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The Making of an American Musical

Tim Carter

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $68.00
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A complete behind-the-scenes look at the landmark show that launched Rodgers and Hammerstein’s creative partnership?

Oklahoma! premiered on Broadway in 1943 under the auspices of the Theatre Guild, and today it is performed more frequently than any other Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. In this book Tim Carter offers the first fully documented history of the making of this celebrated American musical. Drawing on research from rare theater archives, manuscripts, journalism, and other sources, Carter records every step in the development of Oklahoma! The book is filled with rich and fascinating details about how Rodgers and Hammerstein first came together, the casting process, how Agnes de Mille became the show’s choreographer, and the drafts and revisions that ultimately gave the musical its final shape. Carter also shows the lofty aspirations of both the creators and producers and the mythmaking that surrounded Oklahoma! from its very inception, and demonstrates just what made it part of its times.

Tim Carter is David G. Frey Distinguished Professor of Music and chair of the Music Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Among his previous books is Monteverdi’s Musical Theatre, published by Yale University Press. He lives in Chapel Hill.

"Carter's book is full of new and very significant and exciting discoveries, many of which contradict firmly entrenched mythologies, half truths, and even fascinating calculated falsehoods."—Geoffrey Block, General Editor, Yale Broadway Masters, and author of Richard Rodgers

“Carter . . . conducts a detailed examination of Oklahoma’s origins; he separates myth from fact and convincingly establishes the play’s artistic and historical importance.”—Atlantic Monthly

"Carter has written what must surely be the last word on this iconic musical."—Library Journal

"[A] meticulously researched, soundly reported tome. . . . Taking from letters, newspapers, drafts and business records, Carter puts together a comprehensive record of the writing, casting and financing process, a challenging 11-month trial that shaped the final show through inspired teamwork and heated quarrels."—Publishers Weekly

"This book is a natural for those interested in the performing arts. Highly recommended."—Choice

"Carter's book . . . adheres to a documentary style, providing impressive lists of box office averages, production costs, salaries, performance counts, and other details at every turn of his narrative, making this book a valuable reference source for scholars seeking to research this musical. . . . [It is a] useful contribution to current scholarship on musical theatre."—Diana Calderazzo, Theatre Journal

"With meticulous archival research, Carter recasts the musical, debunking many of its myths while upholding others. . . . [An] engaging book."—Pamella R. Lach, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"Intriguing. . . . Carter's virtuosic handling of archival material, forming the basis of an astonishingly detailed narrative account, sets his study apart."—Elizabeth A. Wells, Journal of the American Musicological Society

“Carter’s book is thus first and foremost a closer reading than ever before of all extant sources for Oklahoma!”—Scott Warfield, Journal for the Society of American Music
ISBN: 9780300106190
Publication Date: April 28, 2007
352 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
20 b/w ills., 2 mus. ex.