May

4

 The book Something Wonderful by Todd Purdum is endlessly instructive as to the inner workings of the show business team of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Amazingly they didn't like each other after working together for 2 years. The book describes all the warts of rogers' personality but is very admiring of how he maintained boyish qualities in his melodies. Sondheim was taken in as a second son by Hammerstein and repaid him by saying Hammerstein was a mediocre talent with great soul and Rogers was a gifted talent with no soul. The stories of Rogers and Sondheim collaborate where Rogers couldn't countenance working with 3 people of a non masculine persuasion are interesting. Also, the many people that it takes to make a show including the set designer, the orchestrator, the rehearsal pianist, and the costume designer. The book contains the history and results and the formation of each show that Rand H did together and is particularly strong on the business aspects of how they financed it, and how they transformed their enterprise into a billion dollar machine but is somewhat weak on the musical and poetical aspects of the collaboration.


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