Grandson of Oscar Hammerstein II Visits OKLAHOMA! At Music Mountain Theatre
Audiences are saying they're in love with Oklahoma! at Music Mountain Theatre, playing through August 19. The cast was recently visited by Will Hammerstein, grandson of the show's book writer and lyricist, Oscar Hammerstein II.
Currently celebrating its 75th anniversary, Oklahoma! was the first collaboration between the famous duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, who went on to write Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. Hammerstein shared with the cast that "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" was actually written on his grandfather's farm just across the bridge in Doylestown, PA.
He and his wife, Mandee, are currently fundraising to transform Highland Farm, which now operates as a bed and breakfast, into the Oscar Hammerstein II Museum and Theatre Education Center. Will's passion for enriching the community by sharing more of his grandfather's legacy, which changed the landscape of the American musical, is evident when hearing him speak about Oklahoma! in particular.
He shared that one of the famous lyrics in "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" was changed from "the corn is as high as a cowpoke's eye" to "the corn is as high as an elephant's eye" when Hammerstein was walking on his farm and realized that the corn growing on his farm was actually as high as the barn on the property which housed elephants! He only skimmed the surface of how important Highland Farm was to his grandfather as he wrote lyrics that are famous worldwide.
Pictured is the grateful and appreciative cast of Oklahoma! with their director Michael Moeller, Producer Ginny Brennan and Will and Mandee Hammerstein. For more information on the Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center visit www.hammersteincenter.org. You can catch the final four performances of Oklahoma! on Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Saturday and Sunday at 3pm at Music Mountain Theatre. Tickets are available online at www.musicmountaintheatre.org or by calling the box office at 609-397-3337.