gets Around” (the actress playing Chuck – now dressed in a sequined tuxedo instead of t-shirt and jeans – dances with a bevy of chorines.) Following that, a group of sixteen dancers perform an elegant adagio to a sensuous version of “I’m Free”. Then Kei, dressed in rock-star regalia, rises up from beneath the stage and does a rousing reprise of “Footloose” before undergoing a costume change.</p> <p>Finally Kei and Mimi -- now dressed in fairy-tale prince and princess wardrobe -- deliver the ultimate moment, the signature finale of every Takarazuka production: a pas de deux between the leading couple (Ren and Ariel, in the case of “Footloose”) danced to an instrumental of “Almost Paradise.” And when, at the end of the number, Kei lifts Mimi and spins her around, the audience ROARS its approval!</p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6369/DeanPitchford_WavingAudience.jpg"><img class="right alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="DeanPitchford_WavingAudience" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6369/DeanPitchford_WavingAudience.jpg" alt="Dean Pitchford" width="167" height="172" /></a><p>The standing ovation goes on for nine curtain calls, and during every one, a member of the cast steps forward to thank the audience for their support. At one point, I’m introduced from the audience, and when I turn to wave to the auditorium, eighteen hundred people wave back. </p> <p>Then I’m whisked backstage to meet the cast and pose for photos – one of which is included below. Notice that the ladies are still proudly waving their glo-sticks!<a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6371/DeanPitchford_TakarazukaFOOTLOOSEcast.JPG"><img class="right alignright" style="margin: 5px;" title="DeanPitchford_TakarazukaFOOTLOOSEcast" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6371/DeanPitchford_TakarazukaFOOTLOOSEcast.JPG" alt="Takarazuka FOOTLOOSE cast" width="312" height="234" /></a></p><p></p><p>I want to thank the entire company and managements of Takarzuka Theatre for making my stay so enjoyable and for delivering a once-in-a-lifetime production of FOOTLOOSE!</p> <p>Friday, July 13</p> <p>Tokyo. </p> <p>I’m packing for my flight back this afternoon, but had to add one p.s. Yesterday, after a day-trip outside of Tokyo to the ancient seaside town of Kamakura, I was returning by train when I happened to glance over to the reading material of the elegantly dressed woman seated next to me. She was diligently studying a brochure from Takarazuka, and from the page she had stopped to read, the poster for FOOTLOOSE stared up at me.</p> <p>Somewhere, the theatre gods were smiling down.</p> Let's Hear It For The Girls! Part II http://www.rnh.com/blog/70/Let-s-Hear-It-For-The-Girls-Part-II 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_70 <p>On Friday, July 6, I had the privilege of attending the final dress rehearsal for the highly-anticipated Takarazuka Theatre production of FOOTLOOSE at the awesome Umeda Arts Theatre, an 1,800-seat state of the art complex in the middle of Osaka. I was greeted warmly by members of the the production company, the theatre staff and employees of Takarazuka before the lights went down and the cast of 40 (FORTY!) launched into their astonishing version of our show.</p><div style="height: 0px;"></div><dl id="image_689177" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 231px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6367/DeanPitchford_Takarazuka_withFullCast.jpg"><img class="left " title="DeanPitchford_Takarazuka_withFullCast" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6367/DeanPitchford_Takarazuka_withFullCast.jpg" alt="Dean Pitchford with the Takarazuka Review Company cast of FOOTLOOSE" width="221" height="166" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Dean Pitchford with the Takarazuka Review Company cast of FOOTLOOSE</dd></dl><p>Because women are playing all the characters, I anticipated that I would always be aware of their female-ness in the male parts. But two minutes into the show, I totally accepted the performers in the 'pants' roles and had to remind myself... from time to time... that, 'That's a woman doing that up there!" In the same way the all-male Elizabethan acting troupes of the 16th century and the Japanese Kabuki troupes of the 17th century (right up to the 21st century!) convinced their audiences that men could play women, the ladies of Takarazuka make us believe that they are men.</p><p><br />After all, it's what they're trained for. Very shortly after auditioning - in their late teens - and being accepted by the school in the town of Takarazuka, young girls are assigned the gender of the roles that they'll always be playing in the company's productions. Those performing male roles then have to train their voices to build up the lower part of the range; they learn to sit and walk and gesture and talk like boys or men. They maintain a rigorous physical regimen because they'll be expected to execute the lifts and strength-demanding moves in dance numbers.</p><p><br />The young actresses accepted into Takarazuka wear uniforms to class and live in dormitories for the next two years as they are groomed to join the company. Except for a few weeks off three times a year (to visit family, etc.) they remain devoted to their theatre studies, and when the time comes, each girl is assigned to one of the five acting troupe that Takarazuka keeps moving around Japan. For instance, the ensemble doing FOOTLOOSE, the Snow Troupe - which is famous for its musical performances - consists of 65 players; while forty of them are onstage here in Osaka, the other twenty-five are doing a revue back in Takarazuka.</p><p><br />And these ladies have the training and stamina of athletes. Broadway performers are justifiably famous for maintaining their rigorous eight-performance-a-week schedule; the casts of Takarazuka do TEN performances a week. And once the Snow Troupe winds up its Osaka run of FOOTLOOSE at the end of July, the entire production will immediately transfer to the city of Fukuoka, where they'll do another month of that back-breaking schedule.</p><p><br />Anyway... back to the dress rehearsal. Every performer on the stage of the Umeda Art Theatre was fabulous, all of them dressed in costumes that are wildly imaginative and eye-popping. Kei Otozuki, who plays Ren, is the STAR of the Snow Troupe (each of the five troupes has a "star"), and she's fully worthy of that designation. She sings, dances and acts the role wonderfully, bringing razor-sharp timing, a winning smile and boyish enthusiasm to every moment she's onstage. Kei is balanced wonderfully by Mimi Maihane, the ingenue who plays Ariel. (As is the custom in Takarazuka, romantic leading couples are carefully paired, and then they play opposite each other in show after show. Mimi and Kei were matched several years ago for their size, their vocal compatibility and their dance abilities, and they have been enjoying great celebrity and acclaim ever since.)</p><p><br />An unexpected treasure of this production is the actress Aki Misuza, who brings true dignity and heartbreak to the role of Reverend Shaw.</p><p><br />At a press conference afterward, I was able to tell the dozens of reporters there -- through an interpreter, of course -- of the thrill I felt at having our work presented with such energy and artistry by Takarazuka. The accompanying photo was snapped at that media event; I'm flanked here by Mimi Maihane (Ariel) on the left and Kei Otozuki (Ren) on the right.</p><div style="height: 0px;"></div><dl id="image_689127" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 310px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6365/DeanPitchford_Takarazuka_withCast.jpg"><img class="right " title="DeanPitchford_Takarazuka_withCast" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6365/DeanPitchford_Takarazuka_withCast.jpg" alt="Dean Pitchford with the Takarazuka Theatre cast of FOOTLOOSE " width="300" height="225" /></a></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd">Dean Pitchford with Mimi Maihane (Ariel) and Kei Otozuki (Re</dd></dl><p>In the final part of my Japan blog, I'll write about the opening night performance of the show before a full house of cheering fans.</p><p></p> Let's Hear It For The Girls! http://www.rnh.com/blog/69/Let-s-Hear-It-For-The-Girls 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_69 <dl class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 235px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6363/Dean_Japan_FootloosePoster.jpeg"><img class="left " title="Dean_Japan_FootloosePoster" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6363/Dean_Japan_FootloosePoster.jpeg" alt="" width="225" height="300" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">FOOTLOOSE author, Dean Pitchford</dd> </dl> <p></p><p>Since it first opened on Broadway, the stage version of FOOTLOOSE has played all over the world, and I've been fortunate to be able to witness many amazing productions of our show - from Sydney (Australia) to Honolulu (Hawaii) to Cardiff (Wales) and London's West End. After years of that kind of exotic - but exhausting - travel, I decided to take a breather. Since then I've regretfully declined invitations to see FOOTLOOSE in such far-flung locales as Johannesburg (South Africa), Paris (France) and Warsaw (Poland).</p> <p>So what am I doing, sitting on a plane headed for Osaka, Japan?</p> <p>After all, it's not like I haven't seen the show in Japan! A year after its first successful run in Tokyo, I caught up with FOOTLOOSE in Kobe in 2002, where an amazing cast brought thousands of cheering fans to their feet. So why am I now out-of-my-mind excited to be going to Osaka - a mere thirty miles east of Kobe - to see FOOTLOOSE performed in Japanese... again?</p> <p>In a word - Takarazuka.</p> <p>That's right. Takarazuka (pronounced: tah-kah-RAH-zoo-kah). The Takarazuka Theatre Company is a revered national institution in Japan (think: the Royal Shakespeare Company in England) which has been around since 1913. That's nearly a hundred years, folks! And in that time, Takarazuka has continued to thrive and grow to the point that they've now got theatres in both Osaka and Tokyo. The company is comprised of five distinct acting troupes, each of which specializes in a particular form of theatre - dramas, musicals, revues, etc.</p> <p>But what totally sealed the deal for me is this: Takarazuka is now - and has always been - an all-female acting company.</p> <p>That's right! After Japanese theatre had been dominated for centuries by the traditional all-male Kabuki troupes, the creators of Takarazuka decided it was time the ladies got their turn on stage.</p> <p>Interestingly, Takarazuka was formed by a railway company that had built tracks from Tokyo to many of the small, outlying towns in the Japanese countryside. The line to Osaka terminated in the neighboring community of Takarazuka, and, in an attempt to lure travelers to this off-the-beaten path destination, the the railway barons decided to build a theatre there. And not just any theatre. This theatre needed a twist. A gender-bending twist.</p> <p>Thus the all-female concept.</p> <p>In those early days, the performers were actually employees of the railway. That's right! The girls who'd punch train tickets by day would deliver punchlines by night. As the popularity of Takarazuka grew the actresses - for that's what they were now! - were employed to only work for the theatre.</p> <p>And not only in Japan. In its (nearly) one hundred years of existence, Takarazuka has toured extensively, selling out theatres from New York to Berlin... and beyond. So when I learned that Takarazuka was producing their one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime production of FOOTLOOSE, how could I stay home?</p> <p>In the next few days, I'm invited to a dress rehearsal of the show, after which I'll join the cast in doing publicity for Japanese TV and radio (and internet, I'm sure!) And then on Saturday, July 7, I will be among the thousands filling the Takarazuka Theatre for the opening night performance of FOOTLOOSE. From Elmore City to Osaka. Who'd've thunk?</p> <p>It's like I've always said: "Write a musical, see the world."</p> <p>------------</p> <p><a title="Footloose at the Takarazuka Theatre Company" href="http://www.umegei.com/schedule/182/">Learn more about FOOTLOOSE atThe Takarazuka Theatre Company</a></p> CALL ME MADAM at the Lyric Theater of Oklahoma http://www.rnh.com/blog/68/CALL-ME-MADAM-at-the-Lyric-Theater-of-Oklahoma 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_68 <div class="mceTemp"><dl class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 210px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6356/Lyric_Madam_CMMdroppainted.jpg"><img class="left " style="margin: 0px; border: 1px solid black;" title="Lyric_Madam_CMMdroppainted" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6356/Lyric_Madam_CMMdroppainted.jpg" alt="Lyric_Madam_CMMdroppainted" hspace="0" vspace="0" width="200" height="112" align="left" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Call Me Madam Backdrop</dd> </dl> <p>Who knew one of Lyric’s most talked about shows this season would be a new production of the rarely revived Irving Berlin musical CALL ME MADAM? I was hoping it would catch the public’s interest as much as it has mine own. Here are a few reasons why I chose it. First, I’m a huge fan of lost or rarely produced musicals. Especially one like CALL ME MADAM which was quite successful in its initial run but for some reason isn’t revived regularly today. Most of the songs in this show everyone knows as part of the musical theatre canon, but it’s such a delight to read how they work into a very funny book musical (and this musical has a great book – by the playwriting team of Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse, who also wrote the dialogue to such Broadway classics as ANYTHING GOES and THE SOUND OF MUSIC). Bringing it all to the stage in a fully-produced production is turning out to be quite a special event.</p> <p>Second, the show has strong Oklahoma and DC ties- both places I’ve considered home. I especially thought that Lyric audiences would get a kick out of seeing one of their most famous homegrown heroes paid tribute to in a classic Irving Berlin musical comedy. When I first moved to Oklahoma two years ago from DC to become the artistic director of Lyric, I drove through Mesta Park- a beautiful neighborhood near downtown. As a history buff and wanting to know more about my new hometown, I discovered it was named after Perle Mesta- “the hostess with the mostes”. She was from Oklahoma City and her father built the historic Skirvin Hotel where Lyric has its annual gala. She then married George Mesta, a wealthy Pittsburg industrialist, and after becoming a widow she took over his business and moved to DC. She became famous for her political campaigning-especially for women’s rights- and gave regular parties where politicians from both side of the aisle would meet and discuss the latest political news. She was then appointed Minister to Luxembourg by President Truman. Many thought it was just a political favor, but in reality Truman and soon the world realized she was not just a hostess but a savvy diplomat with a strong background in business and manufacturing. (There is yet another connection between CALL ME MADAM, its setting and one of its creators that is almost hard to believe: as noted, the musical was inspired by our diplomatic presence in Luxembourg. In a case of reciprocal art-imitates-life, today the Consulate for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in New York, and that nation’s UN Embassy, is located on Manhattan’s grand Beekman Place in a soaring townhouse that had been Irving Berlin’s home for the latter half of his century-long life!)</p> <p>Third, Lyric is paying tribute to the legendary career of Chita Rivera this summer and this show was her first professional job. Chita went with a friend to audition for the national tour starring Elaine Stritch. In typical show business style, the friend didn’t get the part but Chita did, launching one of the most successful careers in musical theatre ever.</p> <p>The idea for CALL ME MADAM came from co-author Howard Lindsay, and the inspiration was ripped from the day’s headlines. In the summer of 1949, Lindsay and his wife Dorothy were on vacation at a Colorado resort. Sitting poolside one afternoon, Lindsay read a Life Magazine article about Perle Mesta’s appointment as the first US Minister to Luxembourg. When he put the magazine down, he happened to look across the pool and there, on the other side, sunning herself, was the great Broadway star Ethel Merman. You can almost see the light bulb that went off over Lindsay’s head. He fired off a letter to his longtime playwriting partner, Russel Crouse. “I have been studying Ethel Merman,” he wrote. “She seems so raucously American, good naturedly, almost vulgarly American. I got to wondering how we could spot her in a foreign setting. And I thought of Perle Mesta. How about making her Madame Ambassadress? She would be very funny as an American Ambassador...The title could be called CALL ME MADAME or is that terrible?”Well, the idea was anything but terrible. Russel Crouse signed on right away, and so did Merman, and so did Irving Berlin. CALL ME MADAM became quite a success in NYC and London. Even Winston Churchill, when meeting Perle for the first time, said to her “Call me , Madam!” She asked, “Have you seen the show?” Churchill said, “Twice!” Everyone who was anyone wanted to be at Perle’s parties and if they weren’t invited they could always buy a ticket to the show and enjoy the party from the audience.</p> <p>The process of reviving this show has been nothing but a blast. My scenic designer, Adam Koch, has created a fantastic DC ballroom where Sally Adams (the character inspired by Perle) sings “Hostess With The Mostes” and invites everyone- Democrats and Republicans- to the “Washington Square Dance”. Grand staircases, a grand piano, and a grand mural of an Oklahoma landscape painted on the ceiling reminds Sally of her Oklahoma roots and is stunning eye-candy for the audience. Then scenically we are transported to the fictitious and romantic alpine country of Lichtenberg Lichtenburg where she is sent to serve as the American Ambassador- filled with rustic town squares, steep mountain vistas, and elegant embassy sitting rooms. The book by Howard Lindsay (who visited Perle in Luxembourg to research the show) and Russel Crouse is hysterical and provides its leading lady lots of one-liners and sharp dialogue to sink her teeth into as she shakes things up a bit and eventually falls in love.</p> <dl id="image_688819" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 210px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><img class="left " title="Lyric_Madam_BethLeavel" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6357/Lyric_Madam_BethLeavel.JPG" alt="Lyric_Madam_BethLeavel" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="200" height="132" align="left" /></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Beth Leavel</dd> </dl> <p>But CALL ME MADAM was and is still a star vehicle in the most wonderful way and I feel that Beth Leavel’s has the comic timing, acting chops, and stellar singing to make this show fresh, sexy, and fun again. Beth played Miss Hannigan at Lyric before I got here, but everyone who saw her performance and worked with her can’t sing her praises enough. Now that she’s a Tony winner, it’s an especially great honor that she is coming back to Lyric and work with us again. And with the dashing Steve Blanchard as her co-star I’m hoping this production is a bit more romantic than in previous versions. Sally Adams is a fabulous character inspired by a real American original and I’m hoping this production brings about more interest this great show and Perle Mesta for years to come.</p><p><a title="Lyric Theater of Oklahoma" href="http://www.lyrictheatreokc.com/shows/call-me-madam">Learn more about the Lyric Theater of Oklahoma's production of CALL ME MADAM</a>.</p></div> PIPE DREAM: The Rodgers & Hammerstein Musical You Didn't Know http://www.rnh.com/blog/67/PIPE-DREAM-The-Rodgers-Hammerstein-Musical-You-Didn-t-Know 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_67 <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6215/PipeDream_Encores_poster.jpg" target="_blank"><img class="left" style="border-color: #FFFFFF;" title="PipeDream_Encores_poster" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6215/PipeDream_Encores_poster.jpg" border="5" alt="PipeDream_Encores_poster" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="177" height="274" align="left" /></a>Think of your favorite Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals and PIPE DREAM will probably not be the first title to come to mind. In fact, you may not even know it. But in its time, it was one of the most eagerly anticipated new shows to reach Broadway, promising another banquet of R&H hit songs and setting box office records. It opened in November of 1955. Then it disappeared. What happened?</p> <p>Following the unprecedented successes of OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL, SOUTH PACIFIC and THE KING AND I Rodgers & Hammerstein were at the zenith of their collaborative careers. In 1954 they had three shows running simultaneously on Broadway and three others about to be made into major motion pictures.  Always on the lookout for something new, a particular concurrence of events captured their artistic imaginations. First of all, John Steinbeck had recently written a small novel titled CANNERY ROW and a sequel to it called SWEET THURSDAY. The sequel was in fact created with the thought of it being turned into a Broadway musical. Frank Loesser had already turned it down (he was busy with THE MOST HAPPY FELLA) but Rodgers & Hammerstein became intrigued. The characters were colorful, original, and most importantly, musical.  The setting was the picturesque Monterey coast of California, just after World War II. And the leading male role was perfect for Henry Fonda, one of America’s greatest stars, and who had recently triumphed in both the Broadway and motion picture versions of MISTER ROBERTS. Fonda’s name over the title, alongside the R&H imprimatur and the heft of John Steinbeck, was sure fire box office. As one of the original cast members put it, “If SOUTH PACIFIC ran for five years, we knew PIPE DREAM was going to run for ten!”</p> <p>Only Henry Fonda couldn’t sing. And try as they might, Broadway’s greatest producers since Florenz Ziegfeld, couldn’t come up with a suitable replacement for him. Nor could they find a star for their leading lady. Julie Andrews, who had just opened in THE BOYFRIEND (and instantly became Broadway’s brightest new promise), was considered, even though her name above the title was still not a box office guarantee. However, when Richard Rodgers asked Andrews what she was currently up to, and she mentioned that Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe were talking to her about their new musical adaptation of PYGMALION, Rodgers told her, “If they ask you to do that, DO it.”  And so PIPE DREAM’s loss was MY FAIR LADY’s gain (as well as Julie Andrew’s entry to superstardom.) Ultimately, R& H settled on William Johnson (who had understudied Alfred Drake in KISMET) for the role of Doc, their leading man and Judy Tyler for the role of Suzy, their leading lady. Johnson was a fine actor and singer, but relatively unknown.  Tyler was famous to the kids of America, who tuned in each afternoon to watch her on The Howdy Doody Show – she played Princess Summer-Fall-Winter-Spring – but, like Johnson, she was not a star. PIPE DREAM still needed a name above the title.  And then – serendipity!</p> <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6216/0901PipeDrm-Taubel&Tyler.jpg"><img class="leftalignleft" style="border-color: #000000;" title="0901PipeDrm-Taubel" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6216/0901PipeDrm-Taubel&Tyler.jpg" border="4" alt="Helen Trauble and Judy Tyler" hspace="1" vspace="1" width="209" height="248" align="left" /></a>Helen Traubel, a world renowned Wagnerian soprano (think Brunhilde, with the helmet and the horns and the spear), had just deserted the Metropolitan Opera for Las Vegas, where she was wowing the crowds with barrel house renditions of songs like “Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey” and otherwise trading in  her diva image for that of a loveable old broad. Who better to play the role of Fauna in PIPE DREAM! Now Rodgers & Hammerstein had a star, a really big star, a star who could SING! But the part she was playing was not a leading role. It was a beefed up secondary role at best, and the effect her name above the title had on audiences was similar to what would have been the case if Bob Hope had been cast as Ali Hakim in  the original production of OKLAHOMA!  A name above a title makes a promise to an audience, and that promise has to be kept. Because the audience expects the evening to be about the star. They expect the star to deliver the goods, not to stand there and watch someone else deliver the goods. (You wouldn’t cast Madonna as Brigitta in THE SOUND OF MUSIC. You could, and you would probably sell every seat in the house if you did, but the audience would be waiting all evening for Madonna to take over the show, and, as Brigitta, that moment would never come.) Something unusual for R&H was happening. All the right decisions were being made, but the pieces were not adding up to the kind of a whole that was something greater than the sum of its parts.</p> <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6219/PD-SetRendering.jpg"></a></p> <p>Then Rodgers, a dynamo of action and energy and a theatrical and musical genius, was diagnosed with cancer. He came to the first day of rehearsals, played the score for the cast, and checked into the hospital. For the first time in their collaboration, Hammerstein was alone in the driver’s seat. This had happened to him only once before, in 1946, when Jerome Kern died at the onset of rehearsals for a revival of SHOW BOAT. It left Hammerstein in a place he did not like to be – without his partner. PIPE DREAM’s director was Howard Clurman, one of the most respected and successful theatrical directors of the Twentieth Century. Only he had never directed a Broadway musical. The choreographer was Boris Runanin, equally respected and admired in the world of ballet and classical dance and equally a novice at creating musical comedy. Then they all got to Boston.</p> <p><img class="right alignright" title="The cast of PIPE DREAM" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6217/0903PD-Company001.jpg" alt="The cast of PIPE DREAM" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="283" height="215" align="right" /></p> <p>And Traubel lost her voice. Or, at least, she began to worry that she was going to lose her voice. Opera singers sing a single performance or possibly two performances in a week. A Broadway performer sings eight – six nights a week as well as matinees on Wednesday and Saturday. Traubel was not only singing more than she had ever sung before, she was vocalizing in a register (low belt) that was new and foreign territory to her. So she asked for her keys to be raised. And, one by one, every song she sang in the show went from being a powerhouse sock-em-between-the-eyes number to a charming ditty. And Fauna, the old broad who ran the whorehouse in a two-bit town on the California coast, began to sound like a Valkerie. In Traubel, the essence of who Fauna was supposed to be began to succumb to the electric wattage of one of the most glamorous divas of the Twentieth Century. The audience was confused. And Traubel’s pearls and high heels (once a diva, always…) didn’t help. Then it seems Traubel, who had no doubt signed on for the show thinking she’d get what Ezio Pinza had gotten in SOUTH PACIFIC (a “Some Enchanted Evening” or at least a “This Nearly Was Mine”) began to lose faith in her material. She was unhappy enough in (or at least ineffective enough with) her first song in PIPE DREAM that Rodgers (now recovering from his cancer surgery) & Hammerstein replaced it. But the song they replaced it with sounds so unlike anything they had ever written one might begin to wonder if it was pulled from the trunk of Traubel’s Vegas act. (Footnote: The song they replaced is the one Traubel sings on the original Broadway cast recording. The new song – the one published in the piano vocal score of the show – is, well, take a look and see for yourself.) Then, in what could have   been a final act of desperation, Traubel was given a second act reprise of the show’s single breakaway hit (“All At Once You Love Her”) even though there is no plausible reason for her to sing it except that she sounds terrific doing so. It is the one comfortable, transcendent moment she has on the recording and was possibly the one comfortable, transcendent moment she had in the show. But PIPE DREAM was selling out in Boston. And the Broadway opening night loomed.</p> <p>Rodgers & Hammerstein were used to breaking their own records, and PIPE DREAM was not an exception for them. By November of 1955 the box office was bulging with cash. You couldn’t get a ticket for months to come. The buzz was as great for their new show as it had been for anything they had ever done. PIPE DREAM was already a smash. And then it opened.</p> <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6219/PD-SetRendering.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="PD-SetRendering" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6219/PD-SetRendering.jpg" alt="PD-SetRendering" width="225" height="148" align="left" /></a>And in a single moment, all those right decisions, all the beautiful songs, Jo Mielziner’s whimsically clever sets, Steinbeck’s loveable characters, Hammerstein’s eloquent prose – everything in fact that made PIPE DREAM the surest bet on Broadway – got lost because… well, it’s hard to say. Steinbeck felt Rodgers & Hammerstein had, as he put it, “turned my whore into a visiting nurse.”  Perhaps they had played down the more prurient aspects of the story, but R&H were doing what they did best. The show was filled with grace and charm and humor. There wasn’t a lot going on plot wise, but there was an abundance of riches for the audience to enjoy. Admittedly, there wasn’t much star power in the two leads, but star power was what Traubel was there to provide. And she did. She just didn’t provide a Fauna that the audience could relate to. (It may not have been her fault. Put Zero Mostel in Lazar-Wolf’s role and see what happens to FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.) So PIPE DREAM came and went. And for more than fifty years we have all wondered…</p> <dl id="image_571602" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 278px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6218/Will%20Chase%20&%20Laura%20Osnes,%20PIPE%20DREAM,%2011,%20photo%20by%20Ari%20Mintz.jpg"><img class="right " title="Will Chase & Laura Osnes, PIPE DREAM photo by Ari Mint" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/6218/Will%20Chase%20&%20Laura%20Osnes,%20PIPE%20DREAM,%2011,%20photo%20by%20Ari%20Mintz.jpg" alt="Will Chase & Laura Osnes, PIPE DREAM photo by Ari Mint" width="268" height="183" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Will Chase & Laura Osnes, PIPE DREAM</dd> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">photo by Ari Mint</dd> </dl> <p>Now we get to find out. Because City Center’s Encores! is providing us with the first real shot at what PIPE DREAM might have been since it first played on Broadway in 1955. And in Leslie Uggams we finally have the Fauna that R&H envisioned – an anchor for the story of lost children who are too grown up to know how much they need each other. Encores! is presenting the show as Rodgers & Hammerstein first wrote it, with the songs and the story intact and with Fauna as a belting, warmhearted earth mother (think Aunt Eller, Nettie Fowler and Bloody Mary all wrapped up into one beautiful old broad) who’s day (her “Sweet Thursday”) will be made if she can just get Suzy and Doc to admit they’re crazy about each other. The Rodgers score (with Robert Russell Bennett’s nearly symphonic orchestrations and John Morris’ jazzy dance arrangements) has been restored for this Encores! production, which will include much music that is not on the cast recording. And what is most exciting is that this production could be the launch that PIPE DREAM has for so long been waiting. Don’t miss it. You may not know PIPE DREAM, but you’re going to. And you might just love it!</p> <p></p> <p><em>- Bruce Pomahac: Rodgers & Hammerstein, Director of Music</em></p> A Sound of Music Fan in Salzburg http://www.rnh.com/blog/66/A-Sound-of-Music-Fan-in-Salzburg 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_66 <p><em>In the fall of 2010 we ran a contest through our <a title="Like The Sound of Music on Facebook" href="http://www.facebook.com/thesoundofmusic" target="_blank">SOUND OF MUSIC Facebook page</a> to give away a trip for two to Salzburg Austria, the location where the movie and stage musical takes place and where the movie was filmed 46 years ago.</em></p><div><em>Our lucky winner Nichole Gordy just got back from her trip where she toured Salzburg and saw the first ever production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC in Salzburg at the Salzburg Landestheatre.</em></div><div><em>Read about the trip in Nichole's words below.</em></div><div><p><em><a title="Nichole Gordy's Travel photos" href="http://www.rnh.com/photos.html?img=5940&gallery=201&parent=170" target="_blank">Check out photos from Nichole's trip here</a>.<br /><br /></em></p><div style="width: 400px;"><dl id="image_419267" class="wp-caption" style="width: 165px;"><dt class="wp-caption-dt"><em><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/5962/255035/file_url.JPG"><img class="left" title="The Central Fountain in Mirabell Gardens" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/5962/255035/file_url.JPG" alt="The Central Fountain in Mirabell Gardens" width="165" height="165" /></a></em></dt><dd class="wp-caption-dd"><em>Nichole Gordy at the famous fountain in Mirabell Gardens where "Do-Re-Mi" was filmed</em></dd></dl><em> </em><p></p><p><em> </em></p></div><p>The first day in Salzburg we got lost. Go figure. I do months of planning and I'm so organized, but I still manage to not be able to read a map correctly. We took a right out of the hotel instead of a left. We found the mall though…I told my friend Emily, we flew thousands of miles to go to the mall. lol. It was late and we were very tired from the flight, so we shopped and grabbed a bite to eat.</p><p>Our hotel, the Salzburg Sheraton was lovely. 5* indeed. The staff was very helpful in telling us how to get to a few places and never once laughed at my southern accent. We showered and called our families and fell fast asleep.</p><p>Our first full day started with the Sound of Music tour with Panorama Tours. Our guide was very funny and very informative. We started in the city of Salzburg and then made our way through the lakes and mountains. It was gorgeous. Little cottage type houses surrounded by the greenest grass I have ever seen and with the back drop of the snow cap mountains. It was something straight out of the movies, really, it was.</p><p>I wanted to stay outside; it was cold, but there was something about the city of Salzburg and the surrounding area that just made you want to be outside. Being from the South, you don't really get to feel that kind of cold. When we got back from the tour, we took a stroll in Mirabell Gardens. It was amazing! Flowers blooming, green hedges, perfectly sculpted. Being on the “Do-Re-Mi” steps just made you want to hop on them and sing. Everyone does it. It's iconic. It's a “must do” if you go. We went to the Hohensalzburg Fortress. I could not wait to get to the top to see the magnificent views of the city.  We walked around the rest of the day looking at different monuments and looking at all the goodies that the street venders had to sell.</p><p>The next day we went to, Eagles Nest (used as Adolf Hitler’s compound during World War II). I was itching to get there too. I don't get to see snow very often and with such a beautiful landscape of Austria and Germany, I couldn’t get there fast enough. I took so many pictures from up there. When I got to the top, I just looked around and took a deep breath of the clean air and was just in awe of what beauty God has made. I stopped for a moment and thought of my husband. We do everything together and how I wished he was by my side at that very moment. He would have put his arm around me and told me something silly like "your more beautiful" or would have kissed me and said “well, I have now kissed you on a snow capped mountain in Germany.” lol. I love that man. But we both would have appreciated how lucky we were to have been there.