The Sound of Music Echoes On…

Today is the 50th anniversary of the American release of The Sound of Music movie musical so stop everything you’re doing and go climb some mountains!

The movie is of course based on the 1959 musical which was the last collaboration of the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical dream team, since Oscar Hammerstein II died nine months after the Broadway premiere, of cancer.

An interesting Youtube find was this footage from actors on the set during the making of the movie:

Of course, the Oscars recently commemorated the anniversary of their 1966 Best Picture Winner with a medley performed by Lady Gaga that was an internet sensation.  Proof that the movie and the musical have still got it, all these years later!

OK! on PBS

1953 Oklahoma Poster

1953 mail order form for Oklahoma! revival (from the NYPL Digital Archives)

The last musical theater installment in PBS‘ Arts Fall Festival is Rodger & Hammerstein‘s 1943 musical, Oklahoma!, in a performance from the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, originally from 1998, featuring singin’, dancin’ Wolverine (aka, Hugh Jackman).  9pm this Friday.

Al Hirschfeld Oklahoma! illustration

Al Hirschfeld caricature of 1969 Oklahoma! revival cast (from the NYPL Digital Archives)

Found this great Al Hirschfeld caricature of the 1969 revival cast on the NYPL Digital Archives, which reminds me that the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has an exhibit on Hirschfeld’s theater illustrations up through January 4th.  Definitely worth checking out, he’s a fun one.

I’ll leave you with the one song I know how to play on the piano which happens to be from Oklahoma!  From the 1955 technicolor movie, with Gordon MacRae:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DLsZHVNOok&w=350&h=300]

Carousel Reminder

It sure has been primary sources week on Bizarro Twins, huh (guess my library research classes are getting to me).  To remind you about PBS‘s airing of the New York Philharmonic‘s semi-staged performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein‘s Carousel tonight, here are some resources from the NYPL Digital Gallery from the original production on Broadway in 1945.

1945 Carousel cast photo, from NYPL Digital Gallery

Jan Clayton and John Raitt in Carousel, 1945, from NYPL Digital Gallery

As I mentioned last time, NYPL’s Library for the Performing Arts is a predictably amazing resource for Broadway history, and lots of that is on the Digital Gallery.  A search of “Carousel” there brings up cast photos, set designs, playbills, etc., from the original 1945 production and from 1949, 1965, and 1994 revivals too.

Set design for Carousel, 1945 on NYPL Digital Gallery

Set design sketch by Jo Mielziner for Carousel, 1945 on NYPL Digital Gallery

For some wider entry points into NYC Theater history, you can see NYPL’s digitized archival collections of Jo Mielziner, including his set design drawings for plays and musicals, and the Vandamm Studio, for backstage photography of NYC theater from the 1920s to the ’50s.

June is Bustin’ Out Early this Year

Carousel souvenir program, 1945

Carousel program, 1945, from the NYPL Digital Gallery

PBS will be airing the New York Philharmonic‘s performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein‘s 1945 musical Carousel this Friday at 9pm.  (Check your local listings.)

I think I’ve said before that I’m not necessarily a huge musical fan, but Time did call Carousel the best musical of the 20th century, so might have to give it a shot…  Besides, NYPhil + a cast drawing from the opera and musical worlds sounds like as good a way to see it as any.

If you want to read up on it before Friday, NYPL’s Digital Gallery has the full 1945 program available online (just click through the pages at the top right, where it says “View Image Set”), so you can hear all about it from the horse’s mouth.  As you can imagine, NYPL’s Library for the Performing Arts is an outstanding resource for Broadway history…