A Rodgers and Hammerstein Experiment is Revived

« previous episode | next episode »

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 'Allegro' at the Classic Stage Company in the East Village. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 'Allegro' at the Classic Stage Company in the East Village. (Matthew Murphy)

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were riding high in 1947 on the successes of Oklahoma! and Carousel. For their next show they tried something with a Greek chorus and a stage with no sets and few props. The subject matter was unusual, too, a man whose story ends with him in a state of existential confusion. The show, Allegro, was not a hit. But now, director John Doyle has revived Allegro in a production for Classic Stage Company.

New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood considers why Allegro didn’t work then, how well it works now and what its contributions are to the evolution of American musical theater.

Comments [3]

Joyce Spier from Yonkers, N Y.

I saw Oklahoma and Carousel as an 11 and thirteen year old. (my uncle was a ticket broker) Allegro was different. Perhaps it will be more fitting today.

Feb. 12 2015 04:41 PM
Norman Weil from East Meadow,New York

I'm still hoping for a revival and a complete recording of an
even more neglected concept musical:Kurt Weill and Alan Jay
Lerner's Love Life.

Dec. 03 2014 05:09 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

I wish I were in New York City to see this production. I think the audience at the premiere clearly wanted more of the same and didn't expect (and perhaps didn't want) anything experimental. As Mr. Isherwood said, there are some lovely songs. I'm especially fond of "A Fellow Needs a Girl" and (if memory serves) "Lovers Waltz". (I'm not sure where the apostrophe goes). I could be completely wrong, but I also seem to recall "My Son My Son" as being from "Allegro". I first became aware of these songs on a vinyl album by Buddy Boylan.

Dec. 03 2014 08:49 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.