</p><p>On the way back to our hotel we made a stop in a cute little down called Berchtesgaden in Bavaria. We had a wonderful lunch at a cafe. We sat outside and enjoyed the people and just the fact that I was sitting outside at a little cafe in Bavaria. That was so cool.<br />That night we went to the famous Mozart Dinner, where your dinner with accompanied by musicians playing Mozart’s music. We had a great time. Met a lot of interesting people. Met some lovely couples. People from all around the world. The music was wonderful, the ambiance was romantic. My friend Emily and I had a good time getting to know our fellow table mates and enjoyed a lovely evening of music and wonderful food.<br />The following day was our last. We spent most the day walking around the city of Salzburg and trying to get in every site we could. There was so much to see, we still didn't get everything in. But we tried.</p><p>Our last full day was on a Sunday, and usually I would be at church singing in the choir. The Lord just seemed to know that on that day, that church is where I needed to be. I found myself sitting in St. Peter's, the most beautiful church I have ever had the privilege to see. When I went through the doors, I had a sadness on my heart and then I heard them. The choir was just “a- sangin”. It was the most beautiful sound. I sat down. The service was in German but I did not need to understand to know that God was talking to me. It was the most wonderful experience and it was just between me and the Lord. I walked out of those doors a much stronger woman.<br />That evening, we got dressed up in our fancy duds and headed for the opening night of The Sound of Music. I had bought a pair of 6" heels for the occasion, not thinking, I don't normally wear heels much less 6" heels. I had a heck of a time walking through the gardens and down the street. It turned into a bit of a joke for my friend to let everyone know that I was not use to wearing heels like that since I was from Alabama. We don't normally wear shoes. lol. I was told the following morning by Mr. Sam Vonn Trapp himself that he could fully understand and got a good chuckle out of it too. <br />We walked into the theater lobby and there were people everywhere. Wall to wall. I was looking for Mr. Bert Fink (Senior Vice President of Communications of Rodgers & Hammerstein). During intermission I spotted him. The orchestra was tuning up and it was time to get back in our seats, so I figure I would catch him at the end.</p><p>The Musical was fantastic, very emotional for me. My mother introduced The Sound of Music to my life as a child. She had the LP and we would listen to it every chance we got. And every time it came on TV we were glued to it. My mother would always sing along and I wondered if I would ever have a voice that was a pretty as hers. If it hadn't been for my mother’s love for the Sound of Music, I don't think I would have appreciated it as much as I do now. Her favorite song in the Musical is "Climb every Mountain". When she sang that song, tears just came running down my face. I thought of my Moma and how she would have loved to have heard her sing. It was a tender moment for me.    There was a lot applause when the Musical was over but the audience roared when the real Von Trapp family came out on stage. It was a great moment!<br />After the play, I did manage to track down the wonderful Mr. Bert Fink and I introduced myself to him. He was so kind and welcoming. We went next door to the Marionette Theatre for the after party. Mr. Fink tried very hard to introduce me to as many people as he could. Between my high heels and being shy I just sat back and watched and kept telling my friend Emily, this is so and so and who this and that person was. I did get to speak with Wietske Van Tongeren (Maria). Such a beautiful, sweet person. We spoke for a moment and then she was swept away for the after party introductions. Emily and stayed and just watched all the after party festivities, and had a lovely walk back to our hotel through the gardens one last time. With my shoes in hand this time I walked through Mirabell Gardens at midnight barefooted in about 35 degree weather. And loved every minute of it!</p><p>The next morning was our last. We woke early and met with a Vice Mayor of Salzburg and Sam von Trapp. It was a wonderful experience. I am so blessed that these very important people took time out of there day just to say hello to me and my friend. It was such an honor and privilege to be able to talk to Mr. von Trapp. He had a delightful smile that made you feel warm and welcomed.<br />We were soon whisked off and back at the airport. Our trip to Salzburg was ending. I was so sad to leave but so ready to see my husband and children.</p><p>I have to thank Panorama Tours, Rodgers & Hammerstien, Melanie Hintermaier for all her hard work in getting everything together for us. It was wonderful to speak with Melanie while I was there. To Bert Fink for being a wonderful Host and giving me such wonderful tips. And Dana Siegel for making all of this happen. Dana, I thank you for being so kind to me and helping me through this wonderful experience, with my silly questions that you answered without laughing at me once, I thank you. And your patience with me doing this blog is greatly appreciated. Thank you to everyone that had a hand in the contest and or getting me and my friend there. <br />This has been a trip that I will never forget and I will cherish for the rest of my days! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Everyone. And God Bless All Of You!</p><p></p><p>*Nichole Gordy was the winner of  a R&H contest in celebration of the 45th anniversary of  THE SOUND OF MUSIC film and the release of the first <a title="The Sound of Music Blu-ray" href="http://www.rnh.com/shop.html?id=B003VS0CX8">Blu-ray</a> and <a title="The Sound of Music Collector's Set" href="http://www.rnh.com/shop.html?id=B000Y5JFNY">Blu-ray collector's set</a>. This trip was made possible by <a title="Panorama Tours" href="http://www.panoramatours.com/Offer.fc?DISPATCH_METHOD=LoadOfferContent&o_content=soundofmusic/index" target="_blank">Panorama Tours</a>, <a title="Salzburgerland" href="http://www.salzburgerland.com/" target="_blank">Salzburgerland</a>,<a title="Sheraton Salzburg" href="http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=327" target="_blank">Sheraton Salzburg</a>, <a title="Salzburg Info" href="http://www.salzburg.info/en/" target="_blank">Salzburg Stage of The World</a>, <a title="Lufthansa" href="http://www.lufthansa.com/us/en/homepage" target="_blank">Lufthansa</a> and <a title="Salzburg Landestheatre" href="http://www.salzburger-landestheater.at/index.php?option=com_program&prog_id=207&Itemid=29&lang=de" target="_blank">The Salzburg Landestheatre</a>. Thank you to all of our sponsors.</p><p><strong>Related products:</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.rnh.com/shop.html?id=B003VS0CX8"></a><a href="http://www.rnh.com/shop.html?id=B000Y5JFNY"><img title="The Sound of Music Blu-ray" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JvzE0ymKL._SL210_.jpg" alt="" width="83" height="103" /><img title="The Sound of Music Limited Edition Collector's Set" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MQcJReD7L._SL210_.jpg" alt="" width="162" height="105" /></a></p></div> The vonTrapp Family and THE SOUND OF MUSIC: Where Fact Meets Fiction http://www.rnh.com/blog/65/The-vonTrapp-Family-and-THE-SOUND-OF-MUSIC-Where-Fact-Meets-Fiction 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_65 <p><em>I had the incredible honor of visiting Salzburg in October 2011 with members of the von Trapp family. We were there to attend the premiere of the first stage production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC ever done in the city where the story is set (<a title="A Hit Musical Comes Home - BLOG" href="http://www.rnh.com/blog/2011/11/A-HIT-MUSICAL-COMES-HOME">see accompanying article</a>), and to preside over the opening of a new exhibition. – <a title="Bert Fink" href="http://www.rnh.com/blog?author=Bert%20Fink">BERT FINK</a></em></p> <p style="float: left;"><a href="http://www.salzburgmuseum.at/288.html"><img class="alignleft" title="The von Trapp Family" src="http://www.salzburgmuseum.at/typo3temp/pics/4520ca392c.jpg" alt="The von Trapp Family" width="240" height="340" /></a></p> <p></p> <p>A few days after <a title="The Sound of Music Comes Home - BlOG" href="http://www.rnh.com/blog/2011/11/A-HIT-MUSICAL-COMES-HOME">the musical premiered at the Landestheater</a>, I was walking along the sparkling Salzach River with the von Trapp family. (How cool is that?) We passed a cylindrical billboard, plastered with an enormous ad for a new exhibition about to open at the <a title="Salzburg Museum" href="http://www.salzburgmuseum.at/288.html">City Museum of Salzburg</a> (photo, above).  Johannes von Trapp, the family patriarch and the youngest of the original Trapp Family Singers, stopped in his tracks. He blinked and swallowed hard, and little wonder:  staring back at him from the billboard was an image of himself as a little boy. The City Museum of Salzburg, prompted by the stage premiere of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, has opened an exhibit entitled:  <a title="The von Trapp Family: Reality and THE SOUND OF MUSIC Exhibit" href="http://www.salzburgmuseum.at/288.html">THE VON TRAPP FAMILY -- REALITY AND "THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a>."  The billboard, advertising the new exhibit, featured a photo of the Trapp Family Singers from circa 1945, with little Johannes front and center.</p> <p>On November 1, I joined the von Trapps at the formal opening of the exhibition, which is slated to run through November 2012 at least.  An artful blend of fact & fiction, the first half of the exhibit chronicles the real life story of the von Trapp family, with amazing artifacts such as Georg von Trapp's military uniform from WWI, and Maria's actual guitar, plus interactive computer displays that track the story from Austria to America, and the publication of Maria’s best-selling autobiography.</p> <p>Fiction picks up where fact leaves off: the exhibit details the making of the popular German film, DIE TRAPP FAMILIE, which first dramatized Maria’s story. The exhibit then turns its full attention to THE SOUND OF MUSIC.   Working with this Organization, the exhibit focuses on the stage musical, from the original 1959 Broadway production starring Mary Martin to the recent hugely successful UK version produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and even to the newest production, which opened in Moscow just a few weeks ago.</p> <p>Artful displays feature rare playbills and LP's from the original Broadway run; set models from the '06 Lloyd Webber production, as well as an actual costume worn by star Connie Fisher in that version; and photos from productions over the years. An especially popular touch-screen console features "My Favorite Things" in nearly 20 different languages. (Guests are able to click on the screen and hear the song in Japanese, Hebrew, Portugese, Greek, Icelandic...) The exhibit also features displays on the Salzburg Marionette version, and even designs and models from the just-opened Landestheater.</p> <p>The opening of the exhibition was, in its own way, as moving and profound as the opening of the musical at the Landestheater less than two weeks earlier.  The Salzburg City Museum is housed in a 400-year old palace once owned by an Archbishop; high above the palace is the "Glockenspiel" (bell tower), one of the most beloved landmarks in Salzburg. For hundreds of years, the Glockenspiel has pealed melodies by Mozart and other classical gems, three times a day, every day; Salzburgers listen for her bells, since the melodies change every month.</p> <p>We gathered in the Grand Hall, just below the Glockenspiel.  The Governor of the State and the Mayor of the City each spoke about the importance of THE SOUND OF MUSIC to Salzburg. State Vice Governor Wilfried Haslauer told his fellow Salzburgers that they should be proud of three musical gifts Salzburg has given the world:  Mozart; "Silent Night"...and THE SOUND OF MUSIC.   He also spoke of the fact that Salzburg, in essence, was finally discovering the musical that the rest of the world knows, and he said that part of his community's reluctance to accept the musical was its reluctance to discuss its own past. He hoped that, in its own way, this production would be part of the process in which younger generations of Austrians confront their own history.</p> <p>A choir of Austrian children was gathered to sing for us, and looked utterly wonderful in their lederhosen and dirndl (noting that these are not "costumes" but rather, folk dress that they still wear for special occasions.)  Beautiful, innocent voices of children serenaded us with songs from THE SOUND OF MUSIC -- in German. I stole a glance over at the von Trapp family; they were as moved as I.</p> <p>Actually, we all were in tears even a few minutes before that, when the evening began.  <br />Gathered in the hall, with speakers about to speak, and the children about to sing, we were first asked for total quiet.  It was 7PM.  In the silence, we could hear bells; they were coming from outside, and above.</p> <p>It was the Glockenspiel.</p> <p>It was playing a new melody.</p> <p>It was playing "Edelweiss."</p> A Hit Musical Comes Home http://www.rnh.com/blog/64/A-Hit-Musical-Comes-Home 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_64 <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/5904/wiese2.jpg"><img class="left alignleft" style="margin: 5px; border: 1px solid black;" title="The cast of THE SOUND OF MUSIC in Salzburg" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/image/5904/wiese2.jpg" alt="The cast of THE SOUND OF MUSIC in Salzburg" width="232" height="348" /></a></p><p></p><p>The banners and billboards appeared all over Salzburg, Austria:  "Das Erfolgsmusical Kehrt Heim" -- "A Hit Musical Comes Home."</p><p>46 years after the release of the film that captivated the world; 52 years after the Broadway musical that first told the story in song; and 73 years after the courageous von Trapp family left their beloved homeland rather than serve under a Nazi regime, <a title="The Sound of Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/95/The-Sound-of-Music">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> was finally presented on stage in Salzburg, Austria.</p><p><br />Sunday night October 23 marked the premiere of the first production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC ever given in the city where the true story began, and where the iconic movie was filmed.  It was a profound event on several levels, and I was so thrilled (and lucky!) to be there, representing the SOUND OF MUSIC authors and rights holders.  Adding to the significance of the moment, I was joined on this particular visit by members of the real von Trapp family, from Stowe, Vermont.  It was an amazing experience.</p><p><br />The story of opening night in Salzburg actually goes back a few years.  THE SOUND OF MUSIC was filmed on location in that breathtakingly beautiful Baroque city in the spring and summer of 1964; the movie was released the following spring, and almost immediately thereafter, tourists from around the world came to the "City of Music," asking to visit locations made famous in THE SOUND OF MUSIC.  Overnight, a tourist industry was born.   Today, Salzburg is the ultimate destination for SOUND OF MUSIC pilgrims from all over the world; in a city of 150,000, more than 400,000 visitors come every year to walk where Julie Andrews walked, to climb ev'ry mountain that she climbed.</p><p><br />Yet, even while visitors supported up to four competing bus tours (beginning with the original, and most famous:  Panorama Tours), and flocked to snap photos and re-enact the Most Famous Twirl in cinematic history, THE SOUND OF MUSIC was very much a tourist-only attraction. Most Salzburgers disdained it as "Hollywood kitsch," or simply did not know it.  There are various explanations for this curious turn of events.  Some Salzburgers felt that this was an American appropriation of a local story and family; still others were plainly irritated by the constant attention given to this film by tourists, sometimes at the expense of local culture (including the works of a rather talented hometown fellow named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart). Most significantly, many in Austria avoided THE SOUND OF MUSIC since it confronts that country's history in World War II.</p><p><br />And so, as recently as a decade ago, THE SOUND OF MUSIC still held a “split profile” in Salzburg:  looming larger and larger for the tourists every year, while remaining nearly invisible to locals.</p><p><br />This year, all of that changed.</p><p><br />The transformation was gradual. In 2005, the Vienna Volksoper staged the first full production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC ever given in Austria; performed entirely in German, and marketed to an Austrian audience, it became a surprise hit, and has emerged as the most popular American musical in the Volksoper's repertory, where it remains in repertory to this day. (Its next return to the Volksoper repertory is April 2012).  In 2007, the beloved and enchanting Salzburg Marionette Troup -- which inspires, though does not appear in, the film's "Lonely Goatherd" sequence -- introduced their all-puppet version of the musical. Following an acclaimed US tour, which culminated in four sold-out performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Marionette version now tours the globe when it is not presented at the Marionettes' home theatre in Salzburg.</p><p><br />And finally, last year it was announced that the revered <a title="Salzburg Landestheatre" href="http://www.salzburger-landestheater.at/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=324&Itemid=29&lang=de">Landestheater </a>("State Theater") of Salzburg would present a (fully-human!) production of the musical, starting in October 2011.  The talented German co-directing team of Andreas Gergen and Christian Struppeck took on the monumental, and sensitive, task of introducing the musical to Salzburg; American choreographer Kim Duddy, and American set/costume designer Court Watson, joined the stellar team, which also created a new Austrian/German translation especially for this version.  The Landestheater's visionary Intendant, Dr. Carl Philip von Maldeghem, has a huge hit on his hands and justifiably so.</p><p><br />The October 23 premiere was thrilling on several levels.  To hear the Rodgers & Hammerstein score played by musicians trained in Mozart and Strauss was incredible; to see the potently political scenes by Lindsay & Crouse presented in a city that is still coming to terms with its complicated role in WWII, and to have it presented in an auditorium that once hosted Hitler, was also profound.</p><p><br />The cast was extraordinary, lead by German stage star Uwe Kroeger as the Captain, and the rapturous Dutch musical performer Wietske van Tongeren as Maria.  In the City of Music, the voices were incomparable, accompanied by 40 musicians of the world-renowned Mozarteum Academy.</p><p><br />Court  Watson's scenic design captured the unique nature of this production; it is safe to say that his assignment was more difficult than that faced by any other designer of this musical, for he had to create a visual world on stage based on a reality his audience knew better than any other audience ever would.  For instance, Watson’s depiction of the interior of the von Trapp villa recreated the actual staircase down to the exact type of spinets in the railing; when the real von Trapp family saw the set for the first time, a few of them gasped at how well it replicated reality.</p><p><br />Having the von Trapps in attendance added to the evening's impact.  Johannes von Trapp, the youngest of the original children of Georg and Maria von Trapp, lead a delegation from the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont, that also included his son Sam, Sam's wife Elisa, Sam's sister Kristina, and her husband Walt.  At the curtain call, the von Trapps were asked onto the stage; the warm response from the Salzburgers brought many of us to tears. This was a homecoming, a deserved salute to a heroic family, and a generous embrace of fact and fiction all rolled into one emotional ovation.</p><p><br />Johannes von Trapp was heard later to say that this production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC was "the best" he had ever seen.  The Austrian press and public clearly agreed with him: a wave of rave reviews in local and national newspapers praised the quality of the production, the sound of the music, the skill of the performances, but also urged Austrians to become familiar with the family and with the story that the rest of the world already knows.</p><p><br />In repertory through June 2012, most performances are already sold out but the Landestheater is currently in negotiations with us for further extensions into 2013 and beyond.  In Salzburg, where it all began, it is finally safe to say that THE SOUND OF MUSIC has “a long, long way to run.”<br /><br /></p> Stage Door Canteen http://www.rnh.com/blog/63/Stage-Door-Canteen 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_63 <p><a href="http://www.rnh.com/shop.html?id=B005PY4Y26"><img class="alignleft" style="margin: 5px;" title="Stage Door Canteen" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51N890bLlbL._SL500_AA300_.jpg" alt="Stage Door Canteen" width="144" height="144" /></a></p><p>Familiar with Irving Berlin’s “The Kick in The Pants?” and “Ve Don’t Like It”?  Can you sing <a title="Rodgers & Hart" href="http://www.rnh.com/rodgersandhart">Rodgers & Hart</a>’s “How To Win Friends and Influence People”?  How about <a title="Cole Porter" href="http://www.rnh.com/bio/30/Porter-Cole">Cole Porter</a>’s “Farming?” What those titles have in common – along with far more familiar songs like “The Saga of Jenny,” “Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’,” “God Bless America,” and “Some Other Time”  – is the time they were written and the circumstances of that time.</p><p><br /> The songs were all from the period of World War II and all come from the pens of Broadway writers.  A new CD has just been released by DRG Records titled <a title="Stage Door Canteen" href="http://www.rnh.com/shop.html?id=B005PY4Y26">STAGE DOOR CANTEEN</a> which includes a cross-section of material from those war years – and it is chock-a-block full of delights.</p><p><br /> The genesis of this recording is a lecture/presentation that I was asked to give as part of the series “Lyrics and Lyricists” and New York’s 92nd St Y.  The series takes interesting views of the American Songbook, looked at from a variety of angles – chosen in collaboration between its artistic director Deborah Grace Winer and the ‘curator’ she asks to participate.  She and I chose the interaction between Broadway and World War II – not just songs that were directly influenced by the war, but songs that were created for Broadway and by Broadway writers during that extraordinary time.</p><p><br /> Many classics came out of this period, and several are included here: in addition to those listed above, there is also “All The Things You Are,” “The Last Time I Saw Paris,” “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up In the Morning,” “Wait Till You See Her,” and “Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition.”  Because I chose to work with Andy Einhorn, an extraordinary young musical arranger whose name you find cropping up more and more in Broadway credits, the musical illustrations of my talk came out better than I could have expected.  Andy and I were able to assemble a first rate group of singers – Anderson Davis, who played Lt. Cable in the tour of the Lincoln Center Theater SOUTH PACIFIC; song-and-dance man Jeffry Denman, who created one of the leads in WHITE CHRISTMAS and appeared in THE PRODUCERS;  Brandon Victor Dixon, who was seen Off-Broadway in THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS and was Tony-nominated for THE COLOR PURPLE; Debra Monk whose Tony Awards and Broadway credits are numerous; and Betsy Wolfe, soon to appear at Encores! in MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG and was also seen as one of Sheri Rene Scott’s ‘back-up’ girls in EVERYDAY RAPTURE.  They sang the songs so well, and the arrangements were so good, that I decided I had to find a way to capture the performances.  Hence STAGE DOOR CANTEEN on DRG Records.</p><p><br /> I had two other inspirations for choosing the topic of Broadway and World War II:  first, as Chairman of the Board of the American Theatre Wing, I have long been fascinated by two of its wartime programs: The Stage Door Canteen and The Lunchtime Follies.  The former is fairly well known.  It was a gathering spot in the Broadway theater district where servicemen could come for some entertainment and refreshment, served by members of the Broadway community.  Famous people participated – Marlene Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman, Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne are among the many celebrities who were photographed manning the food lines.  The Lunchtime Follies is a lot less known.  The idea was for Broadway writers to create explicitly war-related songs and sketches which would be performed during meal breaks at munitions factories around the New York metropolitan area.  The roster of writers for The Lunchtime Follies was extraordinary; we chose to use contributions by Kurt Weill, Oscar Hammerstein II, Harold Rome and even poet Archibald MacLeish.</p><p><br /> Second, as the representative for the Irving Berlin copyrights, I was intrigued by THIS IS THE ARMY, the Broadway show that Berlin wrote for World War II.  The show was performed by servicemen and was about Army life, and the unit established to mount it was the first integrated unit in the U.S. Army.  Some songs from the show are still well known – “Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning,” “I Left My Heart At The Stage Door Canteen,” for example – but we found several really good ones that aren’t.  They tell a tuneful story of just how direct the connection between song and the war could be. That is where “The Kick in The Pants” and “Ve Don’t Like It” come in.</p><p><br /> I am very proud of STAGE DOOR CANTEEN.  I have often said that one of the reasons I love my job is that no two days are alike.  When I was asked to participate in the Lyrics and Lyricists program, I had no idea what the connection might be to my day job.  Using material represented by this office was not part of the agenda when Andy Einhorn and I first sat down.  It was no surprise, however, that by the time the program was presented at the Y, there were many Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, and Oscar Hammerstein songs, all of which we do represent and many of which are unknown. There are also songs by Cole Porter, Ira Gershwin and Kurt Weill, some of whose work we represent as well.</p><p><br /> I hope you will enjoy STAGE DOOR CANTEEN as much as I enjoyed creating it.</p><p>Listen to a playlist from STAGE DOOR CANTEEN here:  <a title="R&H Radio" href="http://www.rnh.com/radio.html">www.rnh.com/radio</a></p><p><a title="Purchase STAGE DOOR CANTEEN" href="http://www.rnh.com/shop.html?id=B005PY4Y26">Puchase the album here.</a></p> Oklahoma! in DC and Portland http://www.rnh.com/blog/62/Oklahoma-in-DC-and-Portland 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_62 <p>When OKLAHOMA! first opened on Broadway, we were in the middle of a war. Its seemingly simple tale of people in the ‘territory’ during the nineteenth century dealing with the prospects of the future struck something profound in the psyche of the country. The fact is that the show was also really good – good storytelling, good music, good lyrics, good dancing, good characters, good performances . But over and above people’s delight in seeing a successful work of musical theater, something about the story cut to the core of what it meant to be an American, living in America, in 1943.</p><p><img class="alignnone alignleft" style="margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;" title="Oklahoma at Arena Stage" src="http://www.arenastage.org/shows-tickets/images/img-ok-couple.jpg" alt="Oklahoma at Arena Stage" width="127" height="196" />I thought of this recently when I saw two distinctly different modern productions of the show, one in Washington, D.C. and one in Portland, Oregon. While the productions were very different, they both tapped into something that wasn’t part of the America explored by Rodgers and Hammerstein and their collaborators in the 1940’s. Both productions cast African Americas. But very differently. And since both were rather brilliantly directed, by Molly Smith in Washington and Chris Coleman in Portland, each one made OKLAHOMA! about something very American for today.</p><p></p><p>Molly Smith’s production was a post-color blind production. She was very specific in who she cast, inspired by a sense of making the world of the play very much a world of different races working together. Farmers and cowmen have to be friends, remember; Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and white people need to be friends as well. That was a point she wanted to make, and all those races were represented in the cast. Even if the assortment of different races can’t be completely friends, they need to dance together. Smith cast Laurey and her Aunt Eller (of course while everyone refers to her as “Aunt Eller,” she is only Laurey’s true aunt) with African American actors. The problems Laurey encounters in the play – primarily her inability to make up her mind about whether she should be with Curly or Jud - are underscored, subtly, by her desire to find her place in the world. We see she is black, and can’t help but wonder whether that factors into her confusion. But her Aunt, the character who provides the central spoke around which the play circles, is the wise and knowing woman who understands what is best for Laurey – and for everyone. She the one who ‘bends the rules’ a little to force Curly’s trial to take place then and there. She’s the one who explains to Laurey that ‘you got to be hearty to survive.’ And she’s the one who explains that while she’s no better than anyone else, she’ll be damned if she ain’t just as good. Without adding anything to the text, without changing the look or feel of the Oklahoma territory, without making the mistake of changing the sound of the music, Molly Smith has created an OKLAHOMA! for these times – and it is heartening to know that D.C. took her production to heart. In fact, it opened the Arena Stage’s extraordinary new Mead Center last fall, and made a sold-out repeat return this past summer. It was far from a safe choice to open a new theater complex; in fact one member of the board said that when she heard OKLAHOMA! was the show Molly would open with, she was very disappointed. She told me this after she was seeing the show for the 14th time. Among the sold-out audiences were those who hadn’t much thought about OKLAHOMA!, and they loved it. And those audiences were racially mixed.</p><p><img class="alignnone alignleft" style="margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;" title="OKlahoma at Portland Center Stage" src="https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/295959_10150295121176927_21845966926_8507927_836978213_n.jpg" alt="OKlahoma at Portland Center Stage" width="252" height="196" />Just when I thought Molly Smith had created an OKLAHOMA! for these times, along came Chris Coleman, at Portland Center Stage, with another contemporary, and very different, idea. He wondered whether the story of OKLAHOMA! could exist in a community comprised entirely of African Americans. It turns out his research revealed there were many black citizens of the Oklahoma territory, many of whom had migrated up North from the troubled South. There was even a photograph of a town meeting in Boley, Oklahoma – one of the biggest of the fifty all-black towns in the Oklahoma territory – in the program. Coleman cast everyone – except Ali Hakim, the true outsider (he was played by a white actor) – with African American actors. And the result was astonishing. This wasn’t a ‘black’ show; this displayed a distinct community of people, and a varied lot they were, handling the human situations and emotions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! Who would take Laurey to the box social, whether Will Parker would ever figure out how to hold on to his $50 so he could get Ado Annie, how Curly was going to remove Jud as his rival for the girl he wants – all of those classic OKLAHOMA! moments were there, but with far different resonances. Bold, these people are. Ado Annie had visibly ‘rounded up,’ but she know exactly what she was going to do about it – until she realized she had no idea how to deal with being the object of two affections. Jud was as strong a personality as Curly, so their relationship was more a confrontation of equal-minded, and equally stubborn people. Yes, Curly pushed him in the smokehouse as far as he possible could, and yes, Jud expressed his pent-up frustrations about not having a ‘real girl.’ Aunt Eller commanded everyone’s respect, but she was more like the cheerful center of the party. The story had power, but quite a different kind of power than any production I have seen. Yet, like Molly Smith, Chris Coleman made no changes, and the sets and costumes were of the correct historic period, and the music was not rearranged. The audience I saw it with, recognizing something familiar done in a sparkingly different way, stood up and cheered at the end.</p><p></p><p>“Reinterpretation” is a tricky word to use in the business of revivals. I have learned to believe, in the years of being responsible for the remarkable catalogue of shows by Rodgers and Hammerstein, that the best way to reinterpret their shows is to dive in, see what is there, and honor that. Dig in, smart theater people, and you’ll discover the amazing construction that forms the core of every Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. And layered on top are some of the greatest characters, songs, and reasons for dances in the musical theater canon.</p><p></p><p>If anyone is curious about how OKLAHOMA! might be reinterpreted for today, get yourself to Washington’s Arena Stage and to Portland’s Center Stage. Two remarkable assemblages of theater artists are doing great honor to Rodgers & Hammerstein and OKLAHOMA! and making it feel as relevant as any current work of musical theater.</p> Show Boat On The River http://www.rnh.com/blog/61/Show-Boat-On-The-River 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_61 <p>Stand behind the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut, today and you get a pretty good feeling of what the Mississippi River must have felt like in the era of Edna Ferber’s novel SHOW BOAT. You are literally on the banks of the Connecticut River, either on the shore or on the dock at which boats can still tie up.</p><p>So there is something strangely inevitable about Goodspeed deciding to mount a production of the musical SHOW BOAT this summer. Except for one thing: SHOW BOAT is an epic, and the Goodspeed theater is anything but epic in size. It only has a couple of hundred seats, and a stage that is smaller than most high school auditoriums. It is in some ways a Victorian era Folly, but one in which fine productions of musicals have been mounted for many years. Still, SHOW BOAT seemed an artistic reach.</p><p>Enter director Rob Ruggiero. I had seen his production of 1776 at Goodspeed several years ago, and it was the first time I ever liked that show. OK, OK, I know it has fans, but I always considered it an obvious story linked with dumb songs, and just never bought it as a satisfying musical. But Ruggiero’s staging captivated me from the beginning, and I found myself wondering how these gentlemen were ever going to come to consensus about signing the Declaration of Independence. I knew they signed it; I just couldn’t figure out how the conflicts were going to be resolved. I was completely hooked. So when Michael Price called and asked for the rights to SHOW BOAT, and brought Rob’s name up as the director, that seemed like a good idea. I thought he would have as good a chance of figuring out a SHOW BOAT that would make sense for Goodspeed as anyone. And based on the matinee I saw this past week, he has succeeded rather brilliantly.