New Book Promises to Offer ‘Revolutionary’ Portrait of Rodgers and Hammerstein

Book News   New Book Promises to Offer ‘Revolutionary’ Portrait of Rodgers and Hammerstein
 
Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution releases April 3.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization

Writer Todd S. Purdum, a veteran of The New York Times, will release a new book that looks at the collaboration of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the Broadway writing team that created such classic musicals as Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.

<i>Carousel</i> at the Imperial Theatre
Carousel at the Imperial Theatre Marc J. Franklin

Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution is scheduled to be released by Henry Holt and Company April 3.

Drawing from interviews and a collection of rarely-seen personal letters, diaries, and memoirs, Purdum will show how the two landmark writers broke new ground in musical storytelling and created the mold from which almost all modern musicals would be built. The book's release comes on the 75th anniversary of the Broadway opening Oklahoma!, Rodgers and Hammerstein's first collaboration which pioneered fully integrating dialogue, songs, and dances to advance plot and develop character.

The book also arrives as a new all-star Broadway revival of Carousel approached for opening night. The production—the first Broadway revival of the work in over 20 year—will feature Jessie Mueller, Joshua Henry, and Renée Fleming.

Purdum, whose previous works include An Idea Whose Time Has Come and A Time of Our Choosing, is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a senior writer at Politico. He previously served as a White House correspondent, diplomatic correspondent, and Los Angeles bureau chief during a more than 20-year career at Times. He is scheduled to travel to Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. on a book tour.

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