Here is a bit of insight into the world of Musical Theatre History class for the MFAs: after spending weeks researching a composer or lyricist, crafting a beautiful PowerPoint, and lecturing on his or her life and work, we commonly develop a crush on our subject. It totally happened with me and George Gershwin and even more so with Jeanine Tesori. But no one became more infatuated than Courtney did with Oscar Hammerstein II.
Hammerstein served as an important bridge between the older style of operetta–think Kern, Herbert, and the like–and the newer style that would typify the Golden Age–think Loesser, Styne, and the like. His lyrics have paired with some of America’s best-loved melodies. Considering his mentorship of Stephen Sondheim, he is one of the most influential creators of the 20th century.
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UP NEXT: Episode 4–Julia on Rodgers and Hart