</p><p>Ruggiero did what smart customers of ours do: he realized that he had in us a resource. And he took proper advantage of that resource. Starting with our stellar Director of Music Bruce Pomahac, many of us have been dealing with productions and recordings of SHOW BOAT for years, and we are the repository of vast amounts of material. We’ve learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t work, and there is nothing more thrilling than engaging in a collaborative dialogue with an enlightened director who asks tons of questions. Also, in the rights holders of the show, we have bright, informed, and passionate people with a strong view, but true understanding of the risks involved in mounting any production.</p><p>Keep one thing in mind: SHOW BOAT has never really been performed the same way twice. As the bona fide granddaddy of the modern musical, it was both standard 1927 operetta fare and a completely revolutionary work – at the same time. Yes it was a rich musical drama, but it was produced by the man who prided himself in “glorifying the American girl” – Florenz Ziegfeld. His productions showed that he had more interest in pretty girls and pretty melodies than in a story of American cultures and families dealing with the perils of the time and problems of family life. Some of the richest material – like “Mis’ry’s Comin’ Aroun’” – was cut between its original out of town performance and Broadway opening. And then for each movie version or revival, Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern added songs to suit the specific needs.</p><p>Goodspeed began rehearsals with a good version, with a focus on the family stories, since that is what Ruggiero felt would work best at the theater. And a first rate cast was assembled, starting with Sarah Uriarte Berry as Magnolia, Ben Davis as Ravenal, Lenny Wolpe as Captain Andy – first rate Broadway pros all.</p><p>But it was somewhat risky when this week a large and important group ventured forth to go see one performance all together: Alice Hammerstein, daughter of Oscar; Julie Gilbert, great-niece of Edna Ferber (who was named after the character in the show…) and Andy Boose, the lawyer who speaks for the Jerome Kern interests. This is a group that has seen many a SHOW BOAT.</p><p>Happily, and luckily, everyone was thrilled. It was indeed the realization of what director Ruggerio had set out to accomplish, and he and his team figured out clever ways to use the best of Goodspeed. I have been around Rodgers & Hammerstein long enough to know when any crew of rights holders have to be polite, when they have to find a couple of nice things to say, and when on rare occasions they can say honestly and genuinely: “we loved it.” And that was the case here. Michael Price brought Alice and Julie up on stage at the end of the performance, and Alice, who is nothing if not straight-forward, quietly said that for a show that she knows pretty well, and had first seen when she was 6, this production made her cry because it was so good.</p><p>Can’t get much better than that!</p><br /> Stealth In Chicago http://www.rnh.com/blog/60/Stealth-In-Chicago 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_60 <div style="color: #000000; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: #ffffff; margin: 8px;"><p><a title="Sound of Music on Oprah" href="http://www.oprah.com/showinfo/For-the-First-Time-in-45-Years-The-Sound-of-Music-Cast-Reunites" target="_blank">The Sound of Music Cast reunion episode of OPRAH</a> which was originally broadcast in October 2010 is being re-broadcast tomorrow. In this blog R&H President, Ted Chapin takes a look back the filming of the episode last fall.</p> <p>***</p></div> <p>There’s a plot point in Stanley Kramer’s movie IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD about gold being buried “under a big W.”  Much of the movie revolves around an all-star cast trying to figure out what thing beginning with “W” could hide the gold.  Then there is a moment with Spencer Tracy standing in a seaside park, as he realizes that behind him there are four palm trees that together form a “W”.  Too obvious for intrigue; right in front of everyone’s eyes all along.</p> <p></p> <p>I thought of that moment when I was in Chicago last fall.  As much under everyone’s radar as humanly possible, we and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment had gathered – and it took some gathering – the entire movie von Trapps from THE SOUND OF MUSIC for a special reunion.  That meant Kym Karath, Debbie Turner, Angela Cartwright, Duane Chase, Heather Menzies, Nicholas Hammond, Charmian Carr – and yes, Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews.  They came from near and far – Paris, Sydney, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Toronto, New York – to appear on an edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was planning some very special shows to round out her last season on Network TV. Secrecy and confidentiality were the words of the day.</p> <p></p> <p>These nine people had not been together in one place since the premier of THE SOUND OF MUSIC – 45 years ago.  That was the hook that got Oprah interested, and since the Blu-Ray of the movie was being released a month later, clearly it was to the movie’s advantage to make this extraordinary reunion possible.</p> <p></p> <p>People assembled at the Peninsula Hotel over a couple of days.  The Peninsula has one of the great modern hotel lobbies – up on the fifth floor, with a grand hallway and an airy restaurant off to one side. There was an expectant feeling in the lobby, as the cast of characters arrived one at a time.  The “kids” came first, wrangled by their manager Peter Hankwitz, who stationed himself in the restaurant with a clear view of who was coming and who was going.  He had the largest number to be concerned about, and they arrived without incident at their designated time, although no one had seen Charmian Carr.  She had checked in, but didn’t seem to be around.  I was standing in the lobby when Heather Menzies arrived, wheeling her suitcase, and she was greeted by Duane Chase.  Clearly there was a buzz, but it was tempered, since no one except those involved were supposed to put the pieces together to realize what was actually happening.  As I was standing talking with the extraordinary team from Fox, Julie Andrews came through.  While I greeted her I caught one of the “kids” walk by, not quite ready to make connection with her “Maria” yet.  Word got to us that Christopher Plummer had arrived, and was up in his room, wondering where his manger Lou Pitt was.  That made everyone breathe a certain sigh of release.  He was the autocrat in the film, and he was the person most of the rest of the actors hadn’t seen since the movie finished shooting.  Some of the “kids” were even nervous about seeing him again.</p> <p></p> <p>We and Fox decided to throw a private dinner the night before the Oprah taping.  And here’s where “The Big W” comes in.  When I went to the place arranged for our private dinner, rather than a private hotel dining room, sequestered on some dimly lit floor, it was a small restaurant run by the hotel, but on the street level. In fact, the only way to get to it was to go outside on to Superior Street, take a right, and walk half a block to the front door.  Once inside, I saw that one wall of the restaurant was glass, looking right out onto North Rush street.  “Lord,” I thought, “if the paparazzi knew what was happening inside here…”</p> <p></p> <p>The “kids” were prompt, some with grown children in tow, some with bona fide blood family members, some with Chicago friends.  They have kept in pretty close touch through the years, and are, in fact, collaborating on a “SOUND OF MUSIC SCRAPBOOK” using all their personal memorabilia.  It is pretty remarkable in Hollywood that a.) there’s not a drug bust or an arrest to be found in the group, b.) they are all walking, talking, existing citizens, doing interesting and different things (although acting wasn’t high among the current activities) and c.) people somehow love seeing these particular actors, and have loved seeing them over the past 45 years.  Charmian Carr wrote a couple of books about being Leisl.  Nicholas Hammond attended a “Rodgers & Hammerstein At The Movies” concert in Sydney, and was received like a rock star. Duane gathered a group last summer and went to the von Trapp Lodge in Vermont to plant a tree in honor of the real-life von Trapp that he feels his character was based on.  Individually and separately, they have hosted performances of “Sing Along Sound of Music” around the world.</p> <p></p> <p>But they are the kids, and the parents still hold sway.  Julie arrived first, and greeted them all just like – well, the mother would.  Elegant small tables had been set up down the middle of the restaurant, each with four discreet chairs.  An unmistakable voice said: “Let’s pull these tables all together so we can sit and talk.”  Once in charge of these children, always in charge of these children.  So what that the children are now in their 50’s and one in her 60’s.  Those who hold sway over us…</p> <p></p> <p>And keeping entirely in character, the autocratic head of the family came in last.  Hovering slightly by the doorway with his cheerful manager, Chris Plummer seemed reluctant to throw himself in.  But several of the movie kids came over, hands outstretch to re-introduce themselves.  A good sport, he walked over to the group and joined in.  Seeing him with Julie you realize he really has always been a little bit in love with her, and he was as pleased as ever to see her.  He went over and sat with the “family,” prompting several of us who has said firmly “no press and no cameras” to pull out our point-and-shoots and document what really was an historic occasion.And at one point I looked out on to North Rush Street, across to one of Chicago’s famous pizzerias.  People were enjoying their pizza, and I thought there were probably people inside who would have their minds blown to peer in our window and see just who was sitting around the table.  In fact, any of them could have – easily. That “Big W” was right there in plain sight.  But luckily the stealth surprise was maintained.  It was what we and Fox had wanted: a family gathering, perhaps pre-reunion (the real one would be documented the next day at the taping of Oprah) allowing these nine particular people, who shared an experience 46 years ago together, to meet again, share stories and chat.  Even they were amazed that this one job, much like any other, would end up with a movie that has stayed with the world continuously for so long.</p> <p></p> <p>Credit has to be given to the team at Fox Home Entertainment, headed by Dave Shaw and Callie Jurnigan, and our own Bert Fink.  This was a monumental event to pull off, and it was never easy for one minute.  On the plane to Chicago I turned to Bert and said I felt 8 ½ months pregnant.  If so, the birth was just fine.</p> <p></p> <p>Oh, and wait until you see the movie in Blu-Ray.  All those outdoor shots? The grass and the flowers?  The water in the river? Glistening like you were standing in Salzburg or on those hills yesterday.  THE SOUND OF MUSIC is, after all, a remarkable film.</p> <p><strong>*** </strong></p> <p><strong>To celebrate the re-broadcast of the Oprah episode we are throwing a fan appreciation sale. Just <a title="The Sound of Music Collector's set" href="http://www.foxconnect.com/soundofmusic" target="_blank">click here</a> and enter the code "MUSIC" at check out to get a great discount on THE SOUND OF MUSIC Limited Edition Collector's set and a number of other R&H titles. </strong></p> <p></p> RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN: In the 2010-2011 Season http://www.rnh.com/blog/59/RODGERS-HAMMERSTEIN-In-the-2010-2011-Season 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_59 <p>It’s always nice when Rodgers & Hammerstein are referenced in the media. In the Memorial Day Sunday <a title="New York Times Book Review" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/books/review/book-review-a-bittersweet-season-caring-for-our-aging-parents-and-ourselves-by-jane-gross.html" target="_blank">New York Times Book Review section</a> a parallel was drawn between a new book’s wandering through the story of the author dealing with her aged mother and the author’s advice on how to deal with aging parents and characters in musicals moving from speaking into singing.  The reference the reviewer used was <a title="Oklahoma!" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/78/Oklahoma%21">OKLAHOMA!</a>, first with “<a title="Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin" href="http://www.rnh.com/song/3104/Oh-What-A-Beautiful-Mornin">Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin</a>’,” and then, realizing the subject matter of the book, corrects herself to indicate that “<a title="Pore Jud Is Daid" href="http://www.rnh.com/song/3240/Pore-Jud-Is-Daid">Pore Jud Is Daid</a>” is the more appropriate song.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">And so it is in this Broadway season that there are many R&H references. They are mostly from <a title="THE SOUND OF MUSIC" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/95/The-Sound-of-Music">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a>.  Since much of SISTER ACT takes place is a convent, a nod in the direction of <a title="THE SOUND OF MUSIC" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/95/The-Sound-of-Music">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> seemed inevitable.  And thanks to Douglas Carter Beane’s sassy rewrite of the libretto, it’s there, a reference to how cool nuns are, as exemplified by their stealing “the Nazi’s car parts so the singing children can get away. That’s good stuff!”  It gets a good chuckle.  Sticking with the nuns, the three sisters of THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES also make a reference to <a title="THE SOUND OF MUSIC" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/95/The-Sound-of-Music">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a>, but this one, of course, has been in that show since it was first produced at the Truck and Warehouse Theater on West 4th Street in 1971.  I know; I saw it there – escorting Yvonne de Carlo, <a title="Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies" href="http://www.rnh.com/shop.html?id=1557836531" target="_blank">but that is kind of another story</a>.  For those of you who have no idea what the Truck and Warehouse Theater is, you know it better as the New York Theater Workshop…thankfully, one Off-Broadway theater that is still going strong. (And there is a quote from Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” in the show as well…)</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The drag queens of PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT live in a world of borrowed music, as they did in the movie.  But the three who inhabit the Palace Theater make several references to “favorite things” and “climbing every mountain.”  I guess it’s just a part of their vernacular, since these folk are pretty far from any convent.  And then there is THE BOOK OF MORMON, which embraces the wonderfully old fashioned – and well constructed – world of musical theater from the Rodgers & Hammerstein era.  And the inspirational song “I Believe” pays special homage to the verse of “<a title="I Have Confidence" href="http://www.rnh.com/song/2497/I-Have-Confidence">I Have Confidence</a>,” one of best known songs from <a title="THE SOUND OF MUSIC" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/95/The-Sound-of-Music">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a>’s movie version.  The homage is clever, so clever that audiences take a while to get the joke.  But with the line: “A warlord who shoots people in the face.  What’s so scary about that?” it becomes clear.  And it gets a good hearty laugh.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The last homage is in some ways the most astonishing, and it isn’t from <a title="THE SOUND OF MUSIC" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/95/The-Sound-of-Music">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a>.  It is, however, in THE BOOK OF MORMON.  I don’t really want to spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen the show, but more than a reference is made to “The Small House Of Uncle Thomas” from <a title="THE KING AND I" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/60/The-King-and-I">THE KING AND I</a>.  In <a title="THE KING AND I" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/60/The-King-and-I">THE KING AND I</a>, the slave Tuptim ‘puts on a show’ for the King of Siam, and chooses “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” as the basis for her show, largely for what it has to say about slavery.  It provides a way for the oppressed slave to tell her King what she thinks of slavery, without really saying it, because, of course, she cannot confront the King.  It’s used for good dramatic purpose. Think about that when you see THE BOOK OF MORMON…</p> <p></p> South Lyon East High School's Phantom Blog - Part 6 http://www.rnh.com/blog/58/South-Lyon-East-High-School-s-Phantom-Blog-Part-6 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_58 <p></p> <p><strong>‘It’s over now..the Music of the Night..’</strong></p> <p></p> <p>Last week, Michigan's South Lyon East High School became one of the latest US high schools and colleges to stage their production of The Phantom of the Opera. We've heard from the show's <a title="Phantom Set Design" href="http://www.rnh.com/blog/2011/03/">Set Designer</a>, leading actors, <a title="Pit Musicians" href="http://www.rnh.com/blog/2011/04/South-Lyon-East-High-School-s-Phantom-Blog---Part-3">Pit Musicians</a>, taken a glimpse at the final <a title="Costumes" href="http://www.rnh.com/blog/2011/05/South-Lyon-East-High-School-s-Phantom-Blog---Part-4">Dress Rehearsal</a> and learned about how they <a title="Financing Phantom" href="http://www.rnh.com/blog/2011/05/South-Lyon-East-High-School-s-Phantom-Blog---Part-5">financed their production</a>. In their last blog South Lyon East High School's Vice President of East Parents of Performing Students, Stacie Bethel, reflects on the production.</p> <p></p> <p>Wow! What a magnificent experience it was to produce <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show/81/The-Phantom-of-the-Opera">The Phantom of the Opera</a>! Our student cast, crew and orchestra brought their ‘A’ game for each performance, and we couldn’t be happier! We had record-breaking audiences, which show the incredible support of our community, as well as the family and friends of our cast and crew. Our audiences were in awe of the amazing chandelier! We are so glad ZFX decided to build this wonderful prop! Each night the chandelier received its own round of applause.</p> <p>After all the months of hard work, we were more than pleased with the way the shows turned out – and can’t think of a thing we would have done differently. Advance planning between our drama boosters and our director was essential in the success of our production. Many parents/guardians and cast and crew members spent countless hours building and painting sets, sewing costumes, and making/finding props. Truly, without the help of these wonderful, talented people, we couldn’t have put on such a marvelous production.</p> <p>When the last show wrapped on Sunday, May 15th, we began the long, bittersweet process of set strike. We sold quite a few set pieces and props to other schools that will be performing The Phantom of the Opera in the coming year, so it is nice to see that pieces of South Lyon East’s production will be living on in other shows. Hundreds of costume pieces and props were stored or taken for cleaning, and much of the set ended up back in the set shop, in pieces, awaiting it’s re-use in future productions.</p> <p>This production made a lasting impact on all of the students involved. Since many of our leads were double and sometimes triple-cast, there was no lack of opportunity for any student who wanted to participate in the show. Each student came away with new life skills that will be invaluable in the future. Some who had never acted or sang onstage before discovered hidden talents. Crew members showed a new appreciation for the value of teamwork, and the satisfaction of making some amazing set changes in a very short amount of time.</p> <p>This has been an experience of a lifetime for these students, and the magic of this wonderful story will stay with them for years to come, as they remember the part they played in our most challenging theater production to date.</p> South Lyon East High School's Phantom Blog - Part 5 http://www.rnh.com/blog/57/South-Lyon-East-High-School-s-Phantom-Blog-Part-5 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_57 <p>Last week, Michigan's South Lyon East High School became one of the latest US high schools and colleges to stage their production of <a title="PHANTOM OF THE OPERA" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/81/The-Phantom-of-the-Opera?id=81" target="_self">The Phantom of the Opera</a>. We've heard from the show's Set Designer, leading actors, Pit Musicians, and taken a glimpse at the final Dress Rehearsal - in this latest blog, we look back at the early stages of the production and how the school community came together to fund the show.</p> <p><strong> "Wow! Our High School is performing <a title="THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/81/The-Phantom-of-the-Opera?id=81" target="_self">The Phantom of the Opera</a>! (Now, how do we pay for it?)"</strong></p> <p>"Financing high school theatre productions is certainly a challenge, especially in these economic times. Each school and parent booster organization has a different budget for these activities. Each director has a different philosophy as well, which affects how the money is allocated. For example, the chandelier - you can spend as much or as little as you want, depending on how important this effect is to your production. One director may want the 'whole ball of wax' and hire a company for this purpose, while others may feel the money is better spent on other aspects of their show and either build their own version of the chandelier or use lighting to simulate this effect.</p> <p>"The SLEHS parent drama boosters started planning our fundraising efforts as soon as we found out our director wanted to produce The Phantom of the Opera. Some of the activities have included a very successful rummage sale, a spaghetti dinner, and more traditional fund raising (product sales). We also were given the chance to hold fundraising nights at a local restaurant, in which the owner graciously donated some of the profits back to our program on that particular night. Several of our parent boosters are making beautiful 'Masquerade' masks to sell at our shows. We have had the support of these activities from our community, which is wonderful, because we couldn't do this without the support of these local businesses, as well as the businesses who bought ad space in our program.</p> <p>"We are also arranging with other local high school to sell and/or rent our set pieces and costumes from our Phantom production. As more schools perform this show, more set pieces and costumes will be available for schools to rent or buy, which will eliminate a lot of expense and labor. Needless to say, our ticket sales have been exceptional due to the popularity of Phantom. We have also been marketing the show to the surrounding communities.</p> <p>"Performing The Phantom of the Opera has been an amazing experience for our students at South Lyon East High School. I would encourage any school theater department considering performing Phantom to do your homework, plan in advance, and remember that regardless of how simple or elaborate your production is, the most important factor is the theater education of the students involved, and showing your community that supporting the arts in the schools is more important than ever."</p> <p>*PLEASE NOTE, the release of performance rights for The Phantom of the Opera is at this stage restricted to high schools and colleges across the USA and Canada only.</p> <p></p> South Lyon East High School's Phantom Blog - Part 4 http://www.rnh.com/blog/56/South-Lyon-East-High-School-s-Phantom-Blog-Part-4 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_56 <p>On 5th May 2011, the students at Michigan's South Lyon East High School became one of the latest US high schools and colleges to stage their own production of<em>The Phantom of the Opera</em>.<a title="The Phantom of The Opera" href="http://www.rnh.com/show/81/The-Phantom-of-the-Opera" target="_self">The Phantom of the Opera</a>. In earlier blogs, we heard from the show's <a href="http://www.rnh.com/blog/2011/03/">Set Designer</a>, <a href="http://www.rnh.com/blog/2011/04/">leading actors</a>, and <a href="http://www.rnh.com/blog/2011/04/South-Lyon-East-High-School-s-Phantom-Blog---Part-3">musicians</a>.</p> <p>In their latest blog, the staff and students count down to Opening Night - and give us a glimpse into their Dress Rehearsal...</p> <p></p> <p><strong>Blog 4- Dress rehearsals and finishing touches as we prepare to bring Phantom of the Opera to the stage in South Lyon, Michigan.</strong></p> <p></p> <p>The actors and tech crew are excited and ready for opening night!! Dress rehearsals started Saturday, so we are sharing some photos that showcase our sets, props and costumes. Our costume team has put together some very elegant costumes, and they have spent the better part of 4 months shopping for fabric, cutting and sewing. Very few costumes were rented for this show - almost all were hand made in the style of the period.</p> <p>It has been an amazing few months of preparation by all involved - the set building crew, the props crew, the lighting and sound technicians, costume team, pit orchestra, and the actors themselves. To watch the story of the Phantom of the Opera come to life is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of all the students, staff, and parents, and the culmination of months of hard work and planning. We couldn't be happier with the results! Just two more days until opening night, and excitement is in the air as all involved are working long hours to put the final touches on what we know will be an amazing show that our school and community can be proud of.</p> <p></p> <p>We hope you have enjoyed following along as we have made preparations for our most challenging show to date. Stay tuned for more from our opening weekend!</p> <p></p> <p>*PLEASE NOTE, the release of performance rights for The Phantom of the Opera is at this stage restricted to high schools and colleges across the USA and Canada only.</p> Knickerbocker Holiday and Lost in the Stars heat up NYC this winter http://www.rnh.com/blog/38/Knickerbocker-Holiday-and-Lost-in-the-Stars-heat-up-NYC-this-winter 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_38 <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Both Kurt Weill – Maxwell Anderson musicals are being presented back-to-back this winter in New York City with star-studded casts. R&H Theatricals discussed these shows with <a title="Knickerbocker Holiday" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=KH&s=1" target="_blank">KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY</a> director <a title="Ted Sperling" href="http://www.tedsperling.net" target="_blank">Ted Sperling</a>, <a title="Lost In The Stars" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=LO&s=1" target="_blank">LOST IN THE STARS</a> music director <a title="Rob Berman" href="http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=70394" target="_blank">Rob Berman</a>, and <a title="Kurt Weill Foundation" href="http://www.kwf.org/kwf/" target="_blank">Kurt Weill Foundation</a> Associate Director for Publications and Research, Elmar Juchem.</strong></p> <p><a title="Kurt Weill" href="http://rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=K_Weill&s=1" target="_self">Kurt Weill</a> teamed up with <a title="Maxwell Anderson" href="http://rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=M_Anderson&s=1" target="_self">Maxwell Anderson</a> to complete two Broadway musicals—Knickerbocker Holiday, a romantic comedy/political satire about the arrival of the last Dutch governor of New York, and Lost in the Stars, an earnest musical tragedy about the blight of apartheid in South Africa. Knickerbocker Holiday performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall January 25-26, presented by the <a title="Collegiate Chorale" href="http://www.collegiatechorale.org/about/" target="_blank">Collegiate Chorale</a>, directed by <a title="Ted Sperling" href="http://www.tedsperling.net/" target="_blank">Ted Sperling</a>, conducted by James Bagwell, and featuring Broadway luminaries Victor Garber, Ben Davis, Kelli O’Hara, Bryce Pinkham, David Garrison, and Christopher Fitzgerald. Lost in the Stars appears at <a title="NY City Center Encores!" href="http://www.nycitycenter.org/tickets/productionNew.aspx?performanceNumber=5276" target="_blank">New York City Center Encores!</a> February 3-6, directed by Gary Griffin, music directed by Rob Berman, and featuring Chuck Cooper, Daniel Breaker, Patina Miller, Sharon Washington, Daniel Gerroll, John Douglas Thompson and Sherry Boone.</p> <p><span id="more-475"> </span><br /> <strong><br /> R&H : Tell us a little about each of these shows.</strong></p> <p><strong>Elmar Juchem</strong>: To put these shows in context, one has to keep in mind that <a title="Maxwell Anderson" href="http://rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=M_Anderson&s=1" target="_self">Maxwell Anderson</a> was the most prolific playwright on Broadway in the 1930s and 40s. When Weill approached him and convinced him to work for the musical stage, that in itself sent a signal that musicals could be more than mere entertainment. <a title="Knickerbocker Holiday" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=KH&s=1" target="_blank">KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY</a> (1938) is still a musical comedy, and consciously so (with some obvious elements of operetta), but it also offers a hilarious and pointed critique of governmental power growing out of control. Loosely based on Washington Irving’s A History of New York by Diedrich Knickerbocker, the show is set in 17th-century Dutch Manhattan. When the new governor, Peter Stuyvesant, turns out to be a tyrant, a young independent thinker named Brom challenges his government—and his claim on the woman Brom loves. Their contest of wills creates a broad satire that pits democracy against totalitarianism, with the required dash of romance thrown in.</p> <p>In <a title="Lost In The Stars" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=LO&s=1" target="_blank">LOST IN THE STARS</a> (1949), Weill and Anderson turned the notion of “musical comedy” on its head: they billed it as a “musical tragedy”—common in opera houses but not on Broadway—and gave it the character of a chamber musical. The use of the chorus follows the Greek model, which Weill had successfully employed in some of his German works in the early 1930s. For some ten years, Anderson and Weill had wanted to create a work that commented on the appalling state of race relations in the U.S. They couldn’t do that directly, so when they came across Alan Paton’s 1948 novel about apartheid South Africa, Cry, the Beloved Country, they knew they had a vehicle that would indirectly, yet unmistakably, comment on the situation at home. Lost in the Stars takes a hard look at the big issue of segregation by dramatizing an intimate story of two aging men—a black country parson and a bigoted white planter—who are ultimately brought together through the tragic deaths of their sons.<br /> <strong><br /> R&H : What was it about these shows that appealed to you / made you want include them in your season?</strong></p> <p><strong>Ted Sperling</strong>: I’m a huge <a title="Kurt Weill" href="http://rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=K_Weill&s=1" target="_self">Kurt Weill</a> fan, so it was an immediate “yes” when I was asked to direct <a title="Knickerbocker Holiday" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=KH&s=1" target="_blank">KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY</a>, even though I didn’t know really know the piece. I was excited to have an opportunity to explore another Weill rarity, having conducted THE FIREBRAND OF FLORENCE with the Chorale two years ago. I did know several of the songs already, but I knew very little about the script. But I often take on projects for that very reason: to be given an opportunity to dive into the unknown! The fact that we would be making the first cast album of the show was also exciting to me.</p> <p><strong>Rob Berman</strong>: I have long been fascinated by the score for Lost in the Stars and ever since I became Music Director of Encores! I looked for an opportunity for us to present the show.   It has been many years since we produced a show by Kurt Weill and it seemed like a good time to present a darker, more dramatic show.   I think it is important that we vary our seasons and present a mix of light-hearted fare (like Bells Are Ringing or Where’s Charley?) as well as shows that are more serious-minded.</p> <p><strong>R&H : How did you approach Knickerbocker Holiday / Lost in the Stars?</strong></p> <p><strong>TS</strong>: When I did get to know the script, I realized it was a huge challenge to present in concert form. First of all, it is very verbose, so I needed to cut at least half of the dialogue. Second, it relies on some very specific aspects of the set: there are two scenes involving a noose and scaffold, and another involving a tug of war through a hole in the wall of a jail! And third, Peter Stuyvesant is supposed to have a wooden peg for a leg! How was I going to accomplish this at Alice Tully with no set or costumes? I decided that we would embrace the concert nature of the performance, and let the audience fill in all the gaps with their imaginations. We performed the piece in tuxes and gowns, with a beautiful image of old New Amsterdam floating above the stage.</p> <p>Another challenge in adapting the script for concert performance was how to grapple with the political incorrectness of its reliance on drunken, war-crazy Indians as the enemy. Of course, the real enemy in the piece is Stuyvesant, but there is much talk of selling brandy and firearms to the Indians, and this is so central to the mechanism of the plot, that it’s really impossible to eliminate it. I decided, ultimately, that we needed to present the piece as it was written, and that to try to sanitize the material wouldn’t work. The narrator of Washington Irving mentions early in the piece that this took place in a more innocent time, “before the Indian Tribes had turned to wood or reservations”, and I decided that we would play it as written. The image of the city I mentioned earlier is taken from an old map, and is framed by the figures of two rather mournful-looking Native Americans, so I hope some audience members took that in and appreciated the resonance.</p> <p><strong>RB:</strong>Weill’s music requires a high level of fidelity to the musical values and to the style.  At the same time, he was a dramatist and I have encouraged the actors and singers to find the truth of the characters and the story within the framework that the score gives us.  Often this piece is cast with opera singers, but we chose to cast great musical theater voices who we felt could fully meet the acting demands of the piece as well.<br /> One of the major features of the show is the use of a contemporary Greek chorus.   The chorus sings almost half of the score so I needed to cast a group of singers who were also wonderful musicians who could learn the music quickly.   Our chorus has 19 members, the same number as the original Broadway production.<br /> Another decision I made was about the orchestration.   The original production in 1949 had an orchestra of only 12 musicians, which was very small for the time.   It was Weill’s intention that the show would have a smaller, chamber-style orchestration.   