Regarding Broadway: Part Two - The Golden Years

by Lynne Warfel
June 10, 2014

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Richard Rodgers (left) and Oscar Hammerstein II (Wikimedia Commons)

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While Showboat was a harbinger of things to come on the Broadway stage, the form of the musical was in flux until Rodgers collaborated with Hammerstein and Oklahoma rang in the 1940s.

It was radical and different from anything audiences had ever seen before. Then the floodgates opened completely with shows like Carousel, South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, Kismet, and Kiss Me Kate (the first Tony award winner). The 1950s ended with The Sound of Music.

And in 1957 West Side Story pushed the envelope again, and introduced Broadway to Stephen Sondheim. American Musical Theater was defined.

Playlist

Rodgers and Hammerstein: "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" from Oklahoma

Laurence Guittard and Orchestra

Rodgers and Hammerstein: Overture, "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught" and Finale from South Pacific

Mary Martin, Ezio Pinza and Williams Tabbert

Bernstein: "Times Square 1944" from On the Town

Bernstein/Israel Philharmonic

Styne/Sondheim: "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy

Ethel Merman

Porter: "Another Openin'", "Another Show/Brush Up Your Shakespeare" from Kiss Me, Kate

Lorenzo Fuller, Aloysius Donovan and Alexis Dubroff

Loesser: "Fugue for Tinhorns" and "Adelaide's Lament" from Guys and Dolls

Stubby Kaye, Johnny Silver and Vivian Blaine

Lerner and Lowe: "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" from My Fair Lady

Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison

Bernstein/Sondheim: Prologue from West Side Story

The Jets and Orchestra

Willson: Finale from The Music Man

Robert Preston and Barbara Cook