Tuesday Open Thread | American Musicals: Rodgers & Hammerstein Week

More of Rodgers & Hammerstein.


Carousel (musical)

Carousel is the second musical by the team of Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics). The 1945 work was adapted from Ferenc Molnár’s 1909 play Liliom, transplanting its Budapest setting to the Maine coastline. The story revolves around carousel barker Billy Bigelow, whose romance with millworker Julie Jordan comes at the price of both their jobs. He attempts a robbery to provide for Julie and their unborn child; after it goes wrong, he is given a chance to make things right. A secondary plot line deals with millworker Carrie Pipperidge and her romance with ambitious fisherman Enoch Snow. The show includes the well-known songs “If I Loved You”, “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. Richard Rodgers later wrote that Carousel was his favorite of all his musicals.

Following the spectacular success of the first Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma! (1943), the pair sought to collaborate on another piece, knowing that any resulting work would be compared with Oklahoma!, most likely unfavorably. They were initially reluctant to seek the rights to Liliom; Molnár had refused permission for the work to be adapted in the past, and the original ending was considered too depressing for the musical theatre. After acquiring the rights, the team created a work with lengthy sequences of music and made the ending more hopeful.

The musical required considerable modification during out-of-town tryouts, but once it opened on Broadway on April 19, 1945, it was an immediate hit with both critics and audiences. Carousel initially ran for 890 performances and duplicated its success in the West End in 1950. Though it has never achieved as much commercial success as Oklahoma!, the piece has been repeatedly revived, and has been recorded several times. A production by Nicholas Hytner enjoyed success in 1992 in London, in 1994 in New York and on tour. In 1999, Time magazine named Carousel the best musical of the 20th century.



In the 1920s and 1930s, Rodgers and Hammerstein both became well known for creating Broadway hits with other partners. Rodgers, with Lorenz Hart, had produced a string of over two dozen musicals, including such popular successes as Babes in Arms (1937), The Boys from Syracuse (1938) and Pal Joey (1940).[8] Some of Rodgers’ work with Hart broke new ground in musical theatre: On Your Toes was the first use of ballet to sustain the plot (in the “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” scene), while Pal Joey flouted Broadway tradition by presenting a knave as its hero.[9] Hammerstein had written or co-written the words for such hits as Rose-Marie (1924), The Desert Song (1926), The New Moon (1927) and Show Boat (1927). Though less productive in the 1930s, he wrote material for musicals and films, sharing an Academy Award for his song with Jerome Kern, “The Last Time I Saw Paris”, which was included in the 1941 film Lady Be Good.[10]

By the early 1940s, Hart had sunk into alcoholism and emotional turmoil, becoming unreliable and prompting Rodgers to approach Hammerstein to ask if he would consider working with him.[11] Hammerstein was eager to do so, and their first collaboration was Oklahoma! (1943).[12] Thomas Hischak states, in his The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia, that Oklahoma! is “the single most influential work in the American musical theatre. In fact, the history of the Broadway musical can accurately be divided into what came before Oklahoma! and what came after it.”[13] An innovation for its time in integrating song, character, plot and dance, Oklahoma! would serve, according to Hischak, as “the model for Broadway shows for decades”,[13] and proved a huge popular and financial success. Once it was well-launched, what to do as an encore was a daunting challenge for the pair. Movie producer Sam Goldwyn saw Oklahoma! and advised Rodgers to shoot himself, which according to Rodgers “was Sam’s blunt but funny way of telling me that I’d never create another show as good as Oklahoma!”[14] As they considered new projects, Hammerstein wrote, “We’re such fools. No matter what we do, everyone is bound to say, ‘This is not another Oklahoma!’ “[15]