At some point an augmented orchestration was created, but in the spirit of the Encores! approach to things, I chose to present the show as it was originally heard and we will perform it with just the 12 musicians.   It is a wonderfully distinctive sound.</p> <p><strong>R&H: What were the reactions to Knickerbocker Holiday and Lost in the Stars when each premiered on Broadway?</strong></p> <p><strong>EJ: </strong>In each case, the critics felt they had seen and heard something genuinely new. People noticed that the shows were topical yet universal. And they marveled at Weill’s orchestrations and the fact that book, lyrics and music were inseparable. <a title="Lost In The Stars" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=LO&s=1" target="_blank">LOST IN THE STARS</a> appears to have been emotionally overwhelming. One critic said that the show made her “so happily unhappy that she felt like dropping in at Death of a Salesman” (which was running also in 1949) “just to cheer herself up.”</p> <p><strong>R&H:  How do you think these shows will resonate with audiences today?</strong></p> <p><strong>TS:</strong> I suspected that the political content of <a title="Knickerbocker Holiday" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=KH&s=1" target="_blank">KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY </a>would feel very apt today, and I was right. The piece is very critical of what we would call “big government”, and certainly has resonance with the current debate over the government bailouts of the financial industry, the controversy over the health care bill. Probably the biggest laugh in the whole evening was when the hero is asked to describe what a democracy is, and he replies, “it’s where you’re governed by amateurs.”</p> <p><strong>RB: </strong>I think the human story that is presented in Lost in the Stars will be affecting.  Certainly it is a political piece that deals with race relations and apartheid in South Africa.  However, it is also a story about community, faith and family and how people deal with terrible events that take place.  The show is subtitled a “musical tragedy” but I’m hopeful that the audience will leave feeling uplifted about man’s ability to endure and to remain hopeful about the future.<span style="font-size: 12pt;"><br /> </span></p> <p><strong>R&H: Kurt Weill collaborated with many different writers, from Bertolt Brecht to Ira Gershwin. What are some of the most interesting or unique aspects of Weill’s collaborations with Anderson?</strong></p> <p><strong>EJ</strong>: Anderson was not only a playwright but also a poet (like Brecht), which made him an ideal candidate for musical theater, as he could do both book and lyrics. And he trusted rather than envied Weill’s dramaturgical judgment. Likewise, Weill admired Anderson’s skill, humor and overall concept of theater and its role in society. So they became good friends and neighbors.</p> <p><strong>R&H:  What is your favorite song (or two!) from each show?</strong></p> <p><strong>EJ</strong>: “It Never Was You” from Knickerbocker. As for Lost in the Stars, I love the whole score from start to finish.</p> <p><strong>TS</strong>: The most famous songs from <a title="Knickerbocker Holiday" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=KH&s=1" target="_blank">KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY</a> are “September Song” and “It Never Was You”, and I think deservedly so… they are both gorgeous melodies and the lyrics are the strongest in the piece. But I was also very taken with another love duet, “Will You Remember Me”, that was cut shortly after the show first opened on Broadway. There’s also a surprisingly long and serious “Dirge for a Soldier” that seems like it belongs in an oratorio… it’s very beautiful, and the Chorale was at its finest singing it.</p> <p><strong>RB:</strong>That’s hard to choose, but I am very fond of “The Little Gray House” in which Stephen sings to his little nephew about what life is like in his village.   It is a gentle, evocative song about the simple joys of his domestic life.   It is wonderfully intimate and musically lovely.</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">License <a title="Lost In The Stars" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=LO&s=1" target="_self">LOST IN THE STARS</a> and <a title="Knickerbocker Holiday" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=KH&s=1" target="_self">KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY</a> for Theatrical Performances</h3> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Jurt Weill Foundation" href="http://www.kwf.org/kwf/component/content/article/21/457-weill-anderson-collaborations" target="_blank">Learn more about Weill, Anderson, the shows and productions at the Kurt Weill Foundation</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"></p> <h4 style="text-align: center;">Watch videos <a title="LOST IN THE STARS Rehearsal" href="http://broadwayworld.com/videoplay.php?colid=204488">from the rehearsals</a> and <a title="LOST IN THE STARS Opening Night" href="http://broadwayworld.com/videoplay.php?colid=206835">opening night</a> of New York City Center Encores!<br /> production of <a title="Lost In The Stars" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=LO&s=1" target="_self">LOST IN THE STARS</a></h4> <h4 style="text-align: center;">.</h4> <p style="text-align: center;"></p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 228px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> 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mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNormal">To put these shows in context, one has to keep in mind that Maxwell Anderson was the most prolific playwright on Broadway in the 1930s and 40s. When Weill approached him and convinced him to work for the musical stage, that in itself sent a signal that musicals could be more than mere entertainment. <em>Knickerbocker Holiday</em> (1938) is still a musical comedy, and consciously so (with some obvious elements of operetta), but it also offers a hilarious and pointed critique of governmental power growing out of control. <span>Loosely based on Washington Irving’s <em>A History of New York by Diedrich Knickerbocker,</em> the show is set in 17th-century Dutch Manhattan. When the new governor, Peter Stuyvesant, turns out to be a tyrant, a young independent thinker named Brom challenges his government—and his claim on the woman Brom loves. Their contest of wills creates a broad satire that pits democracy against totalitarianism, with the required dash of romance thrown in.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <p class="MsoNormal">In <em>Lost in the Stars</em> (1949), Weill and Anderson turned the notion of “musical comedy” on its head: they billed it as a “musical tragedy”—common in opera houses but not on Broadway—and gave it the character of a chamber musical. The use of the chorus follows the Greek model, which Weill had successfully employed in some of his German works in the early 1930s. For some ten years, Anderson and Weill had wanted to create a work that commented on the appalling state of race relations in the U.S. They couldn’t do that directly, so when they came across Alan Paton’s 1948 novel about apartheid South Africa,<em> Cry, the Beloved Country</em>, they knew they had a vehicle that would indirectly, yet unmistakably, comment on the situation at home. <em>Lost in the Stars</em> takes a hard look at the big issue of segregation by <span>dramatizing an intimate story of two aging men—a black country parson and a bigoted white planter—who are ultimately brought together through the tragic deaths of their sons.</span></p></div> Restoring Musical Classics Part 3, PIPE DREAM http://www.rnh.com/blog/37/Restoring-Musical-Classics-Part-3-PIPE-DREAM 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_37 <div id="attachment_464" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 182px;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Faunas-Song_Page_1.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-464" title="Fauna's Song_Page_1" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Faunas-Song_Page_1-182x300.jpg" alt="" width="182" height="300" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">A page from the full score of one of the versions of Helen Traubel’s first song in PIPE DREAM. The number was revised three times and then replaced by something else entirely.</p></div> <p>We’re going to finish up our three part exploration of musical and script restorations with a peek at the new edition of <a title="Pipe Dream" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PD&s=1"><strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong></a> we’ll be bringing on line next year. <a title="Pipe Dream" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PD&s=1"><strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong></a> is an especially exciting addition for us as, due to various and sundry complications, this show has not been available for performance in many years. <a title="Pipe Dream" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PD&s=1"><strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong></a> was R&H’s 1955 musical adaptation of <a title="John Steinbeck" href="http://rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=J_Steinbec&s=1">John Steinbeck</a>’s <strong><em>SWEET THURSDAY</em></strong>, a novella Steinbeck wrote with a musical adaptation in mind.</p> <p>Frank Loesser first considered outfitting <strong><em>SWEET THURSDAY</em></strong> for the Broadway stage, but eventually passed on it. Eventually <a title="Rodgers & Hammerstein" href="http://rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=R_Hamm&s=1">Rodgers & Hammerstein</a> became interested in it as a vehicle for famed Metropolitan Opera soprano, Helen Traubel, who had recently performed an evening of barrel house renditions in her Las Vegas nightclub act. Traubel was to play the madam of a house of ill repute. She was eager to show audiences her bawdier side, and Rodgers delivered her a score written in true Broadway belt keys. But it didn’t work. The original rehearsal materials indicate constant revisions in Traubel’s musical material as her part was readied for Broadway. Slowly, as she began to get cold feet about what her New York fans would think about her as a belter, the keys of each of her numbers edged upward.  And then the numbers themselves began to change. One song was written three different ways before the show opened. (Our restoration will retain all three versions, including the one that made it to the <a title="Pipe Dream Cast Recording" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000003FDU?ie=UTF8&tag=rnh.com-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000003FDU">original cast recording</a> but was not, to our knowledge, ever performed on stage.) Finally, at some point during the run of the show this number was replaced entirely by something else that was not as much of a song as something that sounded like an excerpt from Traubel’s Vegas act. (To a Cole Porter tune she sings, <em>“The beguine has begun, and it’s driving me crazy!”)</em> <em>This</em> from the composing team whose <a title="The King and I" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=KI&s=1"><strong><em>KING AND I</em></strong></a> was still packing both legitimate theatres and movie palaces! What was going on?</p> <p><span id="more-456"> </span></p> <p>Finally, one can only presume to placate the unhappy star, Traubel was given a second act reprise of the one sure-fire hit song in the show, <em>“All At Once You Love Her”. </em>No matter that this song was written for the show’s romantic leading couple and had nothing to do with Traubel’s character. Perry Como made a hit of it, she wanted it and she got it. R&H wrote a beautiful verse to make the song work for her in the scene in which she sang it and Helen Traubel’s reprise of <em>“All At Once You Love Her” </em>was one of the loveliest moments in all of <strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong>.</p> <p>On one hand, it’s easy to trace the development of a show for which so much of the original rehearsal and performance materials still exist.  We have all the rehearsal scripts and vocal parts in our archive along with the complete set of original orchestra parts (still in their stand folders from the orchestra pit in the Shubert Theatre) and all of Robert Russell Bennett’s (and Joe Glover’s!) full orchestra scores. Because <a title="Pipe Dream" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PD&s=1"><strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong></a> was not as immediately successful as the other R&H hits there was never a complete performance version created for licensing. A script was prepared and a beautiful piano vocal score was created and published (<a title="Pipe Dream Libretto" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881886025?ie=UTF8&tag=rnh.com-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0881886025">and is still available from Hal Leonard</a>) but only a few of the orchestra books were ever printed for reuse.</p> <p>On the other hand, the changes and alterations made while the show was being prepared seem endless determinations regarding them can be difficult to come by. Traubel’s songs continued to be transposed, both for her and for her understudies, as the show ran. When she walked less than a month before the end of the run, Nancy Andrews stepped in, and everything was retooled one final time for her. The Traubel material now in the orchestra books is that which was created for Ms. Andrews a scant two weeks before the Broadway run of the show ended.</p> <p>There is a lot of dance music (by <a title="John Morris" href="http://rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=J_Morris&s=1">John Morris</a>, famous for his film scores of Mel Brooks’ <strong><em>THE PRODUCERS</em></strong> and <strong><em>YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN</em></strong>, as well as writing <a title="A Time for Singing" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=TS&s=1"><em><strong>A TIME FOR SINGING</strong></em></a>.) This also never seemed to take final form. Even where the dances were placed is somewhat of a question. Some of the orchestra books have a chunk of the second act dance music moved to the very top of the first act. But there is nothing to document that this switch was ever performed in the Broadway production. And there are all kinds of little nips and tucks and alterations on the original cast album that are not reflected in any of the existing materials. Unfortunately, whatever instrumental parts might have been created specifically for the recording are now lost.</p> <p>In most of our decisions regarding the restored edition of <a title="Pipe Dream" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PD&s=1"><strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong></a> we will be offering as many options as we can. Is Fauna, the character Ms. Traubel portrayed more effective as a belter (as her part was conceived) or as a legitimate soprano (as she performed it?) Since orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett first scored much of Traubel’s material in lower keys we still have access to and will be offering Fauna’s songs as R & H originally intended them. But, as the higher transpositions exist, and as these constitute more accurately the original performances of the show, we will offer these as well. There are also a few verses to songs and interior sections that got lost along the way, and these we’d like to reinstate as options for future productions.  In some ways this most documented of R&H scores is proving one of the most difficult to pin down.</p> <p>The important thing is that we think <a title="Pipe Dream" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PD&s=1"><strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong></a> is going to be a real revelation, lending exceptional insights into the <a title="Rodgers & Hammerstein" href="http://rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=R_Hamm&s=1">Rodgers & Hammerstein</a> cannon and providing genuine entertainment as it does so. The script is funny and touching. The lyrics are filled with character and poetry and the music is enchanting. The composer and his orchestrator filled the Shubert Theatre with one of the largest orchestras Rodgers had ever used: five reeds, eight brass, twelve strings, bass and percussion as well as harp <em>and</em> piano. The orchestration is, of course, superb.</p> <p>The existing cast recording hardly does the score justice. So we’re all looking forward to the next downbeat that will bring <a title="Pipe Dream" href="http://rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PD&s=1"><strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong></a> to life once again. Will Fauna (the Helen Traubel role) be a soprano or a belter this time around? We don’t know yet. One of the happiest headaches you get from working on a restoration is that you never stop learning new things about a musical score and the show that surrounds it. There is always one more “I” to dot and one more “T” to cross. And maybe, just maybe, the chance to uncover one more  moment of musical theatre magic that was almost forever lost.</p> <p></p> <p>Read <a title="Restoring Musical Classics Part 1" href="http://rnh.bubbleupmedia.com/blog/2010/12/restoring-musical-classics-part-1" target="_self">Part 1</a> and <a title="Restoring Musical Classics Part 2" href="http://rnh.bubbleupmedia.com/blog/2011/01/restoring-musical-classics-part-2" target="_self">Part 2</a> of our blog on Restoring Musical Classics.</p> Restoring Musical Classics - Part 2 http://www.rnh.com/blog/36/Restoring-Musical-Classics-Part-2 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_36 <p><a title="Restoring Musical Classics" href="http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/12/restoring-musical-classics-part-1/" target="_self"></a></p> <div id="attachment_439" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 228px;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/KingI_sheetmusic_blog.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-439 " title="King&I_sheetmusic_blog" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/KingI_sheetmusic_blog-228x300.jpg" alt="" width="228" height="300" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">A page from the original pit percussion part of “The Small House of Uncle Thomas” ballet in THE KING AND I. You can’t help but wonder how it ever got played. Click to view full size</p></div> <p>In last month’s blog on <a title="Restoring Musical Classics Part1" href="http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/12/restoring-musical-classics-part-1/" target="_blank"><em>Restoring Musical Classics</em></a> we began with the announcement of the upcoming availability of several of our newly restored musicals along with a brief explanation of what musical restorations are and why they are necessary. Essentially, the assumption, that the script and score materials licensed to recreate Broadway musicals are faithful to their original Broadway productions, is not necessarily a true one. Due to the last minute panic of getting any musical on its feet, especially a new one, the original scripts and scores and orchestra parts, certainly in the days before Xerox and Finale, became a maze of cuts and arrows and new words and notes scribbled in with others scribbled out. Months, or sometimes years after a show closed, a music copyist (almost always without the benefit of a corrected full orchestra score) would despair as he tried to make sense of the chaos on the pages in front of him. An educated guess would be made and something the composer intended was forever lost. Conversely, something that was never meant to be heard was reinstated for all time. Luckily for us, computer programs are now available that make the puzzle of reconstructing original orchestrations and vocal arrangements far more achievable than it has ever been.</p> <p>But even with high tech helping, the job of deciphering chaotic and often incomplete materials is still problematic, and each show brings with it its own unique challenges.</p> <p><span id="more-438"> </span></p> <p>In <a title="The King and I" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=KI&s=1" target="_blank"><strong><em>THE KING AND I</em></strong></a>, for example, Trude Rittmann, dance and choral arranger extraordinaire, was responsible for the musical arrangement of the second act ballet, <em>“</em><em><a title="The Small House of Uncle Thomas" href="http://www.rnh.com/song_detail.asp?id=42651&state=&s=1" target="_blank">The Small House of Uncle Thomas</a></em><em>”.</em> Her manuscript carefully details the rhythms that the brilliant Jerome Robbins required for his choreography. It was Robbins’ idea that the percussion part would be performed by both an on-stage player and the percussionist in the orchestra pit.  But when orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett began his instrumentation, Robbins (with the assistance of dance arranger Rittmann) was still changing his rhythmic ideas. Even once the ballet was fully orchestrated and copied Robbins was asking for changes in both the on-stage and pit percussion parts. By the time the show opened, both percussion players knew what they were doing, but the parts they were playing from were practically unreadable. A few years later, when the show closed and the parts were recopied for stock and amateur licensing, the music copyist did his best to make sense of what he was given to copy. But for years the working out of the percussion parts for this ballet continued to vex generations of choreographers, conductors and percussion players – on stage and off.</p> <p><strong><em>TOO MANY GIRLS</em></strong>, Rodgers & Hart’s college musical (the one that introduced the song <em>“</em><em><a title="I Didn't Know What Time It Was" href="http://www.rnh.com/song_detail.asp?id=30142&state=&s=1" target="_blank">I Didn’t Know What Time It Was</a></em><em>”</em> as well as a nineteen year old Desi Arnaz) posed a different kind of problem. We had full orchestra scores, but the single set of parts from the original 1939 Broadway production had been reused for both the national tour of the show and a reworking of the original material at the St. Louis Municipal Opera (now the MUNY.) There were three sets of corrections on every page, and it became a major sleuthing mission to try to figure out which set of corrections were those which truly defined the intentions of the score. We had Hugh Martin’s amazing vocal arrangements and Hans Spialek’s brilliant orchestrations, but often the harmonies in the orchestra didn’t manage those in the vocal parts. What had actually transpired on Broadway? And which was correct – the vocal parts or the instrumental parts? Notes in margins indicate that Desi sang at least two of his numbers in Spanish, but no Spanish translations have been found. And the second act opening was orchestrated, copied and performed in a key so low we find it difficult to believe the female ensemble could actually have navigated it. But, if we are to believe what our eyes tell us, they certainly seem to have done just that.</p> <p>For <a title="Face The Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=FM2&s=1" target="_blank"><strong><em>FACE THE MUSIC</em></strong></a>, we faced a show for which no full orchestra scores have been found. So the entire score was reconstructed from the orchestra parts. However, these parts had been totally revised for the national tour that followed the Broadway run. And composer, Irving Berlin, had asked for several changes to be made.  On many pages of the only existing set of orchestra parts new measures were pasted over old material that was no longer viewable. The Overture would have been impossible to bring back to its original Broadway luster had we not been able to find several of its tampered with sections in unfettered condition in other places in the score. (In those days many orchestrators would begin their work on a show by orchestrating four or five “utility” arrangements of what were perceived to be the probable song hits of the show. These were scored so they could quickly be interpolated as dance, scene change, underscore or any other kind of music that might suddenly needed throughout the show.) Often an Overture or an Entr’acte could be quickly produced by assembling a collection of these utilities with the orchestrator having to only provide new material for the introduction, the transitions and the coda.</p> <p><a title="Oklahoma!" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=OK&s=1" target="_blank"><strong><em>OKLAHOMA!</em></strong></a> had it its own set of peculiarities which had to be dealt with. There were no original parts. In fact, for the last fifty years there seems to have been only one set of parts in existence for <strong><em>OKLAHOMA!</em></strong> These were recopied sometime in the early 1960s, and everything that came before them now seems to have been destroyed. Luckily, Robert Russell Bennett’s original full orchestra scores still exist. And although many of the orchestra parts contain contradictory articulations, bowings, breath marks, dynamics, etc. the first violin part looks to have been copied from a particularly well edited original. So, for the first time, in our new restoration,  the articulations, bowings, breath marks, dynamics, etc. will not be contradicting each other. And all of the missing harp material as well as the mistakenly removed second violin parts are being reinstated. This new edition will be premiered by John Mauceri at the North Carolina School of the Arts later this year and is scheduled to be released soon after that.</p> <p>Did I mention that the existing original full scores for <a title="Jerome Kern" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=J_Kern&s=1" target="_blank">Jerome Kern</a> and <a title="Oscar Hammerstein II" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=O_Hammerst&s=1" target="_blank">Oscar Hammerstein</a>’s <strong><em>MUSIC IN THE AIR</em></strong> specify an instrumentation much larger than the one that actually ended up playing the show when it opened in New York in 1932? Why? What happened? We were lucky enough to find the parts used for the show’s London debut, which occurred the following year.  These retain the full orchestration and have helped us reconstruct material for which no full scores exist. According to Robert Russell Bennett’s notes in the margins the scores that survive, the original orchestra seems to have been reduced while the show was trying out in Philadelphia, just days prior to the New York opening. It’s almost unthinkable that, with everything else that was going on, Bennett had time to so alter his original instrumentation, shrinking his woodwind and brass sections by almost half and retooling a complicated and fascinating two piano part for a single player. Not to worry. Our new edition contains all of Bennett’s original work, and it is glorious to hear. In fact, of all of the restorations I’ve worked on over the last sixteen years, this is the one I most hope we get to record some day.</p> <p>Next week, we’ll devote the final chapter of this three part exploration of restorations to <strong><em>PIPE DREAM. PIPE DREAM</em></strong> may be the Rodgers & Hammerstein show that you know the least about. It lacked both the gravitas and the hit songs of the R & H smashes that preceded it. What it had was Helen Traubel, the Metropolitan Opera’s reining Wagnerian Diva, making her Broadway debut as the madam of a house of ill repute. But Ms. Traubel was not happy with <strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong>, and <strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong> was not happy with Ms. Traubel. And that was just the beginning.</p> Restoring Musical Classics - Part 1 http://www.rnh.com/blog/35/Restoring-Musical-Classics-Part-1 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_35 <div id="attachment_425" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 214px;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/GiveItToTheIndians_TooManyGirls2.jpg"><img class="size-large wp-image-425 " title="GiveItToTheIndians_TooManyGirls2" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/GiveItToTheIndians_TooManyGirls2-823x1024.jpg" alt="Too Many Girls Sheet Music" width="214" height="266" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">Orchestra part from TOO MANY GIRLS. This is a good example of the changes made throughout the rehearsal process. Click here to see it larger.</p></div> <p>2011 is going to be a banner year for our music department with no less than eight newly restored editions of classic Broadway musicals being made available for the very first time. <a title="Rodgers & Hammersteins" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=R_Hamm&s=1" target="_blank">Rodgers & Hammerstein</a>’s <strong><em><a title="OKLAHOMA!" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=OK&s=1" target="_blank">OKLAHOMA!</a>,  <a title="SOUTH PACIFIC" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SP&s=1" target="_blank">SOUTH PACIFIC</a></em></strong> and <a title="THE KING AND I" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=KI&s=1" target="_blank"><strong><em>THE KING AND I</em></strong>;</a> Andrew Lloyd Webber’s <a title="SUNSET BOULEVARD" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SN&s=1" target="_blank"><strong><em>SUNSET BOULEVARD</em></strong></a>; <a title="Irving Berlin" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=I_Berlin&s=1" target="_blank">Irving Berlin</a>’s <a title="FACE THE MUSIC" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=FM2&s=1" target="_blank"><strong><em>FACE THE MUSIC</em></strong></a>, <a title="Rodgers and Hart" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=R_Hart&s=1" target="_blank">Rodgers and Hart</a>’s <strong><em>TOO MANY GIRLS </em></strong>and<a title="Jerome Kern" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=J_Kern&s=1" target="_blank"> Jerome Kern</a> and <a title="Oscar Hammerstein II" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=O_Hammerst&s=1" target="_blank">Oscar Hammerstein</a>’s <strong><em>MUSIC IN THE AIR</em></strong> are now being readied for release in the coming year. And these will be quickly followed by <a title="Rodgers & Hammersteins" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=R_Hamm&s=1" target="_blank">Rodgers & Hammerstein</a>’s <a title="PIPE DREAM" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PD&s=1" target="_blank"><strong><em>PIPE DREAM</em></strong></a>, a 1955 musical that has not been available in any form for the last two decades.</p> <p>What is a restoration? (You may well ask!) And why is a new edition of a show, especially one that has been in the popular repertoire for decades, even necessary? To answer these questions you will first need to examine the process of creating a musical on Broadway. It always has been and continues to be a chaotic undertaking, one in which composers, lyricists, librettists, vocal arrangers, dance arrangers, orchestrators, directors, choreographers, actors and musicians are working as fast as they can to meet the deadline of an opening night. You might think that the great Broadway musicals were born in a calm and deliberate atmosphere, great works of art that rather like Venus stepped out of the half shell  onto a solid footing of dry land, but this is not the case. As the deadline of the New York opening closes in, a musical can be written and rewritten, staged and restaged, ripped apart and stitched back together over and over again as the members of the creative team work towards making a show as perfect as possible. Songs are added and cut, keys are raised and lowered, orchestrations are written and changed – all of this taking place in the pressure cooker of the rehearsal period and even into the previews.</p> <p>While all of this is going on the stage manager is writing the dialogue, lyric and staging changes as fast as he can into the script from which he will be calling the cues for the show. At the same time the musicians in the orchestra pit are taking notes from the conductor and altering the musical parts in front of them to conform to the latest requests from the composer, the orchestrator, the choreographer, the sound department and anyone else who has an input into what the audience will be hearing. A lyric may not be coming through over the trumpets, so the brass section is asked to not play certain measures. Dialogue may be overpowered by the underscoring so the violins are asked to play a particular phrase an octave lower (and therefore more quietly) than written. Sometimes the musicians will write these fixes very carefully into the parts. However, often as not, they will simply commit the fixes to memory and do nothing more than put an X or a check or an exclamation point over the measures of music requiring alterations.  In the haste of the moment the conductor might turn to his left and tell the oboist not to play (or to “tacet”) a certain passage of music, and several other players in the vicinity of the oboist mistakenly thinks the conductor is talking to  them and cross out the same passage. The next night the conductor realizes what has happened and instructs the mistaken players to restore the missing passage. Some of them may make a note on the page, and others may simply commit to memory that the passage is to be performed. Thirty years later a copyist without access to a full score, or to the conductor or to any of the original players, copies what he sees on the page. And at that point a particular piece of orchestration may be lost forever. Well, not quite forever. But the question of how to determine what was actually meant to be played and what was simply mismarked is only the tip of the restoration iceberg. Next, we’ll take a look at some specific examples of how the great composers and arrangers and orchestrators and conductors worked, and how tracking their processes can lead to clues that help solve mysteries that are decades old.</p> Happy Holidays! http://www.rnh.com/blog/34/Happy-Holidays 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_34 <p><a title="Happy Holidays" href="http://www.holidayrnh.com%20" target="_blank"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-392" title="holidaycard_2010" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/holidaycard_2010.jpg" alt="Happy Holidays" width="512" height="528" /></a></p> Bob and Jim Walton talk about their new show DOUBLE TROUBLE http://www.rnh.com/blog/33/Bob-and-Jim-Walton-talk-about-their-new-show-DOUBLE-TROUBLE 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_33 <h3>R&H Theatricals sat down with <a title="Bob Walton" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=B_Walton&s=1">Bob</a> & <a title="Jim Walton" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=J_Walton&s=1">Jim Walton</a> to talk about their newest show, <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=DT&s=1">DOUBLE TROUBLE </a>(A Musical Tour de Farce.)</h3> <h3><a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_gallery.asp?id=DT">Watch 2 great scenes from DOUBLE TROUBLE by clicking here. </a></h3> <h3><a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=DTogo_300w.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-404" title="DT_FilmStripLogo v3" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/DoubleTroubleLogo_300w.jpg" alt="Double Trouble" width="210" height="174" /></a></h3> <p>Jim and Bob have written together since 1991 when they wrote and performed in, MY BROTHER’S KEEPER, originally a Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit.This show later played the Pasadena Playhouse and several other regional theaters and received the 1997 Bistro Award for Best Musical in New York. They went on to collaborate on a two actor musical, <a title="Double Trouble" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=DT&s=1">DOUBLE TROUBLE (A Musical Tour de Farce)</a>, in which they performed at Goodspeed-at-Chester and Stage One in Wichita, Kansas. This led to their creation of <a title="Mid-Life!" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=MI&s=1">MIDLIFE! (The Crisis Musical)</a>, which was part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2004 before premiering at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre in 2006. Presently, they are working on their latest creation, A DAY IN GLOUCESTER. Jim and Bob also appeared in THE ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1936 (revival) for Encore Presentations.