A Grand Night for Singing
A Grand Night for Singing
Music by Rodgers, Richard | Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II | Music Arrangements by Fred Wells | Conceived By Walter Bobbie
Taste and imagination, the two key ingredients for a first-rate revue, abound in this fresh take on the Rodgers & Hammerstein canon conceived by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie. Over three decades after the duo's final collaboration, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, took the Great White Way by storm, it was in fact this new R&H musical that opened the 1994 Broadway season with flair and distinction, garnering wildly enthusiastic notices as well as earning two Tony nominations, including Best Musical. Here at R&H, our founding fathers probably never imagined 'Shall We Dance?' as a comic pas de deux for a towering beauty and her diminutive admirer, nor did they suspect that one day a lovelorn young lad might pose the musical question, 'How do you solve a problem like Maria?' But that's precisely the kind of invention lavished upon this new revue, with innovative musical arrangements including a sultry Andrews Sisters-esque 'I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out-a My Hair,' a swingin' 'Honeybun' worthy of the Modernaires, and a jazzy 'Kansas City' which leaves no question about how terrifically up to date the remarkable songs of R&H remain.
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About The Show

History for A Grand Night for Singing

Production Info


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News for A Grand Night for Singing

Trivia for A Grand Night for Singing

In 1994, the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical revue A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING closed on Broadway after 52 performances and three Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical and Best Book.
In 1993, A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING, a musical revue of Rodgers & Hammerstein's songs, opened on Broadway at Criterion Second Stage Right. It ran for 52 performances and received three Tony Award nominations.

 Press for A Grand Night for Singing

  • Quotes
"A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING is enough to restore one's faith in the future of the revue and the durability of Rodgers & Hammerstein. It gives the material the kind of thoughtful rethinking it has long deserved." — USA Today
"A splendiferous show of songs, a terrific compendium. Everything's up to date with Rodgers and Hammerstein is indeed a grand night!" — New York Post

Musical Numbers for A Grand Night for Singing

Song #
Song Name
Character Name
Play
Other Versions

Q & A with GRAND NIGHT Director Walter Bobbie:

"How Do You Hold a Moonbeam in Your Hand?"

(And Other Challenges of Creating a Rodgers & Hammerstein Revue)

When Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II's A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING opened at the Roundabout Theatre on November 17, 1993, it marked the first time that the songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein had been presented on Broadway in a revue format. Dozens of the team's brethren—from Cole Porter and Noel Coward to Stephen Sondheim and Jerry Herman—had been celebrated in musical revues, so why did it take so long—fifty years in fact—for Rodgers & Hammerstein to get a showcase of their own?

The duo set musical theatre on a new course when they created OKLAHOMA! in 1943, making the songs work for the story instead of the other way around. They were the unlikeliest of pioneers ("Songwriters, eh?" Groucho once cracked while grilling them on national TV; "You look like a couple of chiropractors!") whose achievements reverberate to this day. Their songs became standards, but are so clearly borne out of detailed situations and richly-drawn characters that re-establishing them in brand-new contexts can be awfully tricky.

A Rorschach test: I say "Honey Bun"—you see Mary Martin in an oversized sailor suit. "Cain't Say No"—gingham and Oklahoma haystacks. Who can hear "Shall We Dance?" without instantly seeing Anna take the King for a whirl across the Imperial Ballroom? And how do you solve a problem like Maria without those four nuns kvetching about their troublesome, lovable novice? Well, in that case, if you're Walter Bobbie creating A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING, you conceive it as the lament of a lovelorn lad.

Tapped for the plum assignment of shaping an evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein songs, Walter Bobbie decided to start at the very beginning. Since Hammerstein always wrote the lyrics first, that meant turning to his words for inspiration, which lead Bobbie to the very clean, very fresh pages of Hammerstein's compendium, Lyrics. "Reading the words," says Bobbie, "without characters, scenes or situations, ideas just began to click. I was reading "Many a New Day" and I thought, 'Wow listen to that—it sounds like a women's support group!' and 'Something Wonderful'—that song is incredibly modern and insightful. It could be a Hillary Clinton, or any other extremely strong woman who is attracted to an equally strong man, a person of power."

"I think because Hammerstein wrote from the inside out, I never tried to force an idea on a number. When an idea naturally sprang from within the lyric, then it seemed legitimate to me. I knew I couldn't lose the heart of the songs, and I discovered that as long as we didn't betray the integrity of the writing, new ways of hearing the songs could emerge. And as they emerged, so did the structure of our show."

Bobbie developed GRAND NIGHT with musical director and arranger Fred Wells. They pored over scores for all eleven R&H musicals; they waded through the archives at the R&H office in Manhattan, sniffing for trunk songs and rarities; they noodled at the piano. The process took several months as, gradually, the revue took shape, with an initial viewing high atop Radio City at Rainbow & Stars.

