The Golden Age Of Theater
67 artists, 1738 songs
Before Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II teamed up in 1943 to write the lyrics and music for Oklahoma!, musical plays were primarily collections of music and dance routines with little or no plot, or plays where unrelated pop songs and dancing were thrown in primarily for entertainment value. Oklahoma! was the first modern musical theater production where music and dance was fully integrated with the play's plot and character development. Rodgers and Hammerstein composed several popular musicals such as The King and I, South Pacific and The Sound of Music. Other notable musical theater composers include Irving Berlin (Annie Get Your Gun), Cole Porter (Kiss Me Kate) and the team of Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe, who wrote the music and lyrics to Gigi, Camelot and one of the most successful Broadway production of all time: My Fair Lady. Musical theater changed abruptly in the 1960s when rock music, counter cultural ideals and nudity were featured in the Broadway musicals Hair and Oh Calcutta!