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EP 283: Todd Purdum on Rodgers & Hammerstein's Musical Magic

Todd Purdum, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a senior writer at Politico, discusses his own life-long love of the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, and why their Broadway shows like South Pacific are so timeless. He reveals how Oklahoma! revolutionized the Broadway musical and how their shows perfectly tapped into the mood of post-war America. He talks about how Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein bravely addressed social injustices in their work, and how Hammerstein's politics landed him in hot water at the height of McCarthyism. He discusses their troubled relationship with Hollywood and why the film version of The Sound of Music has been something of a mixed blessing for the R & H legacy. Plus Todd Purdum talks about how the troubling themes of spousal abuse and suicide in Carousel play with modern audiences in a new Broadway revival, what Donald Trump could learn from The King and I, and the Dominican nun who served as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s behind-the-scenes collaborator.

Order Todd Purdum's fantastic book Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution on Amazon or Audible, and look for his regular political articles in Vanity Fair. Today’s podcast was sponsored by Outside the Box podcast, Michelin Premiere Tires, and Legal Shield.

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