Oklahoma! had been a struggle to finance and produce. Hammerstein and Rodgers met weekly in 1943 with Theresa Helburn and Lawrence Langner of the Theatre Guild, producers of the blockbuster musical, who together formed what they termed “the Gloat Club”. At one such luncheon, Helburn and Langner proposed to Rodgers and Hammerstein that they turn Molnár’s Liliom into a musical. Both men refused—they had no feeling for the Budapest setting and thought that the unhappy ending was unsuitable for musical theatre.[5] In addition, given the unstable wartime political situation, they might need to change the setting from Hungary while in rehearsal.[16] At the next luncheon, Helburn and Langner again proposed Liliom, suggesting that they move the setting to Louisiana and make Liliom a Creole. Rodgers and Hammerstein played with the idea over the next few weeks, but decided that Creole dialect, filled with “zis” and “zose” would sound corny and would make it difficult to write effective lyrics.[16]


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29 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | American Musicals: Rodgers & Hammerstein Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    September 16, 2014

    Kansas Justices to Decide Whether to Remove Taylor

    Based on oral arguments, Rick Hasen thinks it is likely the Kansas Supreme Court will quickly issue an order removing Chad Taylor’s (D) name from the ballot. The decision would be a big blow to Sen. Pat Roberts (R) who is fighting a challenge from Greg Orman (I).

    A new poll shows Taylor still receiving 6% of the vote in the Kansas U.S. Senate race even though he’s no longer campaigning and wants off the ballot.


  2. rikyrah says:

    Senate GOP blocks student loan refinance bill from vote
    Posted September 16, 2014

    by Colleen Flaherty

    “Students want degrees, not debt,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), opening up debate on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) student loan refinancing bill.

    Unfortunately, Senate Republicans blocked Warren’s bill today, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would have helped millions of Americans with existing federal student loans and private loans in good standing to refinance at a lower rate to make repayment more manageable.

    “Millions of young people are just stuck,” said Warren. “All because they are struggling under the weight of student loan debt.”

    The objection by the Senate GOP was the inclusion of the Buffet rule to pay for the legislation, a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for individuals with incomes of $1 million or more.

    “It’s just an approach to make this fair. It’s for people who make millions a year or even billions a year, asking them to pay what the rest of us pay, what middle class Americans pay,” said Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). “This is just fair. It’s the least we can do.”


  3. rikyrah says:

    Meet the One Numbers-Cruncher Who Foresees Democrats Holding the Senate
    He’s not as well-known as Nate Silver, but Princeton’s Sam Wang has a method, too, and he sees Democrats holding (barely) the upper chamber.

    The list of pundits, political analysts, and numbers-crunchers who are predicting Republicans will win control of the Senate in November is long, including Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eight. The folks at The New York Times’ The Upshot are saying it could be a tie. But Sam Wang of Princeton stands almost alone in forecasting that the Democrats will just barely hold their Senate majority.

    Wang says he thinks the Democrats have a 70 percent chance of holding control of the Senate. As of Monday afternoon, Nate Silver thinks the Republicans have a 58 percent chance of winning, and The Upshot gives Republicans a 52 percent chance now calling it a tossup.

    Wang is a 47-year-old professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton who uses advanced statistical methods to study how brain circuits work. He is the author of two books on the brain and his recent work focuses on autism. Politics, he says, is just kind of a hobby. “It’s a relatively easy problem compared with the other things I do,” he told me.


  4. rikyrah says:

    The pictures are so beautiful and haunting


    The Black Victorians: Astonishing Portraits Unseen for 120 Years on Exhibit in London Through November
    Posted in Arts / Style, Events, Exhibitions, International, Photography by goodblacknews


  5. rikyrah says:

    Anyone from Maine can give us some answers?


    Tuesday, September 16, 2014
    Is Maine’s Eliot Cutler The New Ralph Nader?
    Posted by Zandar
    It sure looks like it. The latest PPP poll finds incumbent Tea Party Republican Gov. Paul LePage only getting 42% of the vote. But that might be enough as Democrat Mike Michaud has 43%, and independent Cutler has 11% of the vote, enough to spoil the race and keep LePage in power.

    Public Policy Polling’s newest survey of the Maine Governor’s race continues to find a tight contest with Mike Michaud at 43% to 42% for Paul LePage. Eliot Cutler trails in a distant third at 11%. We attribute the closeness of the race to a continued split among progressive-leaning voters. Without Cutler’s presence in the race, his supporters would overwhelmingly choose Michaud over LePage; in a two way matchup between Michaud and LePage, Michaud’s lead would be 50/46.

