Friday, June 5, 2015

And their creators...

 Composer/Lyricist Jerry Herman
with Carol Channing (above) during the production of Hello Dolly!, 1964,
and Charles Nelson Reilly, one of Jerry's favorites,
working on Parade, 1960.
 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstien, the 2nd...
Previously Richard had worked for more than 20 years with Lorenz Hart,
writing shows like A Connecticut Yankee, Babes in Arms and Pal Joey.
Oscar had worked with Jerome Kern on Sunny and Show Boat,
and Sigmund Romburg on The Desert Song.

 Their partnership lasted for almost two decades,
and brought us Oklahoma!, Carousel, State Fair, The King and I,
South Pacific, Allegro, Cinderella, Flower Drum Song, and The Sound of Music...
not too shabby.

 Frank Loesser started out writing lyrics for popular songs, 
like "Heart and Soul" and "Two Sleepy People."
During his service time in WW2, he began writing shows...
his first show on Broadway was Where's Charlie? with Ray Bolger.
Guys and Dolls followed on apace...the rest is history!

Stephen Sondheim 
(below with Tony Perkins, who initially was going to star in Company)
was mentored by family friend, Oscar Hammerstein...
Oscar asked to see one of Stephen's college musicals, said it was rubbish,
but followed that up with,
"but if you'd like to see why it's horrible, I'll tell you."
That was the beginning of Sondheim's musical theatre education.
He began writing lyrics for shows like Gypsy and West Side Story,
until he found his own musical style.

 John Kander, Liza, Fred Ebb, and Chita Rivera...
two of Kander and Ebb's favorite ladies to write for.
Cabaret and Chicago were their biggest hits,
although they also wrote for television (Liza's specials)
and movie scores (like New York, New York).

One of John's first jobs was as rehearsal pianist for West Side Story.
Fred? He bronzed baby shoes! 
But once they met, they wrote over 20 musicals,
including Zorba, Flora The Red Menace,
Woman Of The Year, Steel Pier, and Curtains.

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