"We wanted the evening to be romantic," says Bobbie, "an emotional journey through the various stages of love. We would begin with the dawning of romance—young infatuation and the awakenings of real love: 'The Surrey With the Fringe on Top' became a great pick-up number. 'We Kiss in the Shadow' is about a clandestine romance. Numbers like 'Hello, Young Lover' and 'I Cain't Say No' fell into place as well."

From courtship and young love, the journey continues into commitment—or backing away from it. When the men advise the ladies 'Don't Marry Me,' the ladies respond with 'Many a New Day' and 'I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Outa My Hair.' Act I proceeds through the advent of true love.

"We constructed a medley to end the first act—a romantic triangle, really. A boy fumbles in his attempt to win the girl ('That's the Way It Happens') and loses her to another guy ('All at Once You Love Her'). Finally, when the boy is really down and out emotionally, we bring him a sense of hope, that message of incredible faith and optimism that runs through so much of Hammerstein's work ('Some Enchanted Evening')."

Bobbie insisted that he wasn't going to shoe-horn any songs into the revue. "I don't have a 'must use' list of hits,": he says. "It would have been too long anyhow. But in a moment like the one I've just described, with an emotional set up like that, how could you not use 'Some Enchanted Evening?' So the challenge here became figuring out why this song is so famous. What is it about these words? Many of these songs had to be heard as if for the first time, which is a great challenge and one that was worth the investment. When you really listen, this stuff crackles, and it crackles because it is still relevant."

The arc of GRAND NIGHT continues into mature love and relationships. "Getting married, having a family, raising children—we wanted to bring all that in," says Bobbie. ("I Know it Can Happen Again"; "When the Children are Asleep"; "My Little Girl") "The feelings expressed in these songs are so simple, so real, but they also convey the responsibilities and challenges of enduring love, as well as the pain. I wanted this show to 'grow up' emotionally, so that the same man who early in the evening is so beside himself singing 'Maria' has taken this surprising and obviously difficult journey to the feelings expressed in 'Love, Look Away.' And yet we wanted to leave the audience with a hopeful feeling about the nature of love itself."

"'Impossible' is certainly about hope, and beating the odds," Bobbie continues, "and 'I Have Dreamed' soars—it's supposed to take you up and out. Fred is a brilliant vocal arranger, and it was thrilling to watch him take an idea and structure it into a musical moment. The finale is essentially five simultaneous soliloquies about love. The cast isn't so much singing to one another any longer as they are singing to the audience, reaching out, celebrating the possibilities of love."

Surprisingly, Walter Bobbie had never directed a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical before he began work on A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING. In retrospect, that probably worked to his and the show's advantage. "The range of the writing, the emotional sophistication and insight was a constant revelation," he says. "There is such a powerful message of perseverance in their musicals, which is why the songs are so confident. The situations are about overcoming obstacles; the characters are survivors willing to throw themselves full throttle into emotional circumstance. There's no timidity about them—they fall in love, they get hurt, they don't apologize. They say, "Boy, did I love deeply. Boy, did I blow it. But I'm gonna move on, I'm gonna rise above it and fall in love again."


Awards for A Grand Night for Singing

Drama Desk Awards

January 01, 1994 — 1 Nomination for Outstanding Revue
January 01, 1994 — 1 Nomination for Outstanding Revue

Vocal Range of Characters:

Photos for A Grand Night for Singing

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Writers Notes for A Grand Night for Singing

Performance Tools for A Grand Night for Singing

Playbill VIP:

MAKE YOUR OWN PLAYBILL! Playbill VIP allows you to create your very own Playbill Program. We have provided Playbill with all of the credits, song listings, musical numbers and more so that most of the work is already done for you. Just add your productions details, photos of the cast and share it with all of your friends. Learn more: www.playbillvip.com


Rental Materials for A Grand Night for Singing

STANDARD

  • A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING - Orchestration Package (6 Books/6 Players)
    • 1 – PIANO CONDUCTOR SCORE
    • 1 – REED (Piccolo, Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax)
    • 1 – PERCUSSION (see "Materials Notes", under "Production Information")
    • 1 – CELLO
    • 1 – BASS
    • 1 – HARP (May be played on Synthesizer)
  • Rehearsal Set (12 Books)
    • 10 – Libretto/Vocal Books
    • 1 – Logo CD
    • 2 – PIANO CONDUCTOR SCORE
    • Digital Logo

ADDITIONAL

  • Libretto/Vocal Books 10 pack
    • 10 – Libretto/Vocal Books
  • GRAND NIGHT - PRE-PRODUCTION PACKAGE
    • 1 – Libretto/Vocal Books
    • 1 – PIANO CONDUCTOR SCORE

Cast Requirements for A Grand Night for Singing

PRINCIPALS
3 Women
2 Men

CHARACTERS
Martin - Leading Man, Baritone.
Lynne - Leading Lady, Soprano.
Victoria - Comic Ingenue, Second soprano.
Jason - Comic Juvenile, Tenor.
Alyson - Soubrette, Alto, Dancer.