    The good news is Cutler’s progressive supporters are realizing that if he stays in the race, LePage is going to win again. They’re starting to turn to Michaud:

    Cutler is becoming a less viable candidate as we get closer to Election Day. When PPP started polling in this contest in January of 2013, Cutler was at 26%. By August of last year, he had dropped down to 18%, then to 14% this April, and now he’s at his lowest level of support yet at 11%. Cutler is in a distant third place even with independents, despite being an independent.
    53% of Cutler’s supporters say they would pick Michaud in a head to head contest, compared to only 32% who say they would vote for LePage. The support he’s pulling from Michaud could be enough to reelect LePage in this razor thin contest.
    Paul LePage is one of the most unpopular governors in the country, and most voters in Maine want to replace him. Given the closeness of the race right now, they will need to unify around one of the two candidates challenging LePage. This poll is further confirmation that Michaud is the only candidate with the support necessary to defeat LePage in November.


  6. rikyrah says:

    Found out more about the charter school scam in Chicago. Remember 50 Chicago Public Schools were closed. Every person employed by that school HAD to be a Chicago resident, from the Principal, to the Janitor. IF you were employed by CPS, you gotta be a Chicago resident.

    Did you know that the scams known as Charter Schools DO NOT have a residency requirement?

    Uh huh.

    Taking Chicago taxes, but don’t have to live in Chicago?


  7. rikyrah says:

    say it with me, boys and girls……



    Tuesday, September 16, 2014
    I Sure Hate Obama. But I Love Obamacare
    Posted by Zandar
    Anyone who thought poor white Kentucky voters would be grateful in any way, shape, or form to the Democrats and especially President Barack Obama for the Affordable Care Act knows absolutely nothing about political science, social science, or race relations in the Bluegrass State.

    The Affordable Care Act allowed Robin Evans, an eBay warehouse packer earning $9 an hour, to sign up for Medicaid this year. She is being treated for high blood pressure and Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder, after years of going uninsured and rarely seeing doctors.

    “I’m tickled to death with it,” Ms. Evans, 49, said of her new coverage as she walked around the Kentucky State Fair recently with her daughter, who also qualified for Medicaid under the law. “It’s helped me out a bunch.”

    But Ms. Evans scowled at the mention of President Obama — “Nobody don’t care for nobody no more, and I think he’s got a lot to do with that,” she explained — and said she would vote this fall for Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader, who is fond of saying the health care law should be “pulled out root and branch.”

    Ms. Evans said she did not want the law repealed but had too many overall reservations about Democrats to switch her vote. “Born and raised Republican,” she said of herself. “I ain’t planning on changing now.”


  8. rikyrah says:

    You can thank President Obama and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for this


    Sep 16 2014
    Special notice for Corinthian students
    By Angela Peoples
    Today, we announced a lawsuit against for-profit college chain Corinthian Colleges, Inc. We allege that the company lured in tens of thousands of students to take out private loans to cover expensive tuition costs by advertising bogus job prospects and career services. Our lawsuit also alleges that Corinthian used illegal debt collection tactics to strong-arm students into paying back those loans while still in school.

    Corinthian Colleges, Inc. is one of the largest for-profit college companies in the United States, operating more than 100 school campuses under the names Everest, Heald, and WyoTech.

    Today, we’re also publishing a special notice for current and former Corinthian students to help you navigate your options in this time of uncertainty, including information on loan discharge options.

    If you experience difficulty with your student loan you can submit a complaint online or by calling (855) 411-2372. You can also find more information about options for repaying your student loan on our website.


  9. Good news this morning. The first hurdle of the fund raiser has been met. Thanks to all who donated but more is needed. Please help hold #Ferguson PD accountable for Mike Brown murder & law violations. Please donate if you can. If not, please share this link so others will have a chance to help. TYSM!


