THE OTHER R AND H : RODGERS AND HART with Marc Strauss
Wednesday evenings on Zoom from 7-9 p.m.
on Oct. 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18
When musical aficionados hear the letters “R & H,” the usual association is with the venerable songwriting team of Rodgers and Hammerstein, who wrote so many hummable hits together from 1943 until 1959 - for shows as diverse and popular as Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, and The Sound of Music.
But before composer Richard Rodgers worked with lyricist Oscar Hammerstein on eleven musicals over sixteen years, Rodgers had another, even longer partnership—twenty-four years—with lyricist Lorenz Hart, beginning in 1919 and continuing until Hart’s passing in 1943. In Broadway shows and films such as The Garrick Gaieties, Love Me Tonight, On Your Toes, Babes in Arms, The Boys from Syracuse, and Pal Joey, the first R & H wrote over 500 songs together, many of them standards to this day in the Great American Songbook: “Manhattan,” “Thou Swell,” “Where or When,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.”
This fall 2020, Open University of Wellfleet course will focus on that earlier artistic collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Instructor Marc Strauss, Ph.D., will present the subjects through short lectures, guided discussions, and the listening and viewing of dozens of Rodgers and Hart CD and DVD recordings, both famous and rare, as sung and danced to by extraordinary artists throughout and far beyond their 24-year partnership. A richer understanding of the distinct talents of these two musical artists—one all too often ignored or, sadly, unheard of—will be a focus of the course.