Meet Todd Purdum – Author of “Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution"
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Yorba Linda, CA
Monday, October 15, 2018 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
They stand at the apex of the great age of songwriting, the creators of the classic Broadway musicals “Oklahoma!”, “Carousel”, “South Pacific”, “The King and I”, and “The Sound of Music”, whose songs have never lost their popularity or emotional power. Even before they joined forces, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II had written dozens of Broadway shows, but together they pioneered a new art form: the serious musical play. Their songs and dance numbers served to advance the drama and reveal character, a sharp break from the past and the template on which all future musicals would be built.
Though different in personality and often emotionally distant from each other, Rodgers and Hammerstein presented an unbroken front to the world and forged much more than a songwriting team; their partnership was also one of the most profitable and powerful entertainment businesses of their era. They were cultural powerhouses whose work came to define postwar America on stage, screen, television, and radio. But they also had their failures and flops, and more than once they feared they had lost their touch.
Todd S. Purdum is the author of “An Idea Whose Time Has Come” and “A Time of Our Choosing.” He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a senior writer at Politico, having previously worked at The New York Times for more than twenty years, where he served as White House correspondent, diplomatic correspondent, and Los Angeles bureau chief. A graduate of Princeton University, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Dee Dee Myers, and their two children, Kate and Stephen.
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