  10. rikyrah says:

    she should be clowned…Rhee is an unqualified grifter


    Campbell Brown Is Getting The Same Treatment Michelle Rhee Got

    ByConor P. WilliamsPublishedSeptember 16, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT 6534 views

    Few issues these days bring the rhetorical heat like education. So I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to see a new attack site purporting to reveal “The Real Campbell Brown” as a right-wing mouthpiece shilling for Wall Streeters. After all, Brown is a leader in an ongoing legal fight in New York — where several lawsuits are seeking to replicate a recent California court’s decision striking down a number of the state’s teacher tenure rules (Vergara v. California).

    In other words, the former CNN anchor’s support for the lawsuit established her — in the eyes of education reform’s opponents — as the “new Michelle Rhee.” Whether or not that’s the case, it’s true that Brown’s opponents are following a similar playbook to Rhee’s. Just as Rhee faced ugly rhetoric about her race and gender, Brown’s positions have already been dismissed on account of her looks. And Rhee had an anonymous, union-funded attack site of her own—Rheefirst.com.

    I’m far from convinced by everything that gets done today in the name of education reform. But Rhee’s and Brown’s examples are indicative of a troubling pattern for reform opponents: anti-reformers are prone to shooting any reform messenger. Anti-reform has an ad hominem problem. In part this is because the anti-reform crowd is obsessed with who has standing to participate in education debates. Non-teachers don’t count (unless they’re Diane Ravitch). Parents’ voices are only permitted so long as they avoid direct challenges to failing schools.

    I write about American education for a living, so I get a front row seat on this. Sometimes I write things like “Some charter schools, under some circumstances, are performing especially well.” When I write these sorts of things, my inbox, my Twitter mentions, and (occasionally) my phone spontaneously, simultaneously ignite. I get accused of hating teachers, teachers unions, and (a few times) white people. I get told that I’m a secret agent for Pearson, Bill Gates, the United Nations, and sometimes even the Muslim Brotherhood (really. No—REALLY). This isn’t occasional. It happens every time I write anything vaguely favorable about reform efforts, even when it’s mixed with criticism.


  11. rikyrah says:

    About the Adrian Peterson situation…

    I grew up in a household where corporal punishment was used. I never received an ass whoopin’ that I didn’t deserve. I didn’t grow up in a household where my parents would hit me just because it was Tuesday. I always could see the cause of my behavior that wound up with getting me a whoopin’.

    My father was the disciplinarian in our family, but he was definitely of the mind ‘ This hurts me more than it hurts you’, school, though, as a kid, you don’t believe it.

    The exception with my mother was if she thought you were trying to play with her about your education. Mama didn’t play when it came to education. Raised by a mother who had her Master’s degree by the time she got married in 1905. My mother and her sisters all has their Master’s before Brown v. Board. In Mama’s world, if you weren’t educated, that meant you were washing White Women’s toilets, because that was the world in which she grew up in the Police State known as Jim Crow Mississippi. That was the world choice for Black women, and she was gonna be damned if her daughters would clean anyone’s toilers other than their own. Play with Mama at your peril….she’d beat your ass in a heartbeat if you thought you would clown in school. Mama was the mother, who, upon getting the call from the school that you were acting out, would leave the job, drive to your school, go to the classroom, ask the teacher in front of your class what you did, confront you about your foolishness, and then whoop your behind IN FRONT of your entire class.

    • Ametia says:

      X’S 10000000000000000000000.

      Me: from a family of13 kids raised on a farm in rural, segregated MD. Our black asses got the switch, and after a while we learned that the quickest way to our brain was by the seat of our pants.
      This whole notion that Arian Peterson is a child abuser is disturbing and another form of the media’s attempt to paint black men as thugs, criminals, etc.

      WE SEE THEM!

    • Ametia says:

      My son-in-law’s take on corporal punishment

      Monday, September 15, 2014
      Since I had to stay home from work due to this cold kicking my entire ass, I decided to give my father a call. We talked about the Mayweather fight, the NFL, the Atlanta Hawks, and even DC politics. But we spent most of the time discussing Adrian Peterson, and the trouble he’s gotten into after beating his 4-year old son.


  12. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  13. Ametia says:

    Remember this?


    Adrian Peterson takes a switch to his son and…..

  14. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. :-) Ah, Billy Bigelow & Julie Jordan. Love Carousel!

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