PBS special “Oscar Hammerstein II – Out of My Dreams,” to air in March
Matthew Morrison (“Glee”), who starred in the 2008 Tony-winning revival of “South Pacific” as Lieutenant Cable, is host of the upcoming PBS special “Oscar Hammerstein II – Out of My Dreams.”
The program is scheduled to premiere March 3 (check local listings), according to a news release.
A summary of the hour-long special, provided by PBS, is as follows:
“Oscar Hammerstein II – Out of My Dreams” is a celebration of the most acclaimed lyricist and librettist of the 20th century, the man who worked in the theater for over 40 years, writing the lyrics for over a thousand songs and the libretti for dozens of operettas and musicals performed on Broadway, in London and in Hollywood films. His legendary works include Rose-Marie (1924), Show Boat (1927), Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945), South Pacific (1949), The King and I (1951) and The Sound of Music (1959). Brimming over with movie clips from his greatest musicals, this new PBS special features interviews with Stephen Sondheim, Harold Prince, Shirley Jones, Mitzi Gaynor, Hammerstein family members and others.
Born into a theatrical dynasty, Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) changed the course of musical theater forever with a series of landmark productions, from Show Boat, composed by Jerome Kern in 1927, to the “Golden Age of Broadway” musicals written with composer Richard Rodgers from 1942-1959. The American musical, which began as purely light-hearted and escapist entertainment, was transformed by Hammerstein’s groundbreaking works that told believable stories about plausible (often real-life) characters, with songs that enhanced the narrative, and a message that was sometimes political, and nearly always inspirational.
“Oscar Hammerstein II – Out of My Dreams” includes segments from five of the timeless, ever-popular Rodgers & Hammerstein films, including iconic scenes from Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and the most popular movie musical of all time, The Sound of Music. Also featured are songs and scenes from among the several movie versions of Show Boat, as well as a clip from the rarely seen film, Lady Be Good, with Ann Sothern singing “The Last Time I Saw Paris,” written by Oscar Hammerstein II on the day Paris fell to Nazi Germany. Set to music by Jerome Kern, it won the Academy Award as Best Song in 1941.
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