Rodgers, Hart and Hammerstein - 2004

 
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For most of their lives, Brian and Denise Cahill had been singing the songs of Rodgers and Hartor playing in, or directing, or conducting the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein. They were discussing this; and Denise, whose duty it is as Artistic Director to select productions for Queensland Musical Theatre, began to consider the possibility of doing a show about them rather than by them. Denise's part of the task was to plan and implement the concept; Brian's, to write the script. It meant massive research which began in Australia and was pursued on both sides of the United States of America, but especially in New York.
In New York City their hotel was just off 8thAvenue which is on Manhattan and five minutes from the Theatre District. They visited many theatres, including the Lunt-Fontanne (formerly the Garrick) where the Rodgers and Hart partnership began. They found, and studied at, a History of Broadway exhibition at the New York City Museum on 5th Avenue. One great discovery was how the lives of the three were so intertwined before they were linked with Broadway.
Hammerstein and Hart were the same age, Rodgers was seven years younger. They all were born New Yorkers of upper middle-class Jewish families and grew up within streets of each other. They all attended the famous Columbia University although Rodgers transferred to the equally famous Juilliard School of Music. Hammerstein was the judge of which Musical was to be the Columbia Varsity Revue of 1919,  and chose the work of undergraduate Richard Rodgers and Honours graduate Lorenz Hart. And so it went on.

Back in Australia the writing began with Denise's having to choose what music to use:or, a more formidable task, what to leave out!

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Chris Kearney