Allegro (musical)

Allegro (musical)

Infobox Musical
name= Allegro

caption= Original Cast Album
music= Richard Rodgers
lyrics= Oscar Hammerstein II
book= Oscar Hammerstein II
productions= 1947 Broadway

"Allegro" is a theatre musical by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics), their fourth collaboration together.

Production history

"Allegro" opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theater on October 10 1947, running for only 315 performances. It starred John Battles as Joseph Taylor, Jr., Annamary Dickey as Majorie Taylor, William Ching as Dr. Joseph Taylor, Roberta Jonay as Jennie Brinker, Lisa Kirk as 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 Awards including Best Book, Lyrics and Score.

According to 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
pages =
publisher = New York Times
date = 2004-03-05
url =
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. [ [ Transcript of interview, Mike Wallace show, March 15, 1958] ]

;Encores! Concert

In March 1994 a staged concert version was presented by New York City Center Encores!, with a cast that included Stephen Bogardus (Joseph Taylor, Jr.), Karen Ziemba, Jonathan Hadary and 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. [ "Reviews"Allegro"], 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.

Musical Numbers

;Act I
*Joseph Taylor, Junior
*I Know It Can Happen Again
*One Foot, Other Foot
*Children's Ballet
*The Winters Go By
*A Fellow Needs A Girl
*Freshman Dance
*It's A Darn Nice Campus
*She Is Never Away
*So Far
*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
*Come Home
*Closing Scene/Finale


The Original Cast recording was released in 1947 and on CD on March 9, 1993 by RCA Victor Broadway, but did not contain the complete score. [ [ listing] ] A studio recording of the complete score is being produced in 2008, with Patrick Wilson as Joe, and Nathan Gunn and Audra McDonald as his parents. Release date and label are to be announced. [Gans, Andrew. [ "Benanti, Butz, Callaway, Kuhn, McDonald, Wilson and More Featured on Allegro Recording",], July 2, 2008]


Green, Stanley. "The Broadway Fake Book"

External links

*ibdb title|id=1787|title=Allegro
* [ Allegro at R&H Theatricals] Production information
* [ Allegro info page on] - Allegro plot summary & character descriptions
* [ Opera News Online, August 2008 article]

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  • allegro — [ a(l)legro ] adv. et n. m. VAR. allégro • 1703; mot it. « vif » ♦ Adv. Indication de mouvement musical, assez rapide (mais moins que presto). ♢ N. m. Morceau exécuté dans ce tempo. Spécialt Premier mouvement d une sonate, d une œuvre de la forme …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • allégro — allegro [ a(l)legro ] adv. et n. m. VAR. allégro • 1703; mot it. « vif » ♦ Adv. Indication de mouvement musical, assez rapide (mais moins que presto). ♢ N. m. Morceau exécuté dans ce tempo. Spécialt Premier mouvement d une sonate, d une œuvre de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Allegro (homonymie) — Allegro Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Ce terme d’origine italienne peut signifier : Allegro, un terme musical indiquant le tempo et signifiant « rapide » (de l italien… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Allegro (desambiguación) — Allegro es una palabra italiana; puede referirse a: Allegro, término musical. Allegro, biblioteca de programación. Aerolínea Allegro. Véase también Alegro, compañía de telefonía. Esta página de desambiguación cataloga artículos relac …   Wikipedia Español

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  • allegro — 1680s as a musical term, from It. allegro cheerful, gay, from L. alacrem (nom. alacer) lively, cheerful, brisk (see ALACRITY (Cf. alacrity)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • allegro — [ə le′grō΄, əlā′grō΄] [also in italics] Music adj., adv. [It < L alacer, brisk, sprightly, cheerful] fast; faster than allegretto but not so fast as presto: often used as a musical direction n. pl. allegros an allegro movement or passage …   English World dictionary

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