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Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Something Wonderful is, through my rose-tinged perspective, truly something darling. Purdum explores the relationship between the composer and lyricist, starting well before the two ever began collaborating and following their paths to the end. This work is an exhaustive look at the achievements (and failures) of the artists' lives, no mean feat, to be sure. Purdum takes readers on a tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's creative works, starting at the beginning and working his way -- albeit slowly -- to the bittersweet success of The Sound of Music, which surely remains one of the most widely-known and beloved musicals of all time. Although the work lacked the fluid telling I've come to love in narrative nonfiction (there was so. much. detail.), I was compelled by Purdum's telling, often chuckling or snorting in disbelief or shedding a tear or two at some tragedy or another. Of course, some of this emotional response is undoubtedly connected to my own attached memories; but I ultimately feel that Purdum captured an essence of life in his book. The thing about works such as Something Wonderful: I always pick up a nugget or two of historical import that come as an absolute surprise and charm me to bits. In this case, Purdum sprinkles in references about actors and actresses that tried for parts in the iconic duo's Broadway productions, but weren't selected -- names that stand out today as some of the best-known thespians of the 20th Century. (I won't spoil the fun for you, readers.) These little surprises managed to lighten some of the more tedious portions of the biography -- sections in which name-dropping is exhaustive but means nothing to the moderate theater-lover such as myself. Something Wonderful is a delightful history of two of the greatest theatrical contributors of all time. For readers with an interest in live productions or Broadway, I can't recommend this book enough. For the moderate enthusiast -- proceed for nostalgia's sake, but keep another book on hand to temper the reading
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