</p> <p><strong>R&H</strong>: Tell us a little bit about <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=DT&s=1">DOUBLE TROUBLE</a>.</p> <p><strong>Bob:</strong> It’s basically about two singing/dancing/songwriting brothers who are flown to LA to write the big hit song for a movie musical and all the crazy characters they meet at the studio.</p> <p><strong>Jim:</strong> It’s also about the temptation of being seduced by fame and fortune, and of the Martin brothers’ ultimate success in resisting it.</p> <p><span id="more-403"> </span></p> <p><em> </em><strong>R&H:</strong> What lead you to write <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=DT&s=1">DOUBLE TROUBLE</a>?</p> <p><strong>Bob:</strong> We grew up loving the MGM movie musicals, especially of Astaire and Kelly, but also the Marx Brothers, Jerry Lewis, to name a few.  Since we both had done the show CRAZY FOR YOU, we tried to write a two-hander that had the farce like elements of that show combined with other shows we admire, like GREATER TUNA and IRMA VEP.</p> <p><strong>Jim:</strong> Like Bob says, we loved the MGM musicals growing up, and recreating our version of that magic was fulfilling.  A sort of valentine to MGM musicals, like DAMES AT SEA, for example.  It was also written out of our desire to create a smaller, more affordable show to produce, and one that would provide a sizable challenge to two singing actors.</p> <p><strong>R&H</strong>: What is it like to perform in <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=DT&s=1">DOUBLE TROUBLE</a>? It is clearly challenging, did you have a lot of fun after the hard work was done?</p> <p><strong>Bob: </strong>The show was an incredible work out, physically – but very rewarding.  We almost always had fun, because it’s just very ridiculous so it’s hard to get too worked up when you’re trying to do a scene with a recording of the other actor, because he is off stage putting on a female body suit.  Technically it can be a little challenging – recording the voice overs, the sound person getting all the cues to sound natural within a scene, the set looking nice and slick but having escapes everywhere so the actors can get out and change.  While being brothers adds a certain spark to the show, we feel it’s a great showcase for two versatile performers.  Familiarity with the period and those movies is important – but the actual skills can be varied to suit the actors.  The  impressions don’t have to be that great, the piano playing can be finagled so it LOOKS like someone is playing if they don’t actually play.  Vocally it can be challenging to have to sing like a woman, while dancing in heels and sweating.  But that’s the glamour of show biz!!</p> <p><strong>Jim:</strong> The show is a blast to perform.  I worried about playing REBECCA, the femme fatale, only to find it my favorite character to play!  There are so many varied characters, and the changes come fast and furious.  So there’s no time to get bored or to take any of it for granted.  There is a huge amount of room for comic invention (uhhh, schtick), which was great fun for us and for the audiences.  And if you’re having trouble losing five or ten pounds, it’s a great remedy.</p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em><strong>R&H:</strong> What was the audience reaction like to the show?</p> <p><strong>Bob: </strong>We were very, very pleased with the audience response – especially in Wichita.  We didn’t know the theatre, the audiences didn’t know us or the show and we weren’t sure if it would be the type of show midwesterner’s would like — but they really laughed a lot.  I think it’s partially because the show also has some of that Carol Burnett feel to it – and they liked feeling like they were in on the joke of seeing if those two fools were really going to be able to get through it!  Audiences do like to laugh, and it felt like we were able to deliver them.</p> <p><strong>Jim: </strong>I agree with Bob.  The audiences were very receptive, and I feel they liked being in on the jokes that were winks at the fact we were playing all the roles.  There was always room to find new moments to milk a laugh, and when your partner is as fun to play off as Bob, it’s basically a crazy costume party for each performance.  We were lucky enough to video the production in Wichita, and to this day, listening to the laughter is a gratifying thing.  It’s nice to know some audiences still appreciate the silly humor of those MGM days as much as we do, and maybe enjoy an escape back to a more innocent time.  We were lucky to be able to honor our heroes from those movie musicals in <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=DT&s=1">DOUBLE TROUBLE</a>.<em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> County College of Morris's Phantom Blog - part 3 http://www.rnh.com/blog/32/County-College-of-Morris-039-s-Phantom-Blog-part-3 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_32 <div id="attachment_383" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 300px;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Phantom_MorrisCountyCollege_fullcast_bow.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-383 " title="Phantom_MorrisCountyCollege_fullcast_bow" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Phantom_MorrisCountyCollege_fullcast_bow-300x122.jpg" alt="County College of Morris, The Phantom of The Opera" width="300" height="122" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">Morris County College's cast bows, Image c. Life In Motion Photography.</p></div> <p>Last month, the County College of Morris in New Jersey became one of the first US colleges to stage their own production of <a title="The Phantom of The Opera" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1" target="_blank"><em>The Phantom of the Opera</em></a>. After blogging for us <a href="http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/11/county-college-of-morriss-phantom-blog-part-2/">leading up to Opening Night</a>, in their final blog members of the cast, crew and audience tell us how it all went!</p> <p><strong>Blog 3 And What a Masquerade</strong></p> <p>The County College of Morris's production of <a title="PHANTOM" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1" target="_blank"><em>Phantom</em></a> ran to completely sold out shows with standing ovations every night. There is no doubt that the timeless tale of <a title="PHANTOM" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1" target="_blank"><em>Phantom</em></a> and the stirring beauty of the musical's score is a true favorite among theatre lovers. The challenges and intensity of producing the show were rewarded fully by seeing the joy in the faces of the audiences as they rose to their feet and generously rewarded the cast with applause that made for long curtain calls. What a worthwhile and magical endeavor.<strong><em>Colleen McArdle, Producer & Choreographer </em></strong></p> <p><strong><em><span id="more-382"></span><br /> </em></strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Thoughts from a cast member:</span></p> <p>It has been a few weeks since the end of our run of <a title="PHANTOM" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1" target="_blank"><em>Phantom</em></a>, and I find myself missing this special show. We were led by an amazing team: Marielaine Mammon, the director; Rick Edinger the musical director; Colleen McArdle, the producer and choreographer; and many more. The talented cast and hardworking crew did an amazing job. We all really came together as a team, well, actually, it was more like a family. I was so proud to be a part of it. It was exciting to have generated such interest from the college and outside community. The show's music is technically difficult and we had a large cast. I was quite simply in awe of the fact that in 8 weeks, we put together such a tough show with such great success. The cast was so excited to go out there and perform knowing we were sold out! I will never forget having taken part in this production. -  <em><strong>Susan Saunders</strong></em></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Thoughts from the audience:</span></p> <p>I saw Phantom with my mother and husband. For each of us, this was the first time we had attended a CCM production. The performance was exceptional, one of the best I have ever seen on a community stage, if not the best. There certainly is a lot of great talent at CCM as evidenced by the students who acted, sang and danced in this production and the teachers who served as director, producer and chorographer, along with the technical staff. I give CCM a lot of credit for taking on such a challenging musical. You captured all the wonder and complexity of <em>Phantom</em> and made me even prouder that I am now part of the CCM community. The performing arts at CCM surely has gained numerous new fans with this outstanding production.-<em><strong>Kathleen Brunet Eagan, Director of Communications and College Relations</strong></em>.</p> <p><em><br /> </em></p> <p><strong>PLEASE NOTE, the release of performance rights for <a title="License THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1" target="_self"><em>The Phantom of the Opera</em></a> is at this stage restricted to high schools and colleges across the USA and Canada only, through <a title="R&H Theatricals" href="www.rnh.com" target="_self">R&H Theatricals</a>.<br /> </strong></p> Win Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS http://www.rnh.com/blog/30/Win-Irving-Berlin-039-s-WHITE-CHRISTMAS 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_30 <p><a title="Irving Berlin" href="http://www.rnh.com/irving_berlin.asp" target="_blank">Irving Berlin</a>‘s <a title="White Christmas" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=WC&s=1" target="_blank">WHITE CHRISTMAS</a> is now available on <a title="White Christmas Blu-ray" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001UHOWX8?ie=UTF8&tag=rnh.com-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B001UHOWX8" target="_blank">Blu-ray</a> and special <a title="Holiday Edition" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040PEZSO?ie=UTF8&tag=rnh.com-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0040PEZSO">Holiday Edition 2-disc set</a>. To celebrate the holiday season we are giving away the White Christmas Blu-ray to 2 lucky winners!</p> <p><strong>All you have to do to enter to win THE SOUND OF MUSIC Collector’s set is <a title="Twitter Rnh_org" href="http://www.twitter.com/rnh_org" target="_blank">Tweet</a>: “<em>@Rnh_Org I want to win WHITE CHRISTMAS </em>on Blu-ray http://ow.ly/38U9u</strong> <strong><em>” </em> </strong></p> <p><strong>Don’t worry if you don’t have Twitter. You can enter here by commenting on this blog post below by writing, “</strong><strong><em>I want to win WHITE CHRISTMAS </em>on Blu-ray</strong><strong><em>!”</em></strong><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em>A winner will be chosen at random on Thursday November 18, 2010.</p> <p>Watch your favorite scene from the Blu-ray here and visit our <a title="White Christmas Shop" href="http://astore.amazon.com/rnh.com-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=12" target="_blank">White Christmas Shop </a></p> <p><object style="width: 400px; height: 270px;" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0" width="400" height="270"><param name="play" value="false"><param name="quality" value="high"><param name="src" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/10150305723055612"><embed style="width: 400px; height: 270px;" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.facebook.com/v/10150305723055612" quality="high" play="false" width="400" height="270"></object></p> <p><strong>ABBREVIATED RULES</strong></p> <p>NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open only to legal residents of<strong> </strong>North America<strong>, </strong>18<strong> </strong>years of age or older. Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Begins<strong> 1:00 PM 11/12/10</strong>, ends <strong>4:00PM 11/18/10</strong>. Subject to Official Rules, available at <strong><strong>http://ow.ly/38U9u</strong></strong>.<strong> </strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.rnh.com/contest/tickets"> </a> Sponsor: Rodgers & Hammerstein</p> <p><span id="more-364"></span></p> <h2><strong>OFFICIAL RULES</strong></h2> <p>Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS Blu-ray Contest</p> <p><strong>No Purchase Necessary TO ENTER OR WIN. A Purchase WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR Chances Of Winning.</strong> Open only to those 18 years of age or older. Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Employees (and their immediate families (parent, child, spouse or sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and those living in their same households, whether or not related) of The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. (“Sponsor”) and it’s<strong> </strong> respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies are not eligible to enter or win. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges and/or Sponsor, which are binding and final on matters relating to this sweepstakes. Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. <strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>To enter: </strong>Between<strong> 1:00 PM eastern on November 12, 2010 and </strong> <strong>4:00 PM eastern on November 8, 2010 </strong>(the “Entry Period”), visit <a title="Twitter" href="http://www.twitter.com/rnh_org" target="_blank">www.twitter.com</a> and <em><strong>tweet, </strong></em><strong>“<em>@Rnh_Org I want to win WHITE CHRISTMAS </em>on Blu-ray http://ow.ly/38U9u</strong> <strong><em>” </em> </strong><strong><em> </em> </strong><em><strong> or comment on this post with “</strong></em><strong><em>I want to win WHITE CHRISTMAS </em>on Blu-ray</strong><em><strong>” </strong></em>to enter to win<em><strong>. </strong></em> All entries must be received by <strong>4:00 PM</strong> eastern on <strong>11/18/10</strong> to be eligible. <strong> </strong>Limit one (1) entry per person and per email address for the duration of the Entry Period. Multiple entries received from any person or e-mail address in excess of the stated limitation will be void. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process are void. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Drawing:</strong> Two potential winners will be selected in a random drawing held on or about <strong>11/20/10 </strong>from all eligible entries received by an independent judging agency. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. <strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>WINNER NOTIFICATION: </strong>Potential winner will be notified by e-mail and may be required to execute and return an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release and, where lawful, a publicity release within forty eight (48) hours of time of issuance. If such documents are not returned within the specified time period, a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact the potential winner or the<strong> </strong>potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsor’s discretion, an alternate winner selected. If the potential winner is an eligible minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, prize may be awarded in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian who will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on winner set forth herein.</p> <p><strong>Prize (1):</strong> One (1) White Christmas Blu-ray. Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $<strong>30.00 </strong><strong> </strong> is subject to certain terms and conditions specified thereon. Winner may not substitute, assign or transfer prize or redeem prize for cash, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute the prize with one of comparable or greater value. Winner is<strong> </strong>responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided, including travel to/from venue. Total ARV of all prizes is $30.00. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion. <strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>General Conditions:</strong> Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, stolen, misdirected, undelivered or garbled, entries r email; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the sweepstakes, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the sweepstakes, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any sweepstakes-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the sweepstakes. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to participants’ or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this sweepstakes or downloading materials from or use of the website. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the sweepstakes or website or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated entries will be void. Should any portion of the sweepstakes be, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or submission of entries, or if the sweepstakes is unable to run as planned for any other reason, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the sweepstakes and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the potential winner from all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to action taken or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor. Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians), by participating, agree that Sponsor, and it’s respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents (collectively, “Released Parties”) will have no liability whatsoever for, and shall be held harmless by entrants against, any liability, for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including death, to persons, or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) or participation in this sweepstakes. Winner (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) by acceptance of prize, except where legally prohibited, grants permission for Sponsor and its designees to use his/her name, address (city and state), photograph, voice and/or other likeness and prize information for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without further compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide in perpetuity, without notice or review or approval. In the event of a dispute regarding entries received from multiple users having the same e-mail account, the authorized subscriber of the e-mail account at the time of entry will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules. Authorized account subscriber is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses. <strong>CAUTION:</strong> ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Winner’s NAME:</strong> For the name of the winner (available after 8/12/10). Type your full name, address, city, state, zip code, daytime and evening phone numbers (including area codes), and date of birth, including<strong> </strong>in the subject line “The Sound of Music Blu-Ray”, and email the information to<strong>:<a title="rnhcontests@gmail.com" href="mailto:rnhcontests@gmail.com" target="_blank"> </a></strong><a title="rnhcontests@gmail.com" href="mailto:rnhcontests@gmail.com" target="_blank">rnhcontests@gmail.com</a><strong> </strong> for receipt no later than 8/18/2010</p> <p><strong>Sponsor:</strong> The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization 229 W 28<sup>th</sup> Street, 11<sup>th</sup> Floor, New York, NY 10001.</p> <p><strong>Alternate Entry Method:</strong> Type your full name, address, city, state, zip code, daytime and evening phone numbers (including area codes), and date of birth, include<strong> White Christmas Blu-ray Contest </strong> Entry in the subject line, and email the information to: <strong>rnhcontests@gmail.com</strong>.</p> Great Neck South High School's Christine blogs for us http://www.rnh.com/blog/29/Great-Neck-South-High-School-039-s-Christine-blogs-for-us 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_29 <p>New York’s Great Neck South High School will become one of the first US high schools to stage their production of <a title="Phantom" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1" target="_blank"><em>Phantom</em></a> later this month, after performance rights were released to high schools and colleges across the USA and Canada <a title="Phantom" href="http://www.rnh.com/news_detail.asp?div=news&newsid=N_000447&s=1" target="_blank">earlier this year</a> – and here they blog for us on their experience…</p> <p>Yesterday we heard from the show’s <a title="Phantom Blog" href="http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/11/great-neck-south-high-school-share-their-phantom-experiences-with-us/">Phantom, Aaron</a> – and today Karen, who will play Christine, gives us her take.</p> <p><span id="more-359"></span></p> <p><em><strong>Karen N’s Phantom Blog</strong></em></p> <p>My name is Karen and I am a sophomore at Great Neck South High School. I’m playing the role of Christine. It is such an honor to be involved in this production of<a title="Phantom" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1"> Phantom of the Opera</a>. It has been a dream of mine to be in this show ever since I knew of its existence. My school is one of the first high schools in the country to put on this show, and knowing this adds to my already great excitement. I remember the moment when Mr. Marr announced the show; a rush of adrenaline pulsed through my body, causing me to let out a scream of joy.</p> <p>During the summer I practiced and stressed over the upcoming auditions. Then when I found out I was cast as Christine, my heart practically stopped from shock. Now, most of my time is dedicated to rehearsals. Attending the rehearsals is my obsession. And it is challenging to balance my schoolwork and the play. The songs constantly run through my head; just as the Phantom’s voice runs through Christine’s. I feel a great connection to the cast and to the script itself. Singing in musical theater style after studying classical opera pushes me to new heights.</p> <p>I adore all of my fellow cast members, as each and every one of them is so talented. I knew them before the show, but over time we have become closer. Their dedication and devotion is so motivating. In the future, I really hope to make it out there in the real world, to pursue my dream. But for now, I will pour my heart and soul into this production to express my love for theater.</p> <p><em>Check back for more from Great Neck South and our other bloggers <a title="County College of Morris" href="http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/11/county-college-of-morriss-phantom-blog-part-2/">County College of Morris </a>as they countdown to their Opening Nights.</em></p> <p><strong><a title="License Phantom" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1">PLEASE NOTE, the release of performance rights for <em>The Phantom of the Opera</em> is at this stage restricted to high schools and colleges across the USA and Canada only through R&H Theatricals</a>.<br> </strong></p> Great Neck South High School share their Phantom experiences with us http://www.rnh.com/blog/28/Great-Neck-South-High-School-share-their-Phantom-experiences-with-us 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_28 <p>As <a title="Phantom performance by High Schools and Colleges" href="http://www.rnh.com/news_detail.asp?div=news&newsid=N_000447&s=1">announced in June</a>, this year saw the release of performance rights for <a title="Phantom" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1"><em>The Phantom of the Opera</em></a> to high schools and colleges across the USA and Canada – giving students the chance to perform those iconic roles for the first time.</p> <p>With New Jersey’s <a href="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/news_reviews/news/story727.php">County College of Morris</a> already blogging away, this week Great Neck South High School in New York also open their blogs for us, as they too will become one of the first US high schools to stage their production of Phantom later this month.</p> <p>In this first installment of the Great Neck South blog Aaron M., who will play the show’s Phantom, gives us his thoughts on playing this iconic role!</p> <p><span id="more-351"></span></p> <p><em><strong>Aaron M.’s Phantom Blog</strong></em></p> <p>Hey, I’m Aaron and I’m super psyched to be originating the role of Phantom! In my high school! Seriously though, it’s an awesome show and so much fun to be involved in. There’s a lot more hype surrounding it than previous musicals we’ve done at my school: Great Neck South High. There are flyers for it all over town, all the teachers know about it, and I’ve gotten quite a few comments from generally uninvolved students about my being cast as the dissonant composer.</p> <p>The Phantom is a really great character because of his dual nature. He is someone the audience can relate to and sympathize with – a broken-hearted lover – but he’s also kind of a stalker-maniac. His back-story is like a combination of the Hunchback of Notre Dame and many renowned serial killers – he’s been rejected and tortured by society since birth because of his deformity. However, what he lacks in looks he makes up for in brainpower – exhibiting remarkable musical skills (although some strange musical taste), large-scale magician-esque mechanical abilities, and an apparent hypnotism over Christine, his intended bride-to-be.</p> <p>As a high school student, it’s easily the most exciting role I’ve had a chance to play. I mean, I get to shoot fireballs from my fingers. ‘Nuff said. But looking at the rest of the show as well, it’s got great characters, a famous plot, and so much spectacle it’s still a wonder we finally have access to it off Broadway. I don’t really know what’s going on at the crew’s end of the spectrum but they’ve never let any of the school productions down before, and I’ve been hearing rumors of a remote controlled boat and a few other surprises I don’t want to write down.</p> <p>Anyway, it’s coming along quite smoothly. As it happens, I haven’t even been called for too many rehearsals. I didn’t realize how little the Phantom appears onstage, or at least on stage with anyone other than Christine and Raoul. He does a lot of reverberated backstage singing and death-threat delivering though, so he remains ever-present throughout the show even when he’s virtually invisible.</p> <p>Wrapping this up now though, I’m personally thrilled to be involved in one of the first non-professional productions of this show since its very inception way back when. It’s going to be amazing. Whoever is reading this should come see the show if you can! You won’t forget to of course, because the Phantom will always be in the back of your mind reminding you. Reminding you. Reminding you.</p> <p><em>Check back for more from Great Neck South – next time the show’s Christine gives us her take!</em></p> <p><a title="Phantom Performance Rights" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1"><strong>PLEASE NOTE, the release of performance rights for <em>The Phantom of the Opera</em> is at this stage restricted to high schools and colleges across the USA and Canada only.</strong></a></p> County College of Morris's Phantom Blog -part 2 http://www.rnh.com/blog/26/County-College-of-Morris-039-s-Phantom-Blog-part-2 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_26 <p>After last week’s introduction to the <a href="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/news_reviews/news/story724.php?PHPSESSID=b00bd140c2a6457a9745b49564eac835">technical challenges</a> of becoming one of the first US colleges to stage <em>The Phantom of the Opera</em>, in this latest blog update from County College of Morris in New Jersey, the show’s Assistant Producer and Choreographer Colleen McArdle interviews the student actors taking on the iconic roles of Phantom and Christine.</p> <div id="parent-fieldname-text2"> <p><strong><a href="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/news_reviews/news/story727.php"><img style="margin: 3px;" src="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/images/news/countycollegeboat.gif" alt="County College of Morris's Phantom blog" align="left" vspace="3" width="234" height="144" hspace="3"></a>Blog 2 – Interviews with the Phantom & Christine</strong></p> <p>With less than a week to opening night, the intensity is heating up as we work through our final dress rehearsals. Adding each layer – lights, costumes, props, technology – presents a new challenge for the actors. We sat down with the Phantom and Christine to ask them a few questions about their journey with the show:</p> <p><strong>Why were you interested in playing this role? </strong></p> <p><em>Phantom (Robert Farrugia, Rockland County, NY)</em>: “Since I first saw the show on Broadway, there was something that fascinated me about this character. I went into auditions with a strong passion that I really wanted the opportunity to experience the role of the Phantom and that is what I set in my mind to do.</p> <p><em>Christine (Kelly Miller, Rockaway, NJ)</em>: “This is a dream role for any soprano. After recently playing Cinderella in <a title="Cinderella" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=CI&s=1">Rodgers & Hammerstein’s <em>Cinderella</em></a> and Miss Dorothy in <em>Thoroughly Modern Mille</em>, I was excited by the challenge of playing this dynamic character.”</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/news_reviews/news/story727.php"><img style="margin: 3px;" src="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/images/news/countycollegemasquerade.gif" alt="County College of Morris's Phantom blog" align="right" vspace="3" width="162" height="245" hspace="3"></a>What has been the biggest challenge in your journey to develop your characters?</strong></p> <p><em>Phantom</em>: “Once I told my friends and family the auditions’ results, everyone asked me, “Will you play the Phantom as an angry soul or a sympathetic man.’ I discovered during my character development in rehearsal that he actually has to be both. Finding the balance between those two traits is the crux of what makes the Phantom an ultimately tender individual to the audience. Your sympathy needs to see thought the evil to the man’s soul behind it.”</p> <p><em>Christine</em>: “It is often a challenge to play the ingénue because she something “appears” meek. With Christine the director challenged me to develop a character that has many contrasts from her soft vulnerability to her fiery passion for love.”</p> <p><strong>What are you most looking forward to on opening night?</strong></p> <p>Both actors agreed that they are excited to have the eergy of a full audience to play to, to connect the emotions on stage with those of the spectators.</p> <p><a href="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/news_reviews/news/story727.php"><img style="margin: 3px;" src="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/images/news/countycollegemasquerade2.gif" alt="County College of Morris's Phantom blog" align="left" vspace="3" width="162" height="245" hspace="3"></a>Advanced ticket sales are at a historic high and we have had many comments our blog. It is great to be among the first to present this show. Many groups that will be producing it in 2011 are coming to see our production to see how we met the challenges and to get excited for their productions.</p> <p><em>Check back for more from County College of Morris – as next week’s blog will report back on the show’s opening night!</em></p> <p><em>All images c. Life In Motion Photography. </em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><a href="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/news_reviews/news/story727.php"><img class="aligncenter" title="Phantom" src="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/images/news/countycollegephantom.gif" alt="" width="162" height="245"></a></em></p> <p><em><br> </em></p> </div> The Sound of Music on Oprah Oct.28! http://www.rnh.com/blog/25/The-Sound-of-Music-on-Oprah-Oct-28 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_25 <div id="attachment_316" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 300px;"> <a href="http://www.oprah.com/showinfo/For-the-First-Time-in-45-Years-The-Sound-of-Music-Cast-Reunites"><img class="size-medium wp-image-316" title="Christopher Plummer, Oprah Winfrey, Julie Andrews" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Oprah_w_Julie_Plummer1-300x200.jpg" alt="The Cast of THE SOUND OF MUSIC" width="300" height="200"></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">Christopher Plummer, Oprah Winfrey, Julie Andrews</p> </div> <p><strong>A ONE-TIME ONLY “OPRAH” SHOW EVENT “THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW” REUNITES THE CAST OF “THE SOUND OF MUSIC” ON OCTOBER 28, 2010</strong></p> <p>CHICAGO, IL – For the first time in 45 years, the entire cast of “<a title="The Sound of Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1">The Sound of Music</a>” will gather for a once-in-a-lifetime reunion on the “Oprah” show stage on Thursday, October 28, 2010. Stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, along with fellow cast members Charmian Carr (“Liesl”), Nicholas Hammond (“Friedrich”), Heather Menzies-Urich (“Louisa”), Duane Chase (“Kurt”), Angela Cartwright (“Brigitta”), Debbie Turner (“Marta”) and Kym Karath (“Gretl”) will reunite and reveal the stories behind one of the world’s most beloved movie musicals. Together for the first time in nearly half a century, the cast shares secrets from the set, reminiscences about their time together and what their lives have been like in the years since the movie was released. Finally, the von Trapp Children – a singing group featuring members of the real von Trapp family – pay their own special tribute to the film that made their family name known throughout the world.</p> <p>Considered by many to be the most successful movie musical in history*, “<a title="The Sound of Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1">The Sound of Music</a>” took home five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1965. Its first release lasted over 4 ½ years. It is shown annually on network television; has been released for home entertainment on VHS, Laser Disc, DVD and has recently been digitally remastered and restored for its high definition Blu-ray Disc debut November 2; unites new fans and old through the amazing <a title="Sound of Music Sing Along Event" href="http://www.fathomevents.com/soundofmusic" target="_blank">SINGALONG SOUND OF MUSIC events nationwide</a>; and the soundtrack CD is one of the best selling soundtracks of all time, having gone Platinum more than 12 times. Its landmark score includes some of the most beloved songs in the American songbook including “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do Re Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” and the title song.</p> <p>About “The Oprah Winfrey Show”</p> <p>“The Oprah Winfrey Show” has remained the number one talk show for 24 consecutive seasons, winning every sweep since its debut in 1986.** It is produced in Chicago by Harpo Productions, Inc. and syndicated to 215 domestic stations by CBS Television Distribution and to 145 countries by CBS Studios International.</p> <p>Sources:</p> <p>*Box Office Mojo: Adjusted for inflation, its domestic gross box office take would be over $1.13 billion. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/adjusted.htm</p> <p>**Nielsen Cassandra Ranking Report – Nov ’86 to May ’99 and Wrap Sweeps, Nov ’99 to May ’10, major sweeps only. Wtd Avg DMA HH Rtg, Primary Telecasts Only.</p> <p></p> <p># # #</p> <p><a title="The Sound of Music" href="http://www.facebook.com/thesoundofmusic" target="_blank">Like THE SOUND OF MUSIC: www.facebook.com/thesoundofmusic</a></p> <p><a title="Rodgers & Hammerstein" href="http://www.facebook.com/rodgersandhammerstein" target="_blank">Like RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN: www.facebook.com/rodgersandhammerstein</a></p> Introducing the County College of Morris Phantom Blog! http://www.rnh.com/blog/24/Introducing-the-County-College-of-Morris-Phantom-Blog 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_24 <p>As <a href="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/news_reviews/news/story714.php">announced in June</a>, this year saw the release of performance rights for <a title="Phantom" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1" target="_blank"><em>The Phantom of the Opera</em></a> to high schools and colleges across the USA and Canada – giving students the chance to perform those iconic roles for the first time.