Set Requirements for A Grand Night for Singing

A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING requires one unit set.

Materials Notes

Trap Set (Snare Drum, 2 Tom-Tom Drums, Bass Drum, Ride Cymbal, Suspended Cymbal, Hi-Hat, Sticks, Brushes, and Hard and Soft Mallets), Xylophone, Orchestra Bells (Glock), Marimba, Vibraphone, Chimes, Bell Tree, Mark Bells, Wind Chimes, Tubular Chimes, Triangles (2 Different Sizes), Castanets, Ratchet, Tambourine, 2 Wood Blocks, 2 Temple Blocks, Finger Cymbals.

Media Rights

Promotional

1. The Promotional Video shall be recorded and shown for the sole purposes of advertising your licensed production of the Play. For such a video, R&H allows theatres to film up to 10 minutes of total footage taken at either a performance or rehearsal (i.e.: 10 minutes of scripted moments.)

2. The Promotional Video may not include more than (i) 1 minute from any song or (ii) 3 minutes, in the aggregate, of footage of copyrighted material from the Play.

3. The Promotional Video may not include any sponsorship or underwriting without the prior consent of all R&H.

4. The Promotional Video must be submitted to R&H by sending the source video and video link to editor@rnh.com.

5. The Promotional Video must include the following: "Rights courtesy of Rodgers & Hammerstein, www.rnh.com"

6. Upon approval by R&H of the Promotional Video, you agree not to make any alterations in the approved copyrighted material used therein and you agree to obtain the prior written approval of R&H for any other use of the Promotional Video not specifically granted herein.

7. Upon termination of the Term, you shall cease to have any rights to use the Promotional Video including, without limitation, in connection with a future production of the Play, and shall immediately remove its content from any and all websites on the Internet.

8. You may not use a commercially available recording.

9. Any additional promotional rights must be approved by R&H by contactingTheatre@rnh.com.

 

*Promotional video rights can only be granted once a performance license for A Grand Night for Singing has been secured. Please contact customer service if you have any questions. If you have not yet applied for A Grand Night for Singing, you can do so here. LOG IN to learn more.

Archival

1. Subject to the information provided in Licensee’s application and payment of the fee as set forth in Paragraph 3 herein, Licensee shall have the right to create a single copy of the Video for internal archival, private viewing purposes at Licensee’s address only and shall not be re-copied, distributed or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed without the prior written approval of R&H. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Video shall not be (i) sold to anyone (ii) telecast by any television station or network, including, without limitation, any local cable station or (iii) distributed, exhibited or otherwise exploited over the Internet or as part of any online auction.

2. Licensee agrees to include the following language at the beginning of the Video:

©Year By R&H Theatricals. This production was videotaped by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals for archival purposes only. All Rights Reserved.

WARNING: Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, videotapes or videodiscs. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and may constitute a felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000.00 fine.

This Video is provided to you for private, organizational and home viewing purposes only. By accepting the Video, you agree not to authorize or permit the Video to be copied, distributed, broadcast, telecast or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed.

*You must be and licensed to present A Grand Night for Singing in order to license Archival rights. Please contact customer service with any questions.

Distribution

1. Licensee shall have the right to create the Video and to make up to one hundred (100) copies of the Video for sale at cost to its Members for internal archival, private viewing purpose at Licensee’s address and for private, home-viewing purpose by Members, and shall not be re-copied, distributed or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed without the prior written approval of R&H. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Video shall not be (i) sold to anyone other than the Members (ii) telecast by any television station or network, including, without limitation, any local cable station or (iii) distributed, exhibited or otherwise exploited over the Internet or as part of any online auction.

2. Licensee agrees to include the following language at the beginning of the Video:

©Year By R&H Theatricals. This production was videotaped by special arrangement with R&H Theatricals for archival purposes only. All Rights Reserved. WARNING: Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, videotapes or videodiscs. Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and may constitute a felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000.00 fine. This Video is provided to you for private, organizational and home viewing purposes only. By accepting the Video, you agree not to authorize or permit the Video to be copied, distributed, broadcast, telecast or otherwise exploited, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed.

*You must be and licensed to present A Grand Night for Singing in order to license Distribution rights. Please contact customer service with any questions.
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