November 15, 1998 |
Richard Rodgers may be the preeminent composer of the American musical theater. In his new biography, William G. Hyland calls him a "genius" and makes it seem pointless not to agree. It's not that Rodgers' legacy surpasses those of his principal peers--George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin--but that he left two distinct bodies of work, maybe even three.
June 19, 2002 |
Richard Rodgers is best known as one of the most successful--if not the most successful--Broadway musical composer of the 20th century. But he also wrote some of his greatest standards for the movies. With his first collaborator, lyricist Lorenz Hart, he penned the tunes "The Blue Room" and "Manhattan" for an all-but-forgotten 1929 musical short, "The Makers of Melody," and "Isn't It Romantic" for the 1932 feature, "Love Me Tonight."
December 10, 2001 |
In the 1920s and 1930s, during the first half of his phenomenal career as a composer of songs, Richard Rodgers worked with the dazzlingly witty and sophisticated lyricist Lorenz Hart. In the second half, starting in 1943, Rodgers joined forces with Oscar Hammerstein II, whose splendidly heartfelt lyrics provided a different, if equally fertile, kind of inspiration. One could easily spark an interminable debate as to which partnership produced Rodgers' best work.
May 11, 2002 |
His music wasn't jazzy, like George Gershwin's, or sexually charged, like Cole Porter's, or steeped in the blues, like Harold Arlen's. It didn't rouse Americans to war, like George M. Cohan's, or otherwise exult in the red, white and blue, like Irving Berlin's.
June 15, 2010 |
Lesley Ann Warren's first audition for the title role in CBS' 1965 version of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical, " Cinderella" was an unmitigated disaster. Warren was all of 18 but had garnered great notices for her supporting role as Snookie on Broadway in "110 in the Shade," the musical version of "The Rainmaker." "Cinderella" director Charles S. Dubin had seen Warren in "110" and thought she would be perfect. (Rodgers and Hammerstein's only original musical for TV had aired live to great acclaim in 1957 with Julie Andrews in the starring role.
March 28, 1990 |
Dorothy Rodgers, the widow of Richard Rodgers, welcomed the renaming of a Broadway theater for the composer of such musicals as "Oklahoma!" "South Pacific," "The King and I" and "The Sound of Music." "It's such a great day for Dick," she said Tuesday at the renaming of the 46th Street Theater. The Richard Rodgers Theater, built in 1924, has been home to some of Broadway's biggest musical hits, including "Guys and Dolls," "Damn Yankees" and "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."