</p> <p><a title="County College of Morris" href="http://www.ccm.edu/" target="_blank">The County College of Morris</a> in New Jersey was among the first group of high schools and colleges to successfully apply for the performance rights for <a title="Phantom" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1" target="_blank"><em>Phantom</em></a> – and here, in the first of a series of blogs from students, teachers, cast and crew, Assistant Producer and Choreographer Colleen McArdle gives us the first insight into the process of putting on their <em>Phantom…</em></p> <p><strong><img src="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/images/news/countycollegeautirorium.gif" alt="County College of Morris cast" align="left" vspace="3" width="244" height="162" hspace="3">The Technical Challenge</strong></p> <p>My name is Colleen McArdle and I am the Coordinator of Special Events and Foundation Programs and an adjunct professor of dance at the County College of Morris in New Jersey.</p> <p>Once our creative team knew that <em>Phantom </em>would be our fall show we started production plans immediately. <em>Phantom </em> was a musical that came along in the era of the large Broadway spectacle. It is not possible to fully recreate that grandeur on a small community college stage, never mind the budgetary issues. Our biggest challenges were: our theatre was originally built as a lecture hall. It has a wide stage with less depth that most. There is limited wing space and no fly space. Without a scene shop, set pieces also have to be built on stage.</p> <p>As Professor Mammon, our Show Director and Chair of the Music, Dance and Performing Arts Department, said: “The difficulty of the musical score creates a culture of understanding as to what future challenges lie ahead for those on a true professional track…I wanted to take on this challenge because I wanted to create something both beautiful & lyrical for the students and the audience.”<strong><img src="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/images/news/countycollegedance.gif" alt="County College - dance rehearsal" align="right" vspace="3" width="244" height="162" hspace="3"></strong></p> <p>The decision was made to keep the sets small, light and floating. To support our “less is more” theory, we are using lighting in many scenes to create the sense of space that would otherwise be taken up by large set pieces. Projected images and video movies also are being incorporated. It took a lot of “outside-the-box” thinking to solve the technical dilemmas surrounding our current theatre space, but we believe we have solved them all. Through team meetings, we decided what set pieces are our “must haves” and those were the ones we built first.</p> <p>As choreographer, I was challenged to design ‘Masquerade’ without a staircase. This being one of the larger full-cast production numbers we have put on, we wanted to be sure to capture its majesty. Going back to my marching band days, the director and I <strong><img src="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/images/news/countycollegeMadame-Giry.gif" alt="County College's Madame Giry" align="left" vspace="3" width="162" height="245" hspace="3"></strong>decided work the cast into several formations that created the essence of descending down stage. With a cast of 47 members that certainly is a trick to perform. Educating the students on the proper posture and gestures of the era also was a lesson in both acting and history.</p> <p>With this show, it is essential to have a full and experienced technical crew. There are so many constantly moving pieces. When asked why he chose to be part of the tech team, Eric Lancaster replied, “I wanted to be able to take the knowledge I learned from being on stage and bring it behind the scenes where the magic is created.”</p> <p>With 47 cast members costuming also is a budgetary concern. Making the opera scenes dress rehearsals instead of full outfitted performances cut back on costuming and set pieces while maintaining the line of the plot. I do not want to give away all of our secrets but I believe the success of our production lies with the director. Professor Marielaine Mammon’s direction highlights the acting and vocal beauty of both the story and score. The sets are a backdrop to the plot and music, not the primary focus. <em><img src="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/images/news/countycollegephantomchristine.gif" alt="County College's Phantom and Christine" align="right" width="244" height="162"></em></p> <p>As for the chandelier, well you will have to come see our production…”</p> <p><em>In the next blog from County College of Morris, we catch up with the production’s Phantom and Christine…</em></p> <p><a title="Phantom" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=PH&s=1">Read more about performing PHANTOM in your High School or College!</a></p> <p><a title="thephantomoftheopera.com" href="http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/news_reviews/news/story724.php">Learn more about THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at www.thephantomoftheopera.com</a></p> R&H Proms http://www.rnh.com/blog/20/R-amp-H-Proms 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_20 <p>Last weekend I saw John Wilson and his orchestra perform at the <a title="BBC Proms" href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00tgylk">BBC Proms</a> at Royal Albert Hall in London.  WOW, what a concert!  This concert, a celebration of the collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein, was a knockout performance and all of us (all 7,000 of us in that huge hall!) couldn’t get enough of it (and we demanded an encore at the end too!).  In addition to the top caliber conductor and orchestra, we heard Julian Ovenden, Kim Criswell, Sierra Boggess, Rod Gilfry and Anna-Jane Casey.  If you could have heard Ovenden’s <strong>Soliloquy</strong> (from <a title="Carousel" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=CA&s=1"><strong><em>Carousel</em></strong></a>) or Boggess and Gilfry’s <strong>Something Good</strong> (from <a title="The Sound of Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM"><strong><em>The Sound of Music</em></strong></a>) you would have been in awe just like I was – such feeling, sensitivity and vocal technique… Other outstanding moments were Criswell’s <strong>Climb Ev’ry Mountain</strong> (from <a title="The Sound of Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM"><strong><em>The Sound of Music</em></strong></a>), which included the voices of London’s Maida Vale Singers.  In addition to the 20 some-odd famous songs found on this concert, there were a few amazingly dynamic and virtuosic orchestral moments.  The John Wilson Orchestra (which, by the way, had at least 20 – yes I said 20! – or maybe it was 30! – principal players from the biggest orchestras in Europe) played the COMPLETE dance music (a true whirlwind) to <strong>June Is Bustin’ Out All Over</strong> (from <a title="Carousel" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=CA&s=1"><strong><em>Carousel</em></strong></a>) like a perfectly oiled machine and as if instrumental technique was a non-issue.  Funny is, I was speaking to a local musician guy earlier that day who said he would die to be able to play with that orchestra.  I would too…  This was a really cool concert and I challenge everyone out there to put together a similar concert.  This music is glorious and is loved by so many.  Long live Rodgers and Hammerstein!</p> <p>- Michael V.<br /> R&H Concert Library</p> <p><a title="A Celebration of Rodgers & Hammerstein" href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00tgylk" target="_blank">You can listen to the full concert  here!</a></p> SOUTH PACIFIC winds down http://www.rnh.com/blog/19/SOUTH-PACIFIC-winds-down 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_19 What better way to approach the end of a run than to have a performance televised live. Thats what happened with the extraordinary Bartlett Sher-directed production at <a title="Lincoln Center Theater" href="http://www.lct.org/showMain.htm?id=174">Lincoln Center Theater</a> that ends its long run this weekend. <a title="Live from Lincoln Center" href="http://www.pbs.org/livefromlincolncenter/">Live From Lincoln Center </a>is a wonderful idea and a wonderful program through the PBS network, different individual performance from all over the Lincoln Center campus gets broadcast absolutely live. OK, <a title="PBS" href="http://www.pbs.org/livefromlincolncenter/airdates.html">the PBS stations around the country can either show it live or choose a delayed broadcast</a>, but to keep the title of the series accurate, any replay has to occur within two weeks of the live event. Over the years there have been concerts, ballets, operas, plays, and musicals as part of the series, and it was thrilling to know that <a title="South Pacific" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SP&s=1">SOUTH PACIFIC</a> would be included.So it was a loyal and friendly group who assembled at the Beaumont on Wednesday night. Our rules for the tickets we were offered was simple: either people who had never seen the production, or whose passion for it created the need for one final fix before the closing. Some from the latter group had seen in five times or more. The bittersweet nature of what was about to happen was discussed as we all milled about. The show would be good, that we knew. And we also knew it would be captured. But within a few days, it would be history.Six cameras were surreptitiously placed throughout the house, one robotic one hugged the very front lip of the stage, one could be seen in the pit focused on conductor Ted Sperling, and one crane swung overhead, planted at the rear of the house. None of them bothered us there is something to be said for the small size of high end television cameras these days. We were comforted to know that when we got home we could take a look and see what the home viewers were seeing (many of whom texted, tweeted and BlackBerried all night long with blow-by-blow accolades)While it is normal for a long run to take on slightly peculiar reality all of its own, this production just got better and better. Starting from Sperlings impeccable tempo for the Overture (the composer would have been very happy) and the coup de theatre that reveals the 30 piece orchestra, the performance was amazing. Since we were seeing six of the original principal cast members Kelli OHara (Nellie), Paulo Szot (Emile), Loretta Abeles Sayre (Bloody Mary), Danny Burstein (Luther Billis), Skipp Suddeth (Brackett) and Sean Cullen (Harbison) it was great to see how even more brilliant each one of them has become since the beginning. Kelli and Paulo seemed like they were made for each other, which made the nuances of the relationship between the characters incredibly real. Loretta has created a Bloody Mary of such mystery, humor, anger, mischievousness, resentment and no one will ever get the reaction that she receives from made otta head! Danny found laughs where there never were laughs before pausing, for example, just enough before the -tute in substitute for and created a Billis of more depth than Ive ever seen. His touching relationship with Nellie has never been explored with as much resonance. And Skipp and Sean made such sense out of the military presence and leadership in their office scenes that everyone in the theater knew exactly what was happening with the military action on that island. Thats not an easy accomplishment.I kept being blown away at how well told the story of <a title="South Pacific" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SP&s=1">SOUTH PACIFIC</a> is. And with a directors eye as astute and sharp as Barts, every nuance of that story comes across. Last night the grass skirts grabbed my fancy whats the heck is the point of grass skirts, I thought except that they provide a vitally necessary reason for Blood Mary to enter the story and set up her modus operandi, and then theyre done away with in the connection with Capt. Brackett who, as Mary keeps chiding, is indeed sending home Chicago to sexy sweetheart. (OK, Cleveland, actually, but close enough). Because the audience was extremely responsive, some time was lost in the first act, so after the abbreviated intermission Bart was backstage telling the men to speed up the scene about the diversionary action in the second act. (Television, remember?) The result? The scene played like gangbusters, again, making total sense of something that in some productions I have seen, is a complicated, plotty, seemingly unnecessary part of an already long show. Last night: clear as a bell that Billis modus operandi actually helped with the military action of getting Emile and Joe Cable behind enemy lines.I could go on and on thats what seeing this production multiple times allows. By the time of the last laugh Nellie handing the soup ladle to Emile and then the final Joshua Logan-inspired clasp under the table, out of sight of the two children, we all leapt to our feet. Even though we were saddened at the thought that this production will no longer be performing after Sunday, it was heartening to know that Live From Lincoln Center at least captured the best possible souvenir.- <a title="Ted Chapin Bio" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=T_Chapin&s=1">Ted Chapin</a><a href="http://www.pbs.org/livefromlincolncenter/airdates.html">Don't forget to check your local listings to find out when South Pacific is airing on your local PBS affiliate</a> The Sound of Music has over a 1/2 MILLION fans on Facebook! http://www.rnh.com/blog/18/The-Sound-of-Music-has-over-a-1-2-MILLION-fans-on-Facebook 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_18 <p>THE SOUND OF MUSIC has over a 1/2 MILLION fans on Facebook and we’re celebrating by giving away a Blu-ray player and THE SOUND OF MUSIC on Blu-ray disc when it comes out this November!<a title="South Pacific Tour" href="http://www.southpacificontour.com"></a></p> <p><strong>All you have to do to enter to win a Blu-ray player and Blu-ray disc of THE SOUND OF MUSIC is <a title="Twitter Rnh_org" href="http://www.twitter.com/rnh_org" target="_blank">Tweet</a>: “<em>@Rnh_Org I want to win THE SOUND OF MUSIC on Blu-ray! </em>http://ow.ly/2nuEQ</strong><strong><em>” </em> Don’t fret if you don’t have Twitter. You can enter here by commenting on this post by writing, “</strong><strong><em>I want to win THE SOUND OF MUSIC on Blu-ray!”</em></strong><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em>A winner will be chosen at random on Thursday August 12, 2010.</p> <p><strong>ABBREVIATED RULES</strong></p> <p>NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open only to legal residents of<strong> </strong>North America<strong>, </strong>18<strong> </strong>years of age or older. Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Begins<strong> 10:00 AM 8/10/10</strong>, ends <strong>4:00 PM 8/12/10</strong>. Subject to Official Rules, available athttp://ow.ly/2nuEQ<br> <a href="http://www.rnh.com/contest/tickets"> </a> Sponsor: The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization.</p> <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/SouthPacificTourLogo.jpg"></a></p> <p>OFFICIAL RULES</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Sound of Music 1/2 MILLION Fan Contest</span></p> <p><strong>No Purchase Necessary TO ENTER OR WIN. A Purchase WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR Chances Of Winning.</strong> Open only to those 18 years of age or older. Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Employees (and their immediate families (parent, child, spouse or sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and those living in their same households, whether or not related) of The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. (“Sponsor”) and it’s<strong> </strong> respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies are not eligible to enter or win. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges and/or Sponsor, which are binding and final on matters relating to this sweepstakes. Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. <strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>To enter: </strong>Between <strong>10:00 am eastern </strong>on <strong>8/10/10</strong> and <strong>4:00 pm eastern</strong> on <strong>8/12/10 </strong> (the “Entry Period”), visit <a title="Twitter" href="http://www.twitter.com/rnh_org" target="_blank">www.twitter.com</a> and <em><strong>tweet, “@Rnh_Org I want to win THE SOUND OF MUSIC on Blu-ray! </strong></em><strong>http://ow.ly/2nuEQ</strong><em><strong>” or comment on this post with “I want to win THE SOUND OF MUSIC Blu-ray to enter to win. </strong></em> All entries must be received by <strong>4:00 pm</strong> eastern on <strong>8/12/10</strong> to be eligible. <strong> </strong>Limit one (1) entry per person and per email address for the duration of the Entry Period. Multiple entries received from any person or e-mail address in excess of the stated limitation will be void. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process are void. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Drawing:</strong> One potential winner will be selected in a random drawing held on or about <strong>8/12/10 </strong>from all eligible entries received by an independent judging agency. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. <strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>WINNER NOTIFICATION: </strong>Potential winner will be notified by e-mail and may be required to execute and return an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release and, where lawful, a publicity release within forty eight (48) hours of time of issuance. If such documents are not returned within the specified time period, a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact the potential winner or the<strong> </strong>potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsor’s discretion, an alternate winner selected. If the potential winner is an eligible minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, prize may be awarded in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian who will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on winner set forth herein.</p> <p><strong>Prize (1):</strong> One (1) Blu-ray Player and One (1) THE SOUND OF MUSIC Blu-ray disc. Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $<strong>200 </strong><strong> </strong> is subject to certain terms and conditions specified thereon. Winner may not substitute, assign or transfer prize or redeem prize for cash, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute the prize with one of comparable or greater value. Winner is<strong> </strong>responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided, including travel to/from venue. Total ARV of all prizes is $200. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion. <strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>General Conditions:</strong> Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, stolen, misdirected, undelivered or garbled, entries r email; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the sweepstakes, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the sweepstakes, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any sweepstakes-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the sweepstakes. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to participants’ or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this sweepstakes or downloading materials from or use of the website. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the sweepstakes or website or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated entries will be void. Should any portion of the sweepstakes be, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or submission of entries, or if the sweepstakes is unable to run as planned for any other reason, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the sweepstakes and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the potential winner from all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to action taken or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor. Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians), by participating, agree that Sponsor, and it’s respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents (collectively, “Released Parties”) will have no liability whatsoever for, and shall be held harmless by entrants against, any liability, for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including death, to persons, or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) or participation in this sweepstakes. Winner (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) by acceptance of prize, except where legally prohibited, grants permission for Sponsor and its designees to use his/her name, address (city and state), photograph, voice and/or other likeness and prize information for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without further compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide in perpetuity, without notice or review or approval. In the event of a dispute regarding entries received from multiple users having the same e-mail account, the authorized subscriber of the e-mail account at the time of entry will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules. Authorized account subscriber is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses. <strong>CAUTION:</strong> ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Winner’s NAME:</strong> For the name of the winner (available after 8/12/10). Type your full name, address, city, state, zip code, daytime and evening phone numbers (including area codes), and date of birth, including<strong> </strong>in the subject line “The Sound of Music Blu-Ray”, and email the information to<strong>:<a title="rnhcontests@gmail.com" href="mailto:rnhcontests@gmail.com" target="_blank"> </a></strong><a title="rnhcontests@gmail.com" href="mailto:rnhcontests@gmail.com" target="_blank">rnhcontests@gmail.com</a><strong> </strong> for receipt no later than 8/12/2010</p> <p><strong>Sponsor:</strong> The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization 229 W 28<sup>th</sup> Street, 11<sup>th</sup> Floor, New York, NY 10001.</p> <p><strong>Alternate Entry Method:</strong> Type your full name, address, city, state, zip code, daytime and evening phone numbers (including area codes), and date of birth, include<strong> THE SOUND OF MUSIC 500,000 Fans Contest </strong> Entry in the subject line, and email the information to: <strong>rnhcontests@gmail.com</strong>.</p> Happy Birthday Oscar Hammerstein II! http://www.rnh.com/blog/16/Happy-Birthday-Oscar-Hammerstein-II 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_16 <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Today is Oscar Hammerstein II’s 115th Birthday! In celebration we are giving away tickets to see SOUTH PACIFIC on TOUR. The winner will get a pair of tickets to the opening night in the tour city of their choice. </span> <a title="South Pacific Tour" href="http://www.southpacificontour.com">Find the SOUTH PACIFIC tour in a city near you!</a></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 128);"><strong>All you have to do to enter to win a pair of tickets to see SOUTH PACIFIC on opening night in a city near you is <a title="Twitter Rnh_org" href="http://www.twitter.com/rnh_org" target="_blank">Tweet</a>: “<em>@Rnh_Org Happy Birthday Oscar Hammerstein II! http://ow.ly/2ahSr “</em></strong></span><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday 7/13.<br> </span></p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> 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Open only to legal residents of<strong> </strong>The United States<strong>, </strong>18<strong> </strong>years of age or older. Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Winner is responsible for travel to/from venue.<strong> </strong> Begins <strong>1:00 PM</strong><strong> 7/12/10</strong>, ends <strong>4:00 PM 7/13/10</strong>. Subject to Official Rules, available at <a href="http://www.rnh.com/contest/tickets"><span id="sample-permalink"> </span></a></span><a href="http://www.rnh.com/contest/tickets"><span id="sample-permalink">http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/07/<span id="editable-post-name" title="Temporary permalink. Click to edit this part.">oscarhammersteinbday</span>/</span></a><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><a href="http://www.rnh.com/contest/tickets"><span id="sample-permalink"> </span> </a> Sponsor: The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/SouthPacificTourLogo.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-204" title="SouthPacificTourLogo" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/SouthPacificTourLogo-300x266.jpg" alt="South Pacific on Tour" width="270" height="239"></a><br> </span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><span id="more-198"></span></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">OFFICIAL RULES</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Oscar Hammerstein Birthday Sweepstakes</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>No Purchase Necessary TO ENTER OR WIN. A Purchase WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR Chances Of Winning.</strong> Open only to those 13 years of age or older. Eligible minors should obtain the permission of their parents or legal guardians prior to entering.<strong> </strong>Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Employees (and their immediate families (parent, child, spouse or sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and those living in their same households, whether or not related) of The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. (“Sponsor”) and it’s<strong> </strong> respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies are not eligible to enter or win. By participating, entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians) agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges and/or Sponsor, which are binding and final on matters relating to this sweepstakes. Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. <strong> </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>To enter: </strong>Between <strong>1:00 pm eastern </strong>on <strong>7/12/10</strong> and <strong>4:00 pm eastern</strong> on <strong>7/13/10 </strong> (the “Entry Period”), visit <a title="Twitter" href="http://www.twitter.com/rnh_org" target="_blank">www.twitter.com</a> and tweet, “</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 128);"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">@Rnh_Org Happy Birthday Oscar Hammerstein II! http://ow.ly/2ahS</span><em>r</em></span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">” to be entered to win. All entries must be received by <strong>4:00 pm</strong> eastern on <strong>7/13/10</strong> to be eligible. <strong> </strong>Limit one (1) entry per person and per email address for the duration of the Entry Period. Multiple entries received from any person or e-mail address in excess of the stated limitation will be void. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process are void. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>Drawing:</strong> One potential winner will be selected in a random drawing held on or about <strong>7/13/10 </strong>from all eligible entries received by an independent judging agency. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. <strong> </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>WINNER NOTIFICATION: </strong>Potential winner will be notified by e-mail and may be required to execute and return an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release and, where lawful, a publicity release within forty eight (48) hours of time of issuance. If such documents are not returned within the specified time period, a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact the potential winner or the<strong> </strong>potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsor’s discretion, an alternate winner selected. If the potential winner is an eligible minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, prize may be awarded in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian who will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on winner set forth herein.</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>Prize (1):</strong> Two (2) Tickets to <a title="South Pacific on Tour" href="http://www.southpacificontour.com/" target="_blank">SOUTH PACIFIC on tour</a> on opening night in the city of your choice. Tour cities can be found at: <a title="South Pacific Tour" href="http://www.southpacificontour.com/tickets-and-tour-schedule" target="_blank">http://www.southpacificontour.com/tickets-and-tour-schedule</a>. Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $<strong>200 </strong><strong> </strong> is subject to certain terms and conditions specified thereon. Winner may not substitute, assign or transfer prize or redeem prize for cash, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute the prize with one of comparable or greater value. Winner is<strong> </strong>responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided, including travel to/from venue. Total ARV of all prizes is $200. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion. <strong> </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>General Conditions:</strong> Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, stolen, misdirected, undelivered or garbled, entries r email; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the sweepstakes, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the sweepstakes, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any sweepstakes-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the sweepstakes. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to participants’ or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this sweepstakes or downloading materials from or use of the website. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the sweepstakes or website or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated entries will be void. Should any portion of the sweepstakes be, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or submission of entries, or if the sweepstakes is unable to run as planned for any other reason, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the sweepstakes and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the potential winner from all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to action taken or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor. Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians), by participating, agree that Sponsor, and it’s respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents (collectively, “Released Parties”) will have no liability whatsoever for, and shall be held harmless by entrants against, any liability, for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including death, to persons, or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) or participation in this sweepstakes. Winner (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) by acceptance of prize, except where legally prohibited, grants permission for Sponsor and its designees to use his/her name, address (city and state), photograph, voice and/or other likeness and prize information for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without further compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide in perpetuity, without notice or review or approval. In the event of a dispute regarding entries received from multiple users having the same e-mail account, the authorized subscriber of the e-mail account at the time of entry will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules. Authorized account subscriber is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses. <strong>CAUTION:</strong> ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>Winner’s NAME:</strong> For the name of the winner (available after 6/29/10). Type your full name, address, city, state, zip code, daytime and evening phone numbers (including area codes), and date of birth, including<strong> </strong>in the subject line “Happy Birthday Richard Rodgers”, and email the information to<strong>:<a title="rnhcontests@gmail.com" href="mailto:rnhcontests@gmail.com" target="_blank"> </a></strong><a title="rnhcontests@gmail.com" href="mailto:rnhcontests@gmail.com" target="_blank">rnhcontests@gmail.com</a><strong> </strong> for receipt no later than 7/13/2010</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>Sponsor:</strong> The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization 229 W 28<sup>th</sup> Street, 11<sup>th</sup> Floor, New York, NY 10001.</span></p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 1684px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> 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http://www.rnh.com/blog/15/New-Major-Motion-Picture-Version-of-Rodgers-and-Hammerstein-039-s-SOUTH-PACIFIC 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_15 <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>IMAGEM SIGNS A CO-PRODUCTION AGREEMENT<br /> WITH AMBER ENTERTAINMENT AND CHICAGOFILMS</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>FOR NEW MAJOR MOTION PICTURE VERSION OF<em><br /> RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S SOUTH PACIFIC</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em> </em></strong></p> <p>Imagem, the world’s #1 independent music publisher and owner of the Rodgers & Hammerstein copyrights, announced today that it has signed a co-production agreement with Amber Entertainment and Chicagofilms for a new major motion picture version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical, SOUTH PACIFIC.</p> <p>Denis Wigman, CFO of Imagem and co-founder, has had extensive experience as a film producer, involved in the production and financing of more than 40 international feature films, and will be leading Imagem’s role in this new venture, together with Ted Chapin, President of Rodgers & Hammerstein.  “I am thrilled that Imagem will be a partner in this latest adaptation of SOUTH PACIFIC for the screen,” says Wigman. “We see great opportunities to reintroduce this timeless classic to movie audiences all over the world, and it is especially gratifying to work with such industry mavericks as Ileen [Maisel, Amber Entertainment] and GOSFORD PARK’s Bob Balaban.”</p> <p>“SOUTH PACIFIC is extraordinary,” observes Ted Chapin. “It thrives on stage, but turning it into a new major motion picture is an exciting challenge. Inspired by the stellar production at Lincoln Center Theater, Bob Balaban and Ileen Maisel have seen modern cinematic possibilities that challenge us all to interpret this masterpiece for new generations of filmgoers.”</p> <p>“Producing a new version of SOUTH PACIFIC,” says Ileen Maisel, “allows an audience to explore war and racism in a safe and engaging way that will ultimately bring greater understanding to these important topics of our time.”</p> <p>“Our movie will be a tougher, more realistic retelling of the same classic story of two very different people whose love for each other transcends their enormous cultural differences,” says Chicagofilms founder Bob Balaban.  “We think there’s a whole new audience just waiting to fall in love with its magical score, epic romance, and exotic locale.”</p> <p>About Imagem</p> <p>Imagem (André de Raaff, CEO and co-founder) is the #1 independent music publishing company in the world, unique for its leadership role in classical music (Boosey & Hawkes), musicals (Rodgers & Hammerstein), and with catalogues that span pop, rock, jazz, and standards.  Founded in 2008 by Dutch firm ABP, one of the world’s largest pension funds, in conjunction with Dutch independent publisher/media company CP Masters BV,  Imagem began by acquiring music publishing rights in a number of catalogues sold by Universal Publishing, such as Rondor, Zomba, BBC and 19 Music. This was followed by acquiring the world’s leading classical music publishing company Boosey & Hawkes (representing the world’s leading classical and jazz composers from Aaron Copland and Igor Stravinsky to John Adams, Wynton Marsalis, and beyond), and Rodgers & Hammerstein (containing the rights to the world’s most popular stage and film musicals including THE SOUND OF MUSIC and OKLAHOMA!, and representing hundreds of works by writers including Irving Berlin.) Highlights from Imagem Music’s ever-expanding pop catalogue include Phil Collins, Genesis, Temper Trap, Vampire Weekend, M.I.A., and Daft Punk.  