The duo’s shows boast catchy songs but pose problems for directors. As South Pacific and Carousel return this summer, our writer looks back on enchanted evenings with the odd couple’s musicals
South Pacific opens at Chichester Festival theatre this month and Carousel comes to the Open Air theatre in Regent’s Park in August. The musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein are always with us but what does their ubiquity tell us? Should they be seen as comforting box-office bankers or is there some pathfinding element in their work we have lost sight of?
The smart thing to say is that Rodgers was at his best in his earlier collaboration with the lyricist Lorenz Hart, writing shows such as The Boys from Syracuse and Pal Joey that are defiant, sexy and urban. It is a view fiercely articulated by David Hajdu in a 2002 article in the New York Review of Books: “Anyone tempted to dismiss Richard Rodgers’ work as theme-park Americana, children’s music or camp is likely thinking of the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein.”
from The Guardian https://ift.tt/2TBQ85D
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