Saturday, March 31, 2007
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO RODGER & HAMMERSTEIN'S "OKLAHOMA"
On this day in 1943, the greatest musical theatre collaboration began as Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma made its premiere on Broadway in 1943. Nineteen songs by R&H plus a full fifteen minute ballet at the end of Act One created by the amazing choreographer Agnes De Mille helped make this musical the legend it has become. Does anyone know that the original title of this musical was "Away We Go!" -- I don't think that title would have gone well. Most of the productions of this classic musical usually exclude a big powerful ballad sung by Jud in Act One called "The Lonely Room". This is a big powerful beautiful piece sung by the villain. It really makes you empathetic with his cause. The R&H library is now requiring it to be included in any new production of the piece or they will not license the musical to be done. By the way, Happy 73rd birthday to the star of the movie "Oklahoma" -- Shirley Jones who turns seventy-three years young today. Today also in 1968, Lyndon Johnson refused to run for another term as President of the United States. I was watching that broadcast back then and I remember just how shocked I was when I heard those words "I will not seek and I will not accept another term as your president!" Wow-- was that a shocker! The re-write on "The Traveling Companion" has begun and the storyboard approach is going to be implemented before a word of new libretto is typed out by me. So "Away We Go" on the big rewrite-- wish me well!