Favorite Rodgers and Hammerstien Musicals

Rodgers and Hammerstein are one of the most famous musical theatre duos. I actually love their musicals. I decided to talk about the musicals I love that they wrote.

Sound of Music

My all-time favorite musical they wrote is Sound of Music. Sound of Music is one of my childhood favorite musicals. I was raised on the movie, and Edelweiss was my first piano recital song. It has memorable songs that are fun to sing to, a memorable plot about the importance of family and music, and memorable characters. It has a double love story- meaning two love stories, which is true for most Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals.

In 2015, I finally saw the stage show. Seeing the stage show made Sound of Music more meaningful. I got even more emotional. I cried during Edelweiss, which took me off guard. Sound of Music will always be my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

Cinderella

For some reason, I keep on forgetting about Cinderella. Wonder if that has anything to do with its popularity with Disney. However, I love Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. It has such memorable songs- from “In my Own Little Corner”, “Impossible”, and “Ten Minutes Ago”. Like expected, it has an incredible story. Both the Prince and Cinderella get more developed in the musical.

South Pacific

Like almost all R and H musicals, it is filled with incredible songs. I feel like this musical teaches you a lot about Racism and where it comes from. It has two love stories- one is more serious and one is lighter. It focuses mostly on Nellie and Emelie.

Oklahoma

Like usual, another R/H musical with memorable songs. It took me a while to realize Oklahoma is home to two love triangles. While it might seem it is just about this dance, it really isn’t. Oklahoma focuses mostly on the romance between Curly and Laurey. You even have the fun romance between Will Parker and Ado Annie.The love triangles still are weak—you have the whole fighting for someone thing. But, how you want the romances to end up do end up the way you want it to. Curly does everything to prevent Laurey from being with Jud- Jud is abusive. It is also about Oklahoma becoming a state.

My love of Rodgers and Hammerstein

I fell in love with Rodgers and Hammerstein when I was a child. I fell in love with Sound of Music- it has a wonderful cast of characters, an incredible plot, along with fun and exciting songs. I love more than just Sound of Music- there are other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals that I love. Just the others did not get in my life in childhood. I know I fell in love with two more when I was still a student at Central Piedmont Community College. I feel like nothing can really go wrong with this duo. These are Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals I have seen.

Sound of Music

I already stated I love Sound of Music. Maria is such an incredible protagonist. Julie Andrews was my first Maria. I love the songs from “Do Re Mi”, My Favorite Things”, “Lonely Goatherd”, “Something Good”, “Edelweiss”, “Climb Every Mountain”, and “Sound of Music”. Sound of Music actually was the final musical the duo did together.

South Pacific

This is a musical romance. Like almost all Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, there is a double romance. The main story is between Emelie and Nellie, but the subplot is between Liat and Joe Cable. It is weird to think that this musical could almost be a tragedy if the main romance was between Liat and Joe Cable. From “Some Enchanted Evening”, “This Nearly Was Mine”, “Younger than Springtime”, “There is nothing like a Dame”, and “I’ve Got to Wash that Man outta my Hair”. I feel like the antagonist of South Pacific is actually a theme: Racism. Through, “You Got be Carefully Taught”, you realize that you are not born racist, but are taught it: that is something I love about that song. This is a SPOILER: but Joe Cable does die in this musical- that is why if the romances were switched, South Pacific would be a tragedy. But due to being between Emelie and Nellie, South Pacific is a happy musical.

Oklahoma

This musical romance also has a double romance. It took be a while to realize this, but this musical is home to two love triangles. Curly and Laurey is what the musical is between, but Jud does add the third thing: but he is the antagonist of Oklahoma. The other love triangle is between Ali Hakim, Ado Annie, and Will Parker. However, these two love triangles are a bit weak: due to two characters fighting in both. However, the couples become who you want them to be: meaning it will end up as Curly and Laurey and Ado Annie and Will Parker. This is noticed through song and through characters. Considering that Jud is abusive, you know you want Curly and Laurey together- Curly does everything he can be with Laurey.

Songs like “Oklahoma”, “Kansas City”, “Surrey with the Fringe on Top”, “People will Say we’re in Love”, and “Oh, What a beautiful Morning”. People think Oklahoma is basically revolving around the dance, but in reality not true. It is about Curly and Laurey’s relationship, Oklahoma becoming a State, and between Ado Annie and Alik Hakim.

Cinderella

I don’t know why this keeps on happening, but for some odd reason I keep on forgetting about their Cinderella. The past Friday, I saw the 1957 televised recording of the musical, which stars Julie Andrews as Cinderella. The only problem with it was that it was way out of sync and has some annoying background noise.

Cinderella become popular through Disney. I love the songs, “My Own Little Corner”, “Impossible”, and “Ten Minutes Ago”. I love Cinderella- as in both Disney adaptions: I really love the live action one with Lily James as Cinderella. If Disney did not create the original Cinderella, it is hard to think that this story wouldn’t have become that famous.

