Posted inTheater Review

A warhorse, reconsidered

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s 1951 musical The King and I, based on Margaret Landon’s novel, Anna and the King of Siam, is one of the warhorses of musical theater. The original run was three years (1,246 performances), and it has been revived with a mind-numbing regularity since, produced seemingly by every professional and […]

Posted inTheater Review

A 21st-century Oklahoma!

Director Daniel Fish’s controversial 2019 Broadway revival of the classic musical Oklahoma! has come to Chicago for a two-week run at the CIBC Theatre. I don’t know how Fish’s innovative rethinking of the work (first developed at Bard College’s Fisher Center in 2015, and then produced off-Broadway at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2018 prior to […]

Posted inMusic

Across a Crowded Room

This year’s celebration of Richard Rodgers’s centennial has done more than commemorate the genius behind a body of work that includes more than 900 songs, among them several dozen of the best-loved tunes in the American popular repertoire; it’s also helped illustrate the composer’s enormous versatility, which paradoxically has obscured him among his artistic peers. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Rodgers & Hammerstein Songbook

Fifty years after they made their debut as a team with the landmark Oklahoma!, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein remain the preeminent musical dramatists in American theater. Others before and after them may have been wittier, jazzier, more polished, more romantic, or more sophisticated. But none have equaled the duo’s ability to dramatize an individual’s […]