- Allegro (musical)
caption= Original Cast Album
Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II
"Allegro" is a theatre musical by
Richard Rodgers(music) and Oscar Hammerstein II(book and lyrics), their fourth collaboration together.
"Allegro" opened on Broadway at the
Majestic Theateron October 10 1947, running for only 315 performances. It starred John Battlesas Joseph Taylor, Jr., Annamary Dickeyas Majorie Taylor, William Chingas Dr. Joseph Taylor, Roberta Jonayas Jennie Brinker, Lisa Kirkas Emily West, and John Conte as Charlie Townsend. It was directed and choreographed by Agnes de Mille. The production received mixed reactions from critics, and along with only three other Rodgers and Hammerstein productions, was never made into a movie. It did win three Donaldson Awardsincluding Best Book, Lyrics and Score.
Stephen Sondheim(who was a production assistant for the original Broadway production), in his introductory remarks prior to the 1994 New York City Center Encores!concert reading of the show, "Allegro" may have suffered the most disastrous opening night in theatre history. In addition to a falling flat, during a dance number in Act One, one of the actors caught his tap shoe in a track on the stage, tearing every ligament in his leg, and had to be carried - screaming - from the stage. In Act Two, Lisa Kirk, who was making her professional stage debut, caught a heel in another track and fell headlong into the orchestra. cite news
last = Holden
first = Stephen
title = Allegro; Revival of a Famous Pair's First Flop
publisher = New York Times
url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D03EED8113AF936A35750C0A962958260
accessdate = 2008-08-07 ] Mr. Sondheim confesses his memory may be faulty, but he recalls that she was back up on the stage without missing a note.
Oscar Hammerstein often claimed that he wished he could go back and rewrite the second act of Allegro; he felt audiences didn't get the show properly, leaving the show thinking it was a simple story of an Everyman returning to his roots. Hammerstein said the show was his most autobiographical work, and that Joseph Taylor, Jr.'s life was a mirror of some of his own experiences. [ [http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/multimedia/video/2008/wallace/hammerstein_oscar_t.html Transcript of interview, Mike Wallace show, March 15, 1958] ]
1994a staged concert version was presented by New York City Center Encores!, with a cast that included Stephen Bogardus(Joseph Taylor, Jr.), Karen Ziemba, Jonathan Hadaryand Christopher Reeve, and directed by Susan H. Schulman.
;Revised revival – 2004
A revised version of "Allegro", re-written by
Joe DiPietro, who was a protege of James Hammerstein, was produced at the Signature Theatre(Arlington, Virginia) in January 2004. This version cut the musical in size and scale. The cast was cut with some characters being combined; the original, lavish orchestrations were simplified. [Toscano, Michael. [http://www.theatermania.com/content/news.cfm/story/4278 "Reviews"Allegro"] theatremania.com, January 13, 2004]
The plot follows the life of "
Everyman" protagonist Joseph Taylor, Jr. in a series of vignettes from birth to age thirty-five. Taylor, a doctor, grows up, marries a local woman, Jennie Brinker, and his wife's infidelity eventually drives him to move back home with nurse Emily West to serve the sick and needy. Themes in the musical include the corruption of large institutions.
*Joseph Taylor, Junior
*I Know It Can Happen Again
*One Foot, Other Foot
*The Winters Go By
A Fellow Needs A Girl
*It's A Darn Nice Campus
*She Is Never Away
*You Are Never Away
*What A Lovely Day For A Wedding
*To Have And To Hold
*Wish Them Well;Act II
*Money Isn't Everything
*You Are Never Away (reprise)
*A Fellow Needs A Girl (reprise)
*Yatata Yatata Yatata
*The Gentleman Is A Dope
The Original Cast recording was released in 1947 and on CD on March 9, 1993 by
RCA VictorBroadway, but did not contain the complete score. [ [http://www.amazon.com/Allegro-1947-Original-Broadway-Cast/dp/B000002WEY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1218133584&sr=1-1 amazon.com listing] ] A studio recording of the complete score is being produced in 2008, with Patrick Wilsonas Joe, and Nathan Gunnand Audra McDonaldas his parents. Release date and label are to be announced. [Gans, Andrew. [http://www.playbill.com/news/article/119129.html "Benanti, Butz, Callaway, Kuhn, McDonald, Wilson and More Featured on Allegro Recording",] playbill.com, July 2, 2008]
Green, Stanley. "The Broadway Fake Book"
* [http://www.rnh.com/show_detail.asp?id=AL Allegro at R&H Theatricals] Production information
* [http://www.stageagent.com/Shows/View/832 Allegro info page on StageAgent.com] - Allegro plot summary & character descriptions
* [http://www.metoperafamily.org/operanews/issue/article.aspx?id=4956&issueID=324 Opera News Online, August 2008 article]
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