The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia

Overview

Still the most influential and popular songwriting team in the history of the American Musical Theatre, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein represent Broadway musicals at their finest. The team revolutionized the musical play with Oklahoma! in 1943 and then went on to explore territory never put on the musical stage before in such beloved shows as Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. The team also worked in film, as with State Fair, and in the new medium of television, with ...

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Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia

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Overview

Still the most influential and popular songwriting team in the history of the American Musical Theatre, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein represent Broadway musicals at their finest. The team revolutionized the musical play with Oklahoma! in 1943 and then went on to explore territory never put on the musical stage before in such beloved shows as Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. The team also worked in film, as with State Fair, and in the new medium of television, with Cinderella. For the first time, the lives, careers, works, songs, and themes of Rodgers and Hammerstein have been gathered together in an encyclopedia that covers the many talents of these men. In addition to their plays and films together, every work that each man did with other collaborators is also discussed. Hundreds of their songs are described, and there are entries on the many actors, directors, and other creative artists who they worked with. A complete list of awards, recordings, and books about the team are included, as well as a chronology of everything either man wrote. But The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia is not just about facts. It explains their work, explores themes in their musicals, and illustrates why they remain a driving force in the American Theatre.

This is the first encyclpoedia to look specifically at the careers and works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, covering all their musicals together for stage, screen and televsion, but also everything they wrote with others. The purpose is to create a comprehensive guide to the American Musical Theatres foremost collaboration. The encyclopedia is (1) comprehensve, describing the works, the people involved in those works, and many of their famous songs; ( 2) up-to-date, including the most recent revivals of their works and new recordings of their scores; and (3) easy to use, being alphabetically arranged with cross-reference listings, chronological lists, lists of awards and recordings, and bibliographic information for further reading.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Hischak has produced a comprehensive resource describing the lives, work and--most important--influence of the songwriting team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein….Although numerous reference publications have recently been published….[m]most are broader in scope, and none highlights the creators' impact, as Hischak's book does. It belongs in institutions offering degrees in music as well as public libraries serving a patron base with an interest in the American arts."

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Library Journal

"This volume has two overall goals. The first is to highlight the rich body of work produced by the combined creative forces of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, from their first major work, Oklahoma! (1943), until Rodgers' death, in 1960. The second is to glimpse the career of each artist independently. The author accomplishes both goals in a straightforward volume that features listings for songs, musicals, films, performers, lyricists, producers, and other categories, providing a complete look at the output and importance of the team in the worlds of musical theater and film….[r]ecommended for academic and large public library collections."

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Booklist

"The reader will be overwhelmed by the thoroughness and detail found in this work. Historians also will be impressed by the scope of the material in this work as it paints a broad picture of the musical theater during and before Rodgers and Hammerstein's time. Those who cannot get enough of information and trivia about Broadway and the musical theater will devour this book."

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American Reference Books Annual

"The amazingly productive Hischak, author/editor of 15 theater books to date, turns his attention to two giants of the American musical theater in a work that more aptly should be titled The Rodgers and Hammerstein and Kern and Hart et al. Encyclopedia, in that this volume is not limited to shows and films written by the title duo but also encompasses those of their collaborators. The alphabetically arranged, brief entries (100-300 words, with longer entries for specific shows) cover every stage, film, and television project in which either person was involved, as well as entries on notable performers, librettists, songsters, and specific songs, with numerous cross-references. Of particular interest are entries covering such specialized topics as ethnicity, settings, and list songs. Appendixes list Rodgers and Hammerstein's awards and recordings, and the index is particularly useful. Hischak's writing style is both informative and fascinating, with just enough subjectivity to keep users browsing. Music lovers will appreciate the attention he pays to song recordings not from cast albums. This will be an indispensable guide to this most American genre for all theater and music collections. Highly recommended. All undergraduates and general readers."

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Choice

"The encyclopedia is both comprehensive, describing the works , and many of their famous songs; and up to date, including the most recent revivals of their works and new recordings of their scores. The work is easy to use, being alphabetically arranged with cross-reference listings, chronological lists, lists of awards and recordings, and bibliographic information for further reading."

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Reference Reviews

"Well-organized and informative work. Contains an A-Z listing of almost 600 entries on Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein (R&H) comprising all the stage, film, and television projects; various performers, songwriters, librettists, and other artists who worked with either man….[T]his volume does provide a compendium of information to the creative work represented by R&H. A required acquisition for performing arts collections."

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College & Research Libraries

Library Journal

A prolific author and expert in the area of American musical theater, Hischak (SUNY Cortland) has produced a comprehensive resource describing the lives, work, and-most important-influence of the songwriting team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Here, he narrows his focus from the more general aspects of American musical theater he covered in American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000(Oxford Univ., 2001) and The American Musical Theatre Song Encyclopedia(Greenwood, 1995) to the specific work of arguably the most influential team of songwriters in that genre. A brief biography of the pair's partnership opens the work, followed by 571 alphabetized articles describing the stage plays, films, music, performers, and choreographers with whom Rodgers and Hammerstein worked and whom their productions have influenced. Each article ranges in length from one to six pages, and all are written by Hischak himself. Chronological lists of the duo's musical compositions and awards, selected bibliographies of sound recordings of their work, sources of additional information, and an approximately 40-page center insert of black-and-white photographs round out the work.
—Sarah Sutton

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313341403
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

THOMAS S. HISCHAK is the author of fifteen books and twenty published plays. He is Professor of Theatre at the State University of New York College at Cortland and received the Chancellors Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity.

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