Imagem is proud to represent such a variety of writers, catalogues, and copyrights, combining the knowledge of experienced music publishers with the newest opportunities for exploitation. www.imagem.com.</p> <p><strong>About Amber Entertainment</strong></p> <p>Amber Entertainment was founded in in January 2009. Its 4 founding partners (Ileen Maisel, Mark Ordesky, Lawrence Elman and Jane Fleming) share years of experience working in Hollywood and internationally on films as diverse as LORD OF THE RINGS, DANGEROUS LIAISONS and THE GOLDEN COMPASS for companies including New Line Cinema, Paramount, MGM, the BBC, Sundance, ZDF/Arte and many other broadcasters around the world.</p> <p><strong>About Chicagofilms</strong></p> <p>The actor/producer/director Bob Balaban founded Chicagofilms which produced  GOSFORD PARK, nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (Julian Fellowes), as well as the British Academy Award for Best British Film, the Golden Globe award for Best Director (Robert Altman), the Writers Guild Award for screenwriting, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for performance.  Bob co-starred in the movie and co-created it with director Robert Altman.</p> <p>He produced and directed the acclaimed HBO film BERNARD AND DORIS, starring Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes, which earned ten Emmy nominations, three Golden Globe nominations, two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, as well as Producers Guild and Directors Guild nominations. This year he directed GEORGIA O’KEEFE, starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, which so far has been nominated for three Golden Globe, two Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild, Directors Guild, and NAACP awards.</p> <p>He produced and directed the hit play THE EXONERATED starring Robin Williams, Jill Clayburgh, Stockard Channing, Alanis Morisette and Richard Dreyfuss, among others, which was named “Best Play of the Year” by the New York Times and won the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Court TV’s Scales of Justice Award, and the Defender of Justice Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers</p> <p>Bob wrote the best-selling series of six children’s books for Scholastic called <em>McGrowl</em>, and is currently writing a new series for Viking called <em>The Creature from the Seventh Grade</em>, to be released in 2011.</p> <p>He has co-starred in nearly one hundred movies, including MIDNIGHT COWBOY, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, ABSENCE OF MALICE, ALTERED STATES, DECONSTRUCTING HARRY, THE MEXICAN, THE LADY IN THE WATER, NO RESERVATIONS, and the soon to be released THE CONVINCER and HOWL.   He has appeared on <em>Seinfeld</em> as the head of NBC.  He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in THE INSPECTOR GENERAL on Broadway and an Emmy Award for his performance in HBO’s RECOUNT.</p> <p><strong>About <em>Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific</em></strong></p> <p>A classic musical romance set during World War II, SOUTH PACIFIC is the winner of Tonys, Oscars, Emmys and the Pulitzer Prize.  Based on James A. Michener’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, <em>Tales of the South Pacific</em>, it features a score with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II,   and a libretto by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan.   The musical is packed with standards of the R&H catalogue, including “Some Enchanted Evening,” “A Wonderful Guy,” “There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” “Younger Than Springtime” and  “This Nearly Was Mine.”</p> <p>Since its Broadway premiere in 1949, SOUTH PACIFIC has been staged all over the world in thousands of productions. It is currently enjoying a smash Broadway revival at Lincoln Center Theater, where it opened in April of 2008 and went on to earn a record-setting 7 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival. A US National Tour is currently booked well into 2011.</p> HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICHARD RODGERS! http://www.rnh.com/blog/14/HAPPY-BIRTHDAY-RICHARD-RODGERS 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_14 <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Today is Richard Rodgers 108th Birthday! In celebration we are giving away a pair of tickets to see <a title="South Pacific Lincoln Center Theatre" href="http://www.lct.org/showMain.htm?id=174">South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theatre</a> before it closes on August 22nd. (If you are not in NY, do not fret, although you can’t win tickets for the tour here, you can</span> <a title="South Pacific Tour" href="http://www.southpacificontour.com">find out more about the Tour production coming to a town near you!</a>)</p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 128);"><strong>All you have to do to enter to win tickets to SOUTH PACIFIC at Lincoln Center Theater is <a title="Twitter Rnh_org" href="http://www.twitter.com/rnh_org" target="_blank">Tweet</a>: “<em>@Rnh_Org Happy Birthday Richard Rodgers!”</em></strong></span><em> </em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday 6/29.<br> </span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Celebrate Richard Rodgers birthday tonight at Bryant Park in NYC, where they will be screening Rodgers favorite of all of his musicals. 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mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;<br /> mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;<br /> mso-style-noshow:yes;<br /> mso-style-priority:99;<br /> mso-style-qformat:yes;<br /> mso-style-parent:"";<br /> mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;<br /> mso-para-margin:0in;<br /> mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;<br /> mso-pagination:widow-orphan;<br /> font-size:11.0pt;<br /> font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";<br /> mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;<br /> mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;<br /> mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";<br /> mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;<br /> mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;<br /> mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;<br /> mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";<br /> mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}<br /> --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">“One of the most frequent questions I am asked is: ‘What is your favorite of all of your musicals?’ My answer is CAROUSEL. Oscar never wrote a more meaningful or my 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 if performed.” – </span>Richard Rodgers, MUSICAL STAGES: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1976)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><br> </span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>ABBREVIATED RULES</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open only to legal residents of<strong> </strong>The United States<strong>, </strong>18<strong> </strong>years of age or older. Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Winner is responsible for travel to/from venue.<strong> </strong> Begins <strong>10:am AM</strong><strong> </strong> 6/28/10, ends <strong>5:00 PM 6/29/10</strong>. Subject to Official Rules, available at <a href="http://www.rnh.com/contest/tickets"><span id="sample-permalink">http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/06/<span id="editable-post-name" title="Temporary permalink. Click to edit this part.">richardrodgersbirthdaycontest</span>/</span> </a> Sponsor: The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization.</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><span id="more-175"></span></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">OFFICIAL RULES</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Rodgers and Hammerstein Sweepstakes</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>No Purchase Necessary TO ENTER OR WIN. A Purchase WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR Chances Of Winning.</strong> Open only to those 13 years of age or older. Eligible minors should obtain the permission of their parents or legal guardians prior to entering.<strong> </strong>Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Employees (and their immediate families (parent, child, spouse or sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and those living in their same households, whether or not related) of The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. (“Sponsor”) and it’s<strong> </strong> respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies are not eligible to enter or win. By participating, entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians) agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges and/or Sponsor, which are binding and final on matters relating to this sweepstakes. Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. <strong> </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>to enter: </strong>Between <strong>10am eastern </strong>on <strong>6/28/10</strong> and <strong>5:00 pm eastern</strong> on 6/29/10<strong> </strong> (the “Entry Period”), visit www.twitter.com/rnh_org and tweet, “@RnH_Org Happy Birthday Richard Rodgers” to be entered to win. All entries must be received by <strong>5:00 pm</strong> eastern on <strong>6/29/10</strong> to be eligible. <strong> </strong>Limit one (1) entry per person and per email address for the duration of the Entry Period. Multiple entries received from any person or e-mail address in excess of the stated limitation will be void. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process are void. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>Drawing:</strong> One potential winner will be selected in a random drawing held on or about <strong>[insert date] </strong>from all eligible entries received by an independent judging agency. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. <strong> </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>WINNER NOTIFICATION: </strong>Potential winner will be notified by e-mail and may be required to execute and return an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release and, where lawful, a publicity release within forty eight (48) hours of time of issuance. If such documents are not returned within the specified time period, a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact the potential winner or the<strong> </strong>potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsor’s discretion, an alternate winner selected. If the potential winner is an eligible minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, prize may be awarded in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian who will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on winner set forth herein.</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>Prize (1):</strong> Two (2) Tickets to SOUTH PACIFIC at LINCOLN CENTER THEATRE Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $<strong>200 </strong><strong> </strong> is subject to certain terms and conditions specified thereon. Winner may not substitute, assign or transfer prize or redeem prize for cash, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute the prize with one of comparable or greater value. Winner is<strong> </strong>responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided, including travel to/from venue. Total ARV of all prizes is $200. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion. <strong> </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>General Conditions:</strong> Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, stolen, misdirected, undelivered or garbled, entries r email; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the sweepstakes, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the sweepstakes, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any sweepstakes-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the sweepstakes. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to participants’ or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this sweepstakes or downloading materials from or use of the website. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the sweepstakes or website or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated entries will be void. Should any portion of the sweepstakes be, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or submission of entries, or if the sweepstakes is unable to run as planned for any other reason, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the sweepstakes and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the potential winner from all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to action taken or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor. Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians), by participating, agree that Sponsor, and it’s respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents (collectively, “Released Parties”) will have no liability whatsoever for, and shall be held harmless by entrants against, any liability, for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including death, to persons, or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) or participation in this sweepstakes. Winner (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) by acceptance of prize, except where legally prohibited, grants permission for Sponsor and its designees to use his/her name, address (city and state), photograph, voice and/or other likeness and prize information for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without further compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide in perpetuity, without notice or review or approval. In the event of a dispute regarding entries received from multiple users having the same e-mail account, the authorized subscriber of the e-mail account at the time of entry will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules. Authorized account subscriber is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses. <strong>CAUTION:</strong> ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong> </strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>Winner’s NAME:</strong> For the name of the winner (available after 6/29/10). Typeyourfull name, address, city, state, zip code, daytime and evening phone numbers (including area codes), and date of birth, including<strong> </strong>in the subject line “Happy Birthday Richard Rodgers”,and email the information to<strong>: </strong>rnhcontests@gmail.com<strong> </strong> for receipt no later than 6/29/2010</span></p> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><strong>Sponsor:</strong> The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization 229 W 28<sup>th</sup> Street, 11<sup>th</sup> Floor, New York, NY 10001.</span></p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 1684px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden;"> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> 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mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="">Typeyourfull name, address, city, state, zip code, daytime and evening phone numbers (including area codes), and date of birth, include <strong><span style="">[insertsweepstakes title]</span></strong> Entry in the subject line,and email the information to: <strong><span style="">[insert email address]</span></strong>. </span></p> </div> Let's Start at the Very Begining http://www.rnh.com/blog/13/Let-039-s-Start-at-the-Very-Begining 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_13 <p><a href="http://www.applausepub.com/itemDetail.jsp?itemid=314826">Applause Books</a> recently released the libretto of <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> for your reading pleasure. Tim Crouse, son of author Russel Crouse, wrote a beautiful introduction for this release which talks about his first experience with <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1">THE SOUND OF MUSIC.</a> Here is an excerpt:</p> <div><table border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="250" align="center"><tbody><tr><td class="size9" width="250" height="70">Note:<em> if you want to perform <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> *PLEASE* <a href="http://www.rnh.com/contact.asp">contact one of our great customer reps</a> or <a href="http://www.rnh.com">visit our website</a> and go through the painless application process. </em></td></tr></tbody></table></div> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Applause-TSOM-cover.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-158" title="THE SOUND OF MUSIC Libretto from Applause Books" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Applause-TSOM-cover-194x300.jpg" alt="THE SOUND OF MUSIC" width="194" height="300" /></a></h2> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><strong>Let's Start at the Very Beginning</strong></h2> <h2 style="text-align: center;">by Timothy Crouse</h2> <p>One afternoon toward the end of the last summer before my teens, I had an upset of some sort, a tantrum, and went off to sulk in the dining room of our country house.  After a while, my father appeared, holding a script.  "I've got a favor to ask", he said.  "This is the new play that Howard and I have written with Dick and Oscar.  I'd like you to tell me what you think."</p> <p>This gesture so characteristic of Russel Crouse in its canniness and generosity was, it now occurs to me, a very Maria-like way of dealing with a peevish child.  As I mounted the stairs to my room, it was all I could do to cling to my bad mood, which was already dissolving in the honor he was paying me.</p> <p>All I knew of the project he'd been working on was that it was about a real family called the von Trapps, who sang.  I lay down on my bed and opened the script.  The title struck me as oddly general.  <em>The Sound of Music</em>?  Well, give it a chance</p> <p>The afternoon was stifling, but as I began to read, the heat, the whine of the cicadas, and the last of my grumbles fell away, supplanted by a new world of abbey and mountainside.  I was of course aware that this unfolding world was very much the joint creation of four masters of the theatre, but I couldn't help hearing, on nearly every page, my father's distinctive voice – the same voice that had told my sister and me homemade stories whose humorous overtones could never quite allay the awful threat that the hero might fail to overcome the moral perils that lay before and within him.</p> <p>Here the story was a grownup fairy tale, even set in a fairy tale landscape.   (Who lives in that dilapidated castle?) asks Captain von Trapp's friend Max.  (Rumpelstiltskin)  There was an orphan girl, recognized as a force of nature by those around her, struggling to find her true vocation under the tutelage of a stern fairy godmother.  There was a Beast, who, confronted by the girl, touched by her sterling purity, turns out to be no Beast at all.  As for this slippery fellow Max, wasn't he a kind of gnome, and didn't the Captain's fiance, Elsa, perhaps have a bit of witch in her?   And then there were the children " like many fairy tale children, in need of a mother.  (Later, the jeers of critics who deemed the von Trapp kids false exemplars of childhood would leave me baffled.  I, who was by no means made of marzipan, and who, with my sister, had caused at least one of our governesses to quit in a huff, complaining that we'd tormented her, saw the young von Trapps from the beginning as kindred terrestrials.  In fact,  But no, it would be absurdly presumptuous to imagine that my sister and I served as models for anything.)</p> <p>At what point, as I read, did the lump in my throat start to form?  Was it in the scene where the Captain reconnects with his abandoned brood?  Or rather was it in the one where the truth-telling imp, Brigitta, whose uncensored utterances are the outward expression of her father’s innermost voice, informs Maria that he is in love with her?  Gradually, the lump subsided, giving way to exhilaration as Maria grew into a glorious and resourceful womanhood, ready to stand with her husband against the organized demons of the land who were menacing their family.  Yet I wasn't so lost in the drama that I couldn't marvel at the virtuosity with which the diverse strands of the story were being plaited into the taut climax of the second act.  And I'm not sure whether it was pride in the triumph of the characters or in that of the authors that caused the lump to rise again and overflow.  At any rate, I needed to give my face a thorough wash before going to present my judgment to my father.</p> <p>In other words, I reacted to <em>The Sound of Music</em> much as countless others have done since.  But at the same time, an accident of birth afforded me a rare perspective on the material.  I had come to it innocent of reviews or word of mouth, unaware of its future as a blockbuster movie and worldwide cultural phenomenon.  I encountered it in its most austere state, with no costumes, no scenery, no Alps, and without having heard a single note of the unforgettable Rodgers score.  Being introduced to it that way gave me a special opportunity to see past its many attractions as an entertainment, into the kernel of profundity at its core.  For at heart the play is about the possibility of growth at any age — the willingness to open ourselves to the flow of our true lives and to allow ourselves to hear the sound of our own unique music, which is the door to real freedom.</p> <p><a href="http://www.applausepub.com/itemDetail.jsp?itemid=314826">Read more in THE SOUND OF MUSIC Libretto from APPLAUSE BOOKS. </a></p> <p><em>This is an excerpt from The Sound of Music: The Complete Book and Lyrics of the Broadway Musical published by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books as part of the Applause Libretto Library Series (2010).</em></p> R&H Ticket Sweepstakes http://www.rnh.com/blog/11/R-amp-H-Ticket-Sweepstakes 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_11 OFFICIAL RULESRodgers and Hammerstein Ticket Giveaway Sweepstakes <strong> </strong><strong>No Purchase Necessary </strong>TO ENTER OR WIN. A Purchase OR WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR Chances Of Winning. Open only to legal residents of the United States of America, 13 years of age or older. Eligible minors should obtain the permission of their parents or legal guardians prior to entering.<strong> </strong>Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Employees (and their immediate families (parent, child, spouse or sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and those living in their same households, whether or not related) of The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization(Sponsor) and its respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies are not eligible to enter or win. By participating, entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians) agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges and/or Sponsor, which are binding and final on matters relating to this sweepstakes. Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. <strong> </strong><strong>To enter: </strong>Between <strong>[insert time & time zone] </strong>on <strong>[insert date]</strong> and <strong>[insert time & time zone]</strong> on <strong>[insert date]</strong> (the Entry Period), visit: <a href="http://www.rnh.com/contest/tickets">www.rnh.com/contest/tickets</a> and follow the directions provided to complete and submit all required entry information. All entries must be received by <strong>[insert time & time zone]</strong> on <strong>[insert end date]</strong> to be eligible. <strong> </strong>Limit one (1) entry per person and per email address for the duration of the Entry Period. Multiple entries received from any person or e-mail address in excess of the stated limitation will be void. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process are void. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.<strong> </strong><strong>Drawing:</strong> One potential winner will be selected in a random drawing held on or about <strong>[insert date] </strong>from all eligible entries received by an independent judging agency. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. <strong> </strong><strong>WINNER NOTIFICATION: </strong>Potential winner will be notified by e-mail and may be required to execute and return an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release and, where lawful, a publicity release within forty eight (48) hours of time of issuance. If such documents are not returned within the specified time period, a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact the potential winner or the<strong> </strong>potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsors discretion, an alternate winner selected. If the potential winner is an eligible minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, prize may be awarded in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian who will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on winner set forth herein.<strong>Prize (1):</strong> Two (2) tickets to <strong>[insert concert]</strong>. Approximate Retail Value (ARV): $<strong>[insert value]</strong> for the pair. <strong>Winner is responsible for travel to/from venue. </strong> Seat locations will be determined by Sponsor. Tickets are subject to certain terms and conditions specified thereon. Winner and guest must comply with all venue rules and regulations. Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of such prize. Winner may not substitute, assign or transfer prize or redeem prize for cash, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute the prize with one of comparable or greater value. Winner is<strong> </strong>responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided, including travel to/from venue. Total ARV of all prizes is $<strong>[insert value]</strong>. All prize details are at Sponsors sole discretion. <strong> </strong><strong>General Conditions:</strong> Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, stolen, misdirected, undelivered or garbled, entries r email; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the sweepstakes, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the sweepstakes, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any sweepstakes-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the sweepstakes. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to participants' or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating in this sweepstakes or downloading materials from or use of the website. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the sweepstakes or website or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated entries will be void. Should any portion of the sweepstakes be, in Sponsors sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or submission of entries, or if the sweepstakes is unable to run as planned for any other reason, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the sweepstakes and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the potential winner from all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to action taken or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor. Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians), by participating, agree that Sponsor,<strong> </strong>and its respective parents<strong>, </strong>affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents (collectively, Released Parties) will have no liability whatsoever for, and shall be held harmless by entrants against, any liability, for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including death, to persons, or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) or participation in this sweepstakes. Winner (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) by acceptance of prize, except where legally prohibited, grants permission for Sponsor and its designees to use his/her name, address (city and state), photograph, voice and/or other likeness and prize information for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without further compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide in perpetuity, without notice or review or approval. In the event of a dispute regarding entries received from multiple users having the same e-mail account, the authorized subscriber of the e-mail account at the time of entry will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules. Authorized account subscriber is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses. <strong>CAUTION:</strong> ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.<strong> </strong><strong>Winners NAME:</strong> For the name of the winner (available after <strong>[insert date]</strong>), send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals Ticket Giveaway Sweepstakes, 229 W 28<sup>th</sup> Street, 11<sup>th</sup> Floor, New York, NY 10001, for receipt no later than <strong>[insert date]</strong>.<strong> </strong><strong>Sponsor:</strong> The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization., 229 W 28<sup>th</sup> Street, 11<sup>th</sup> Floor, New York, NY 10001.<strong>ABBREVIATED RULES</strong><strong>NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. </strong>Open only to legal residents of<strong> </strong>The United Staes<strong>,</strong>13<strong> </strong>years of age or older. Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Winner is responsible for travel to/from venue.<strong> </strong> Begins <strong>[insert time & time zone]</strong> <strong>[insert date]</strong>, ends <strong>[insert time & time zone]</strong> <strong>[insert date]</strong>. Subject to Official Rules, available at <a href="http://www.rnh.com/contest/tickets">www.rnh.com/contest/tickets</a> Sponsor: The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. R&H Sweepstakes http://www.rnh.com/blog/12/R-amp-H-Sweepstakes 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_12 OFFICIAL RULESRodgers and Hammerstein Sweepstakes<strong>No Purchase Necessary TO ENTER OR WIN. A Purchase WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR Chances Of Winning.</strong> Open only to those 13 years of age or older. Eligible minors should obtain the permission of their parents or legal guardians prior to entering.<strong> </strong>Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Employees (and their immediate families (parent, child, spouse or sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and those living in their same households, whether or not related) of The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. (Sponsor) <strong>[In response to your email, we confirm that employees and their families and household members are not eligible. We have not specifically excluded the friends of employees (unless they are household members). Please advise if you would like us to do so.]</strong>, <strong>[insert any other promotional partners- Are there any? If not, this can be removed, and the language should be changed to say and its parent,,,]</strong>, and <strong>[its]</strong> their respective parent<strong>[s]</strong>, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies are not eligible to enter or win. By participating, entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians) agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges and/or Sponsor, which are binding and final on matters relating to this sweepstakes. Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. <strong> </strong><strong>to enter: </strong>Between <strong>[insert time & time zone] </strong>on <strong>[insert date]</strong> and <strong>[insert time & time zone]</strong> on <strong>[insert date]</strong> (the Entry Period), visit http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/06/contest-music/ and follow the directions provided to complete and submit all required entry information. All entries must be received by <strong>[insert time & time zone]</strong> on <strong>[insert end date]</strong> to be eligible. <strong> </strong>Limit one (1) entry per person and per email address for the duration of the Entry Period. Multiple entries received from any person or e-mail address in excess of the stated limitation will be void. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process are void. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.<strong> </strong><strong>Drawing:</strong> One potential winner will be selected in a random drawing held on or about <strong>[insert date] </strong>from all eligible entries received by an independent judging agency. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. <strong> </strong><strong>WINNER NOTIFICATION: </strong>Potential winner will be notified by e-mail and may be required to execute and return an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release and, where lawful, a publicity release within forty eight (48) hours of time of issuance. If such documents are not returned within the specified time period, a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact the potential winner or the<strong> </strong>potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsors discretion, an alternate winner selected. If the potential winner is an eligible minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, prize may be awarded in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian who will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on winner set forth herein.<strong>Prize (1):</strong> One (1) <strong>[INSERT TYPE OF MERCHANDISE ]</strong> Approximate Retail Value (ARV): $<strong>[insert value]</strong> [INSERT <strong>MERCHANDISE TYPE] </strong> is subject to certain terms and conditions specified thereon. Winner Winner may not substitute, assign or transfer prize or redeem prize for cash, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute the prize with one of comparable or greater value. Winner is<strong> </strong>responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided, including travel to/from venue. Total ARV of all prizes is $<strong>[insert value]</strong>. All prize details are at Sponsors sole discretion. <strong> </strong><strong>General Conditions:</strong> Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, stolen, misdirected, undelivered or garbled, entries r email; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the sweepstakes, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the sweepstakes, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any sweepstakes-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the sweepstakes. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to participants' or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating in this sweepstakes or downloading materials from or use of the website. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the sweepstakes or website or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated entries will be void. Should any portion of the sweepstakes be, in Sponsors sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or submission of entries, or if the sweepstakes is unable to run as planned for any other reason, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the sweepstakes and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the potential winner from all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to action taken or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor. Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians), by participating, agree that Sponsor,<strong> [insert promotional partners, if any]</strong>, and <strong>[its]</strong> their respective parent<strong>[s] [See note above.]</strong>, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents (collectively, Released Parties) will have no liability whatsoever for, and shall be held harmless by entrants against, any liability, for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including death, to persons, or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) or participation in this sweepstakes. Winner (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) by acceptance of prize, except where legally prohibited, grants permission for Sponsor and its designees to use his/her name, address (city and state), photograph, voice and/or other likeness and prize information for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without further compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide in perpetuity, without notice or review or approval. In the event of a dispute regarding entries received from multiple users having the same e-mail account, the authorized subscriber of the e-mail account at the time of entry will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules. Authorized account subscriber is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses. <strong>CAUTION:</strong> ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.