Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) was sixteen when he formed his famous partnership with Lorenz Hart. The ensuing years of toil and disappointment nearly convinced the young composer to abandon the theater for the security of a salesman’s job in the clothing industry, but the overnight success of The Garrick Gaieties in 1925 determined his career. Ultimately, Rodgers wrote the scores for over forty Broadway musicals and collaborated with two of the world’s greatest lyricists, the brilliantly talented but tormented Hart, and the sturdier but equally inspired Oscar Hammerstein II. These partnerships contributed a tremendous legacy to the musical theater, including Babes in Arms, On Your Toes, Pal Joey, Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music . Musical Stages is more than the inside story behind Rodgers’s prodigious successes; it is an honest, astute meditation on the influences and people who encouraged him. Filled with revealing glimpses of celebrities and packed with Broadway and Hollywood anecdotes, it also contains fascinating passages on the art of lyric writing and composing, and insights into the troubles and triumphs of collaboration. Through his songs Richard Rodgers has given pleasure to millions of people; Musical Stages is one more gift in that tradition.
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