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Vintage KSDK: Rodgers and Hammerstein celebrated at The Muny

In 1955, The Muny staged its second Rodgers and Hammerstein Festival, and the titans of Broadway interviewed each other on KSDK.

ST. LOUIS — If you're a fan of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, you're going to love this Vintage KSDK.

July into August of 1955, The Muny hosted its second Rodgers and Hammerstein festival.

The festival ran for several weeks and included productions of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The King and I".

Famous for writing "Oklahoma!", "The Sound of Music", and many other stage musicals, the two were titans of Broadway.

And despite their busy schedules, the theatre-writing team appeared at the festival, attending a big gala at the Chase Hotel.

The following is Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein interviewing each other on KSDK-TV.

"I don't think I can remember a more exciting evening in my life to see that an enormous Municipal Opera company,” said Richard Rodgers, “and people are reacting the way they did. They seemed to be excited, and I know I was. How did you feel?"

Oscar Hammerstein took the mic and said, "A wonderful time! I guess that nobody got enjoy it as much as we did, because for a songwriter to hear his own songs played all night, it is heaven. I think the audience had a good time, and I think you and I had a better time than anybody. I'm sure we had more fun than anybody else.”

Rodgers and Hammerstein were honored by a big crowd and were considered national treasures.

"We had a wonderful crowd,” commented a Muny Opera organizer. “The seats were nearly all filled with people that had come here to see the Rodgers and Hammerstein Festival start off with a big bang."

In the words of the Muny itself, "no closer bond has ever existed between Broadway composers and a regional theatre than that between Rodgers and Hammerstein and The Muny."


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