<strong> </strong><strong>Winners NAME:</strong> For the name of the winner (available after <strong>[insert date]</strong>), send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Rodgers and HammersteinGiveaway Sweepstakes, 229 W 28<sup>th</sup> Street, 11<sup>th</sup> Floor, New York, NY 10001, for receipt no later than <strong>[insert date]</strong>.<strong></strong><strong>Sponsor:</strong> The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization 229 W 28<sup>th</sup> Street, 11<sup>th</sup> Floor, New York, NY 10001.<strong>ABBREVIATED RULES</strong><strong>NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. </strong>Open only to legal residents of<strong> </strong> the United States of America, 13<strong> </strong>years of age or older. Void outside the area stated above and where prohibited. Begins <strong>[insert time & time zone]</strong> <strong>[insert date]</strong>, ends <strong>[insert time & time zone]</strong> <strong>[insert date]</strong>.Subject to Official Rules, available at http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/06/contest-music/.Sponsor: The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization The Sound of Music Podcast http://www.rnh.com/blog/10/The-Sound-of-Music-Podcast 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_10 Listen to this great podcast created in conjunction with <a title="Masterworks Broadway" href="http://www.masterworksbroadway.com/">Sony Masterworks Broadway</a> for the release of <a title="The Sound of Music CD" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PCKRMC?ie=UTF8&tag=rodgeandhamme-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B002PCKRMC">THE SOUND OF MUSIC: 50th Anniversary Edition</a> Cast Recording.<p style="text-align: left;">Episode 1</p><object style="width: 450px; height: 79px;" classid="clsid:02bf25d5-8c17-4b23-bc80-d3488abddc6b" width="450" height="79" codebase="http://www.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab#version=6,0,2,0"><param name="enablejavascript" value="true" /><param name="name" value="The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Podcast - Episode 1" /><param name="src" value="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/Podcast/som_ep01_v1-1.mp3" /><param name="vspace" value="2" /><param name="hspace" value="2" /><embed style="width: 450px; height: 79px;" type="video/quicktime" width="450" height="79" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/Podcast/som_ep01_v1-1.mp3" hspace="2" vspace="2" name="The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Podcast - Episode 1" enablejavascript="true"> </embed></object>Episode 2<object classid="clsid:02bf25d5-8c17-4b23-bc80-d3488abddc6b" width="450" height="79" codebase="http://www.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab#version=6,0,2,0"><param name="src" value="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/Podcast/som_ep02_v1-1.mp3" /><embed type="video/quicktime" width="450" height="79" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/Podcast/som_ep02_v1-1.mp3"></embed></object><object style="width: 450px; height: 79px;" classid="clsid:02bf25d5-8c17-4b23-bc80-d3488abddc6b" width="450" height="79" codebase="http://www.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab#version=6,0,2,0"><param name="src" value="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/Podcast/som_ep03_v1.mp3" /><embed style="width: 450px; height: 79px;" type="video/quicktime" width="450" height="79" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/Podcast/som_ep03_v1.mp3"></embed></object>[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="210" caption="The Sound of Music: 50th Anniversary Cast Recording"]<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PCKRMC?ie=UTF8&tag=rodgeandhamme-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B002PCKRMC"><img class=" " title="The Sound of Music" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CPdei8J6L._SL500_AA300_.jpg" alt="" width="210" height="210" /></a>[/caption] The Songs of R&H are Comfort Food http://www.rnh.com/blog/9/The-Songs-of-R-amp-H-are-Comfort-Food 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_9 Check out this fantastic article written by Stuart Elliot, lead advertising columnist for the New York Times! Elliot reflects on the growing usage of the songs of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II and keenly points out that the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein offers musical comfort food in this time of economic recession.<a title="New York Times" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/business/media/12adco.html?ref=media&pagewanted=print">Read the full New York Times article</a>"Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin" sung by Ray Charles<div><script src="http://cdn.widgetserver.com/syndication/subscriber/InsertWidget.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('a16f2381-acc7-42fc-8481-767e483d0d31');// ]]></script><noscript>Get the <a href="http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/mp3">Mp3 Player Widget</a>Not seeing a widget? (<a href="http://docs.widgetbox.com/using-widgets/installing-widgets/why-cant-i-see-my-widget/">More info</a>)</noscript></div><img alt="" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/spacer/spacer.png" title="Spacer" class="aligncenter" width="300" height="15" />"The Gentleman Is A Dope sung by Jo Stafford<div><script src="http://cdn.widgetserver.com/syndication/subscriber/InsertWidget.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('d421f892-22dc-4a82-92a4-88d1b8de62dc');// ]]></script><noscript>Get the <a href="http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/mp3">Mp3 Player Widget</a> Not seeing a widget? (<a href="http://docs.widgetbox.com/using-widgets/installing-widgets/why-cant-i-see-my-widget/">More info</a>)</noscript></div><img alt="" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/spacer/spacer.png" title="Spacer" class="aligncenter" width="300" height="15" />"Getting To Know You" sung by James Taylor<div><script src="http://cdn.widgetserver.com/syndication/subscriber/InsertWidget.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('f9971001-1878-4138-920f-dad94a435b9b');// ]]></script><noscript>Get the <a href="http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/mp3">Mp3 Player Widget</a> widget and many other <a href="http://www.widgetbox.com/"> Not seeing a widget? (<a href="http://docs.widgetbox.com/using-widgets/installing-widgets/why-cant-i-see-my-widget/">More info</a>)</noscript></div><img alt="" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/spacer/spacer.png" title="Spacer" class="aligncenter" width="300" height="15" />"People Will Say We're In Love" sung by Nancy Wilson<div><script src="http://cdn.widgetserver.com/syndication/subscriber/InsertWidget.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('bc04e3b3-f8cb-4147-99d1-240ca0d9c14f');// ]]></script><noscript>Get the <a href="http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/mp3">Mp3 Player Widget</a> widget and many other <a href="http://www.widgetbox.com/">Not seeing a widget? (<a href="http://docs.widgetbox.com/using-widgets/installing-widgets/why-cant-i-see-my-widget/">More info</a>)</noscript></div><img alt="" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/spacer/spacer.png" title="Spacer" class="aligncenter" width="300" height="15" />"Some Enchanted Evening" sung by Barbra Streisand<script type="text/javascript" src="http://cdn.widgetserver.com/syndication/subscriber/InsertWidget.js"></script><script type="text/javascript">if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('f742ae0e-579d-4e51-8379-5bd20068f228');</script><noscript>Get the <a href="http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/mp3">Mp3 Player Widget</a> Not seeing a widget? (<a href="http://docs.widgetbox.com/using-widgets/installing-widgets/why-cant-i-see-my-widget/">More info</a>)</noscript><img alt="" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/upload2010/spacer/spacer.png" title="Spacer" class="aligncenter" width="300" height="15" />"You'll Never Walk Alone" sung by Gerry and The Pacemakers<div><script src="http://cdn.widgetserver.com/syndication/subscriber/InsertWidget.js" type="text/javascript"></script><script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('335f4387-d65b-4c9e-8cdf-b9975c563f97');// ]]></script><noscript>Get the <a href="http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/mp3">Mp3 Player Widget</a> Not seeing a widget? (<a href="http://docs.widgetbox.com/using-widgets/installing-widgets/why-cant-i-see-my-widget/">More info</a>)</noscript></div><div> <object width="400" height="300" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/10150156538330612" /><embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/10150156538330612" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="300"></embed></object></div><div> <object width="400" height="226" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/10150093414640612" /><embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/10150093414640612" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="226"></embed></object></div> How Do You Find The Word That Means Maria http://www.rnh.com/blog/8/How-Do-You-Find-The-Word-That-Means-Maria 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_8 <p>"These are a few of my favorite things" These words are sung around the globe, in thousands of productions of <a title="THE SOUND OF MUSIC" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_detail.asp?id=SM&s=1">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> every year. But there are many productions in which these words are never uttered. In the Netherlands, where a tour of <a title="THE SOUND OF MUSIC" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_detail.asp?id=SM&s=1">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> is currently <a title="THE SOUND OF MUSIC in The Netherlands" href="http://www.soundofmusicgoud.nl/">running through June 13th</a>, Dat is nou iets waar ik zielsveel van hou❠is sung instead. Directly translated it means, That is now something that I deeply love.</p> <p>In Brazil, where <a title="The King and I" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=KI&s=1">THE KING AND I</a> is <a title="THE SOUND OF MUSIC in Brazil" href="www.oreieeu.com.br/">playing through May 30th</a>. Instead of "Getting to know you, getting to know all about you", they sing, “A sua vidaé a lição mais querida” which translates to, “Your life is my dearest lesson”.</p> <p>So, let's take a language lesson from our colleagues overseas. Your friends will be amazed at how fast you picked up Dutch when you ask them to pass the “slagroom op strudels at your next dinner party. You may not be able to converse fluently after this lesson, but it’s a very good place to start.</p> <p><strong>R&H to Dutch:</strong></p> <p>Roses= Rozen</p> <p>Copper= Koperen</p> <p>Summer=Zomers</p> <p>Clock = Klokken</p> <p>Spring = Lente</p> <p>Dog= hond</p> <p>Papers = Kranten</p> <p>Dearly = Zielsveel</p> <p>Love = Hou</p> <p>Fear= Angst</p> <p>Horse = Paarden</p> <p>Trotting = Dravend</p> <table border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="407"><tbody><tr><td width="250"><strong>“IET WAAR IK ZIELSVEL VAN HOU”</strong><p></p> <p class="caps"><strong>MARIA</strong><br /> Blaadjes van rozen en krakende kranten</p> <p>Koperen ketels en warm wollen wanten</p> <p>Pakjes verpakt met papier en met touw.</p> <p class="caps">Dat is nou iets waar ik zielsveel van hou.</p> <p class="caps">Dravende paarden en slagroom op strudels</p> <p>Klokken die luiden en schnitzel met noedels</p> <p>Gras dat bedekt is met druppels van dauw</p> <p>Dat is nou iets waar ik zielsveel van hou.</p> <p class="caps">Zomers een lied dat ik zing in de weiden,</p> <p>’s Winters een slee om mee sleetje te rijden.</p> <p>Lente na maanden dat winterse grauw</p> <p>Dat is nou iets waar ik zielsveel van hou.</p> <p class="caps">Als de hond bijt</p> <p>Als de bij steekt</p> <p>Werkt het zo voor mij:</p> <p>Dan denk ik aan waar ik zo zielsveel van hou</p> <p>En gaat al mijn angst voorbi</p></td> <td width="250"><strong>“SOMETHING THAT I DEEPLY LOVE”</strong> <br /> <p class="caps"><strong>MARIA</strong><br /> Petals of roses and rustling papers</p> <p class="caps">Copper kettles and warm woolen mittens</p> <p>Packages wrapped with paper and string.</p> <p class="caps">That is now something that I deeply love.</p> <p class="caps"></p><p class="caps">Trotting horses and whipped cream on strudels</p> <p class="caps">Bells that ring and schnitzel with noodles</p> <p>Grass that is covered with drops of dew</p> <p>That is now something that I deeply love.</p> <p class="caps"></p><p class="caps"></p><p class="caps">In Summer a song that I sing in the meadows,</p> <p>In Winter a sledge to go sledge driving.</p> <p>Spring, after months of that wintery grey</p> <p>That is now something that I deeply love.</p> <p class="caps"></p><p class="caps">When the dog bites</p> <p>When the bee stings</p> <p>It works like this for me:</p> <p>Then I think about what I so deeply love.</p> <p><span class="caps"> And then all my fears pass over</span></p></td></tr></tbody></table> <p><strong>R&H to Portugeuse</strong></p> <p>Life= Vida</p> <p>Adage = Ditado</p> <p>Feel = Sinto</p> <p>World = Mundo</p> <p>New = Novo</p> <p>Heart = Coração</p> <p>Book = Livro</p> <p>Sudden = Repente</p> <p>Signs = Sinais</p> <p>You = Vocês</p> <p>I = Eu</p> <p>Breathe = Respiro</p> <p>Explore = Exploro</p> <p><strong>GETTING TO KNOW YOU”</strong></p> <table border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="582"><tbody><tr><td width="200"><strong>A SUA VIDA”</strong> <p class="font2"><strong><br /> </strong></p> <p class="font2"><strong>ANNA</strong><br /> UM DITADO JÁ DIZIA</p> <p>QUE UM MESTRE SABE MAIS</p> <p>QUANDO APRENDE COM OS ALUNOS</p> <p>E DECIFRA OS SEUS SINAIS!</p> <p>E EU PORTANTO AGORA SINTO</p> <p>QUE É CHEGADA A MINHA VEZ</p> <p>DE ENXERGAR UM MUNDO NOVO</p> <p>QUE à  A VIDA DE VOCÊSâ</p> <p class="font2">(falado) Conhecer  vocÃs!</p> <p class="font2">A SUA VIDA</p> <p>É A LIÇÃO MAIS QUERIDA</p> <p>O SEU ENCANTO</p> <p>DENTRO DE CADA EXPRESSÃO</p> <p>VOU ESTUDANDO, E QUANDO MAIS EU EXPLORO</p> <p>MAIS EU ADORO</p> <p>SEU CORAÇÃO!</p> <p class="font2">A SUA VIDA</p> <p>É PARA MIM COMO UM LIVRO</p> <p>ONDE EU ME PERCO PARA DEPOIS ME ENCONTRAR</p> <p>E DE REPENTE</p> <p>SINTO NO AR QUE EU RESPIRO</p> <p>UM MUNDO NOVO VINDO DE VOCÊS</p> <p>VEM SAINDO DE VOCÊS</p> <p>ME LEVAR!</p></td> <td width="250"><strong>YOUR LIFE”</strong> <p><strong><br /> </strong></p> <p class="font3"><strong>ANNA</strong><br /> AN ADAGE USED TO SAY</p> <p>A TEACHER BECOMES WISER</p> <p>WHEN HE LEARNS WITH THE STUDENTS</p> <p>AND DECODES THEIR SIGNS!</p> <p>AND, THEREFORE, I NOW FEEL</p> <p>IT'S NOW MY TURN</p> <p>TO DISCOVER A NEW WORLD</p> <p>WHICH IS YOUR WAY OF LIFE</p> <p class="font3">(spoken) Getting to know you!</p> <p class="font3">YOUR LIFE</p> <p>IS MY DEAREST LESSON</p> <p>ITS MAGIC</p> <p>IN EVERY WAY IT IS EXPRESSED</p> <p>I AM OBSERVING, AND THE MORE</p> <p>I EXPLORE IT</p> <p>MORE I ADORE</p> <p>THOSE HEARTS OF YOURS!</p> <p class="font3">YOUR LIFE</p> <p>IS FOR ME LIKE A BOOK</p> <p>WHERE I CAN LOSE MYSELF</p> <p>AND THEN I FIND MYSELF AGAIN</p> <p>ALL OF A SUDDEN</p> <p>I FEEL IN THE AIR I’M BREATHING</p> <p>A BRAND NEW WORLD COMING FROM YOU</p> <p>IT COMES POURING OUT OF YOU</p> <p><span class="font3"> TO SWEEP ME AWAY!</span></p></td></tr></tbody></table> There's No Business Like Show Business http://www.rnh.com/blog/7/There-039-s-No-Business-Like-Show-Business 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_7 <div id="attachment_50" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 200px;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/AnnieGetYourGun_Goodspeed_Rehearsal2.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-50" title="AnnieGetYourGun_Goodspeed_Rehearsal2" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/AnnieGetYourGun_Goodspeed_Rehearsal2-200x300.jpg" alt="ANNIE GET YOUR GUN at Goodspeed Musicals" width="200" height="300" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">Jenn Gambatese as Annie Oakley</p></div> <p>From Goodspeed Landing, Connecticut. So <a title="License ANNIE GET YOUR GUN" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=AN2&s=1">ANNIE GET YOU GUN</a> was put before an audience last Friday, and the crowd enjoyed it immensely. Funny thing about <a title="Goodspeed Musicals" href="http://www.goodspeed.org/">Goodspeed Musicals</a> – the system there is so well oiled, that the first performance in front of an audience behaved like an opening night, with many members of the Board of Trustees (I’m one) celebrating afterwards along with the cast and creative staff and even a reporter from the Hartford Courant. And the cast was ready for an audience, finding the laughs, some of which were clearly a little surprising. (I had a feeling by Saturday’s matinee there would be a handful more…it’s so funny that no matter what the reaction is without an audience, there are always surprises to be found, even if you know the material…and think you know where the laughs are…) Now I can say it publically: the production is a delight. I’m impressed with the caliber of the cast that Goodspeed assembled, from Jenn Gambatese (Annie) and Kevin Earley (Frank Butler) right down to the three children who play Annie’s ragamuffins. And the physical production is grand. Anyone who has stood on that tiny stage – and while I don’t know the actual dimensions, I can say that the first time I ever stood on it I thought, “how do they ever do productions up here?” – it’s pretty miraculous what they have accomplished. So <a title="Annie Oakley" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=A_Oakley&s=1">Annie Oakley</a> and Frank Butler and their cast of cronies have planted their tents on the side of the Connecticut River until June 27th. And they’ll battle it out eight times a week. And, of course, the winner of the shooting match is… well…</p> <p style="text-align: center;"></p><div id="attachment_51" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 200px;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/AnnieGetYourGun_Goodspeed_Rehearsal1.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-51 " title="AnnieGetYourGun_Goodspeed_Rehearsal1" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/AnnieGetYourGun_Goodspeed_Rehearsal1-200x300.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="300" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">Jenn Gambatese and Kevin Early as Annie Oakley and Frank Butler</p></div> <iframe src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Frnhmailer.com%2Fblog%2F2010%2F04%2Ftheres-no-business-like-show-business%2F&layout=standard&show_faces=true&width=450&action=like&colorscheme=light&height=80" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe><script src="http://cdn.gigya.com/wildfire/JS/WFButtonV2.js?b=click&w=250&h=220&theme=6&btnURL=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.gigya.com%2Fwildfire%2Fi%2Fshare-button.gif&localConfig=%3Cconfig%3E%3Cdisplay%20showEmail%3D%22true%22%20showBookmarks%3D%22true%22%20showPost%3D%22false%22%3E%3C%2Fdisplay%3E%3Cbody%3E%3Ccontrols%3E%3Csnbuttons%20iconsOnly%3D%22true%22%20%2F%3E%3C%2Fcontrols%3E%3C%2Fbody%3E%3C%2Fconfig%3E&defaultBookmarkURL=http%3A%2F%2Frnhmailer.com%2Fblog%2F2010%2F04%2Ftheres-no-business-like-show-business%2F&emailBody=I%20just%20read%20%3Ca%20href%3D%22http%3A%2F%2Frnhmailer.com%2Fblog%2F2010%2F04%2Ftheres-no-business-like-show-business%2F%22%3EThere%26%238217%3Bs%20No%20Business%20Like%20Show%20Business%3C%2Fa%3E%20on%20The%20Rodgers%20%26amp%3B%20Hammerstein%20Organization.%3Cbr%20%2F%3E%3Cbr%20%2F%3E%24userMsg%24&partner=671981&lang=en"></script><span id="wildfireButton_0"><img id="Wildfire_Button0" style="cursor: pointer;" title="Post to my social network or blog" src="http://cdn.gigya.com/wildfire/i/share-button.gif" border="0" alt="Post to my social network or blog" /></span><!-- <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:trackback="http://madskills.com/public/xml/rss/module/trackback/"> <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/04/theres-no-business-like-show-business/" dc:identifier="http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/04/theres-no-business-like-show-business/" dc:title="There’s No Business Like Show Business" trackback:ping="http://rnhmailer.com/blog/2010/04/theres-no-business-like-show-business/trackback/" /> </rdf:RDF> --> <p class="post_tags">Tagged as: <a rel="tag nofollow" href="http://rnhmailer.com/blog/tag/annie-get-your-gun/">Annie Get Your Gun</a>, <a rel="tag nofollow" href="http://rnhmailer.com/blog/tag/irving-berlin/">Irving Berlin</a></p> Annie Get Your Gun in Rehearsals http://www.rnh.com/blog/6/Annie-Get-Your-Gun-in-Rehearsals 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_6 <p>“I feel like I’m in the middle of a movie!” She was surrounded by an orchestra – and they wereplaying a ravishing”I Got Lost In His Arms.” She, of course,was Jenn Gambetese and the scene was a play-through of the score of Goodspeed’s production of <a title="License ANNIE GET YOUR GUN" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=AN2&s=1">ANNIE GET YOUR GUN</a>.When we see a musical we kind of take the orchestra for granted, but when everyone connected with the production gets to hear the orchestra for the first time,it’s always exciting. For every ravishing moment there are alwaysseveral “what note is the clarinet playing on the third beat of bar 74?” That’s the point of the rehearsal – to get everything right somusic can be created out ofindividual notes played by individual instruments. By the end of the evening, music was indeed being made. And now they have days of technical rehearsals, adding costumes, scenery, lighting, sound, etc. <a title="Annie Get Your Gun at Goodspeed Musicals" href="http://www.goodspeed.org/show_detail.aspx?id=2110">First performance: next Friday</a>.</p> <p>- Ted Chapin</p> Annie Get Your Gun at Goodspeed Musicals http://www.rnh.com/blog/4/Annie-Get-Your-Gun-at-Goodspeed-Musicals 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_4 <div id="attachment_37" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 140px;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Jenn-Gambatese-is-Annie-Oakley-in-Goodspeed-Musicals-ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN-Photo-by-Diane-Sobolewski.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-37 " title="Annie Get Your Gun" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Jenn-Gambatese-is-Annie-Oakley-in-Goodspeed-Musicals-ANNIE-GET-YOUR-GUN-Photo-by-Diane-Sobolewski-200x300.jpg" alt="Jenn Gambatese is Annie Oakley in Irving Berlin's ANNIE GET YOUR GUN" width="140" height="210" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">Jenn Gambatese is Annie Oakley in Goodspeed Musicals production of Irving Berlin's ANNIE GET YOUR GUN photo credit: Diane Sobolewski</p></div> <p>On Sunday I happened upon the first run-through of Goodspeed Musicals’ season opener:<a title="Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=AN2&s=1"> Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun</a>. Now first run-throughs are always knuckle-biting for the artists involved and fascinating for outsiders – but without divulging too much, this one was great fun. Goodspeed is doing the version from the recent revival, and it has two leads with Broadway pedigree: Jenn Gambatese as Annie and Kevin Earley as Frank Butler. It is always amazing to see how directors are able to make Goodspeed’s postage-stamp sized stage feel like a grand arena, and even in the rehearsal room you could see that director Rob Ruggiero and choreographer Noah Racey are up to the challenge. Nice also to see among the occupiers of the few folding chairs set up for the few outsiders Connecticut senator Chris Dodd – a Goodspeed neighbor – and his two young daughters. It’s always great to see youngsters enthralled by good stories well told – not to mention see them enjoy a few good tunes!</p> <p><a title="Tickets for Annie Get Your Gun" href="http://www.goodspeed.org/show_detail.aspx?id=2110">The show begins performances on April 16th</a>. Can’t wait…</p> <p>- <a title="Ted Chapin Bio" href="http://www.rnh.com/people_detail.asp?sub=bio&div=people&id=T_Chapin&s=1">Ted Chapin</a></p> <p><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Jenn-Gambatese-as-Annie-Oakley-with-Jessie-Nellie-Little-Jake-Joy-Rachel-Del-Valle-Griffin-Birney-Marissa-Smoker-Photo-by-Diane-Sobolewski.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-38" title="Annie Get Your Gun" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Jenn-Gambatese-as-Annie-Oakley-with-Jessie-Nellie-Little-Jake-Joy-Rachel-Del-Valle-Griffin-Birney-Marissa-Smoker-Photo-by-Diane-Sobolewski-271x300.jpg" alt="Annie Get Your Gun at Goodspeed Musicals" width="217" height="240" /></a></p> The Sound Of Music In Salzburg - day 2 http://www.rnh.com/blog/2/The-Sound-Of-Music-In-Salzburg-day-2 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_2 <p>Gruss Gott! Greetings from a cold but sunny and glorious Salzburg for Day Two of our Fox Blu-ray filming sessions. It has been crazy fun, running up and down this ancient city, and seeming to climb ev’ry mountain along the way. Steven Smith and his dream team from Trailer Park Productions are finding great new angles, and sensational interviews, to give the Fox Blu-ray of <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1" target="_blank">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> an array of content, the likes of which even diehard SOUND OF MUSIC fans haven’t seen before.</p> <p>We started the day at Mirabellplatz, right behind the beautiful Mirabelle Gardens. Twice each day, <a href="http://www.panoramatours.com/Offer.fc?DISPATCH_METHOD=LoadOfferContent&o_content=soundofmusic/index" target="_blank">Panorama Tours</a> sends out its popular <a title="Sound of Music Tour" href="http://www.panoramatours.com/Offer.fc?DISPATCH_METHOD=LoadOfferContent&o_content=soundofmusic/index" target="_blank">ORIGINAL SOUND OF MUSIC TOUR</a>, and we tagged along for part of the ride. We met fans from England, Scotland, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, Japan, Sweden and Americans. We got off the bus at its very first stop, at the incredibly beautiful lakeside palace called Schloss Leopoldskron. This stunning chateau never appears in the film, but its gorgeous lakeside grounds certainly do – as the film von Trapps’ “backyard.”</p> <div id="attachment_25" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 158px;"><img class="size-medium wp-image-25 " title="frohnburg" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/frohnburg1-300x168.jpg" alt="" width="158" height="88" /> <p class="wp-caption-text">Here's Walter, our tour guide from Panorama tours, in traditional Austrian garb, standing with me in front of Schloss Frohnburg -- a beautiful Salzburg palace used as the front and back of the von Trapp villa.</p></div> <p>We filmed in and around Leopoldskron, and caught up with Stefan Herzl, President of Panorama Tours, and himself a native Salzburger, who talked about what this city means to him, and what <a href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1" target="_blank">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> means to his city. We also chatted with Georg Steinitz, who served as an Assistant Director to Robert Wise while the film was on location in Salzburg, Summer 1964. Steinitz had some wonderful stories to share about the filming (both Steven Smith and I consider ourselves fairly well versed in SOUND OF MUSIC esoteria, and he caught us by surprise a few times!)</p> <p>We spent the early afternoon at a very special place: Nonnberg Abbey. This 8<sup>th</sup> Century Benedictine Nunnery is the oldest in the German-speaking world; the real Maria was a novice here, and was married here. In 1964, the then Mother Abbess allowed Robert Wise to film several key scenes here. The current Mother Abbess spoke on camera about the amazing history of this thirteen-hundred year old nunnery, and of one especially famous novice who spent a few life-changing years here.</p> <div id="attachment_26" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 134px;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/abtissin1.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-26 " title="abtissin" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/abtissin1-168x300.jpg" alt="" width="134" height="240" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">The Mother Abbess of Nonnberg Abbey and I are standing inside the thousand year old chapel of this ancient Nunnery, in the very place where the real Maria and Captain married in 1927.</p></div> <p>Like Georg Steinitz, Ute Herzog is another Salzburger with unique recollections of the adventures that went on during filming here. Frau Herzog served as publicity assistant to the film’s (evidently) tireless PR man, Mike Kaplan more than 45 summers ago. We caught up with Frau Herzog at Frohnburg, the palace with a distinctive front and back (painted in the ubiquitous “Hapsburg yellow” of this region) that stood in for the facades of the von Trapp villa. She had more great stories for us about the making of this musical movie classic, which evidently had as much press attention then as it still enjoys to this day!</p> <p>On to our next stop…</p> <p>In the park of the fairy tale palace Hellbrunn we found SOUND OF MUSIC fans making pilgrimage to the gazebo built by Fox for the film, and left behind when the crew flew back to LA. These many years later, fans cluster around its famed glass doors and peer in, as if they might see Rolf and Liesl dancing together.</p> <p>And speaking of parks – we made our way to the gorgeous Mirabelle Gardens in the heart of Salzburg. Here, Wise & Co. filmed the most iconic moments for “Do Re Mi” – including the chase through the arbor, the posing between statues, and the finale atop the Gardens’ steps. We had a chance to see the Mirabelle Gardens through the eyes a Fox camera once again.</p> <p>“The sun has gone to bed and so must I,” sings Gretl. The sun had set on another magical day in Salzburg, and we had captured more special moments for the Fox Blu-ray. Adieu adieu (for now!) – Bert Fink</p> <div id="_mcePaste" style="overflow: hidden; position: absolute; left: -10000px; top: 179px; width: 1px; height: 1px;">Our Fox team and I couldn’t get anywhere around Salzburg without the invaluable help of our Austrian-Australian guide, Walter Gruber of Panorama Tours. Here’s Walter, in traditional Austrian garb, standing with me in front of Schloss Frohnburg — a beautiful Salzburg palace used as the front and back of the von Trapp villa.</div> The Sound of Music in Salzburg - Grusses aus Salzburg! http://www.rnh.com/blog/1/The-Sound-of-Music-in-Salzburg-Grusses-aus-Salzburg 3abf32b9f8f2086fa1cff9e0260843e1f6c66ca4_1 <p>Grusses aus Salzburg! Greetings from Salzburg, Austria. The City of Music, the City of Mozart, the City of <a title="The Sound Of Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1" target="_self">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a>. It was here that a young novice named Maria first met the widower Captain von Trapp and his seven children, and it was from here that their story began, eventually to become a best-selling memoir, a German-language film, a Broadway musical, and the most successful movie musical in history.</p> <p>Today is March 2. How perfect! 45 years ago today, <a title="The Sound Of Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1" target="_self">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> film gave its world premiere at the Rivoli Theater in New York. On March 2, 2010, I find myself  in this enchanting valley joined by a phenomenal film team from 20th Century Fox. We are here to create all-new interactive programming for the just-announced premiere Blu-ray edition of <a title="The Sound Of Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1" target="_self">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a> coming for Christmas 2010.</p> <p>Today was only Day #1 of our three-day shoot, and it was already jam-packed: a morning interview with Heinz Schaden, the Mayor of Salzburg, in his resplendent offices in the Baroque Palace Mirabelle overlooking the same-named gardens where the final sequence of “Do Re Mi” was filmed. Then on to the Felstenreitschule – “the Rock Riding School,” an amazing structure that had once been stables carved out of mountain rock, turned into a concert stage. It is here where the real Trapp Family Singers performed in 1935, and it is also here where Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Co. filmed the “Edelweiss” concert sequence.</p> <p>Next, we dashed across the Alt Stadt – the Old City – to climb Monchsberg (“Monk’s Mountain”) and the famed Winkler Terrace, where Julie and the kids filmed the middle sequence of “Do Re Mi” (“…so we put in words, like this!”) Today was a bit cloudy as a storm came in, but it didn’t matter: I have seen this view in all kinds of weather and it always takes my breath away.</p> <div id="attachment_11" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 195px;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/bfwinkler1.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-11" title="bfwinkler" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/bfwinkler1-300x172.jpg" alt="Salzburg" width="195" height="111" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">Bert Fink in Salzburg</p></div> <p>Were we done for the day? Not even close. Over to the Friedhof, or graveyard, at St. Peter’s Church. This solemn and dignified burial ground does not appear in the film, but it is clear (and documented) that production designer Boris Levin was inspired by its grillwork and grave stones when he created the Nonnberg cemetery set on a backlot at Fox.</p> <p>Residenzplatz: a charming medieval square in the heart of old Salzburg, and featured twice in <a title="The Sound Of Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1" target="_self">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a>. Once, a scene of great joy, as Maria (Julie) cavorts past its large horse fountain, playfully splashing the sculptured beasts (while up-screen, through an archway, we spy the real Maria von Trapp in a a Hitchockian cameo). The other – a grim recreation of the Anschluss, or Nazi Annexation of Austria. Even today, 65 years after the end of World War II, history is very much alive in these ancient streets as we filmed another sequence there.</p> <p>And finally, a homecoming: fans of R&H will recall reports from several years ago as the Salzburg Marionettes – who inspire the film’s “Lonely Goatherd” scene but don’t actually appear in the movie – created their own marionette version of <a title="The Sound Of Music" href="http://www.rnh.com/show_synopsis.asp?id=SM&s=1" target="_self">THE SOUND OF MUSIC</a>, imaginatively directed by Richard Hamburger. We got to visit our dear friend Professor Gretl Aicher, grand-daughter of the founder of this nearly century old marionette theater, and we also got to hang around with a new friend – the marionette Maria. She was made of wood, she was hung together by strings, but when you looked into her eyes, she was absolutely alive.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Signing off from Salzburg! — BERT FINK</p> <div id="attachment_9" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 185px;"><a href="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/bert-with-Maria-marionette.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-9" title="Bert Fink with Maria" src="http://rodgersandhammersteincom.s3.amazonaws.com/modules/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/bert-with-Maria-marionette-276x300.jpg" alt="Bert Fink with Maria" width="185" height="201" /></a> <p class="wp-caption-text">Bert Fink with Maria, star of the Salzburg Marionette Theatre production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC</p></div>