Still, don’t know why I keep on forgetting about this one. I think that might have to do with being associated with Disney. I still love this musical- Rodgers and Hammerstein are extremely good at creating memorable songs.

King and I

I don’t exactly love this musical, but I don’t really dislike it either. I actually can parallel Anna with Maria. They are both strong-willed and called difficult women. They play a similar role: as in one being governess and the other a teacher. Both teach children. King and I still has some songs I love: “Getting to Know You”, “Shall We Dance”, and “I Whistle a Happy Tune”.

Carousel

Of all Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals I have been around, Carousel is my least favorite. It has to do with plot and partly due to songs. Like expected, there is a double romance- Bill and Julie, and Carrie and Mr. Snow. Julie and Carrie are best friends. The plot really really confuses me. I keep on forgetting about the songs.

Three Sections I Can Divide Musicals In

Well, I can easily separate meaningful musicals into three categories. Those are my childhood musicals, Fletcher musicals, and college musicals. These are all self-explanatory meaning you can easily describe all three. Let me put this into more perspective.

My childhood musicals were ALL musicals that entered my life before I started middle school. Beauty and the Beast, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wizard of OZ, Aladdin, Lion King, Grease, Sound of Music, and Annie fit under this category.

What about the Fletcher musicals? Well, I call these Fletcher musicals because they entered my life when I was still a student at Fletcher. I went to that school from 6th -12th grade. That school was a small K-12 school. Most of the musicals I saw in this time frame were movie musicals. These musicals were Wicked, Mamma Mia, Enchanted, and The High School Musical series. So this set of musicals were the smallest.

College Musicals- I went to two colleges. Central Piedmont Community College and Gardner Webb University were the ones I went to. There were a lot of musicals I fell in love. They were Rent, Godspell, Les Mis, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Newsies, Phantom of the Opera, Frozen, Man of La Mancha, White Christmas, Music Man, Pippin, Singing in the Rain, My Fair Lady, Greatest Showman, and Fiddler on the Roof. This time frame was where my passion for musicals came from- thanks to Les Mis, which challenged everything. That is why there is a lot. What was amazing about CPCC is just how professional they feel: I literally called their production of “Les Mis” phenomenal. CPCC is where I started to get more into theatre: I ushered twice for Les Mis and once for Some Enchanted Evening.

Kansas City

Time for my first Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that I love. How can anyone NOT love those two- they were the famous duo during the Golden Age of Musical. True, there is a not a musical called Kansas City, but there is a musical song called “Kansas City”. That’s right- another musical I love belongs to Oklahoma. It takes place in Oklahoma Territory- that means Oklahoma was not yet a state in the US, but was about to. So, why do I love Oklahoma.

The Songs

Okay, who can not find themselves loving these romantic and exciting songs. The musical is a combo of the two. From “Oh What a Beautiful Morning”, “Kansas City”, the title song: “Oklahoma”.

Possible Spoilers:

The Story

There are people who think Oklahoma is just about this dance. But, that is not exactly the story of Oklahoma. It is Curly and Laurey’s story- their love. Conflict comes when we discover Jud might have something for Laurey—–however he is abusive. This love triangle is a bit weak- however, we know how we want things to end up. Then, there is a 2nd romance- Will and Ado Annie- and guess what someone else loves Ado Annie.

So, two love triangles in one musical, and they both are weak- but we do know how we want things to end up. It is pretty much two men fighting over their girl, but yet it is not fully weak knowing how you want things to end. This musical is NOT just about the romances or the dance/auction, but also about Oklahoma becoming a state.

The Characters

Curly is our main character. We meet him first. You might wonder at first why he even is a wonderful character. Well, throughout ALL of Oklahoma, he is trying to make sure Jud does NOT end up with Laurey. His love for Laurey is that strong. The other characters I love are Laurey, Will Parker and Ado Annie. So basically the major characters.

Jud is the character I have a strong dislike towards. His our chief antagonist. The fact he is abusive does say something.

Non-Tour Musicals I Saw

True, I have seen mostly musicals on tour. However, there have been a select amount of musicals I have seen either through school, local, or through Broadway/West End. This post will bring up those musicals and will try to be in order.

  1. Wicked- 2006
  2. Oliver- 2007 (don’t remember seeing)
  3. Godspell- 2012
  4. Les Mis-2013
  5. Les Mis-2013 (as an usher)
  6. Les Mis-2013 (as an usher)
  7. Scrooge-2014
  8. Music Man- 2015
  9. Les Mis-2015
  10. Little Shop of Horrors- 2017
  11. Oklahoma- 2018
  12. Grease-2018
  13. Newsies-2018

This is a combo of Barter Theater, Pease Auditorium (which no longer exists), Halton Theater, Dover Theater, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Gershwin Theater and Queen’s Theater. Of that list- the only musical I have no memory of seeing is Oliver at Barter Theater. The rest are musicals I remember seeing.