The Hammersteins

The Hammersteins

A Musical Theatre Family

Book - 2010
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The remarkable, unprecedented biography of the Hammersteins, Broadway's greatest and most influential family, as told by Oscar Andrew Hammerstein

The Hammersteins is the story of one of Broadway's most creative and productive families. It is a story that begins in 1864 when Oscar Hammerstein I emigrates to America, establishes himself as a successful cigar merchant and turns his attention to the business of music and theaters. He builds many theaters including New York's most majestic opera house. He turns Times Square (then Longacre Square) into the theater capital of the world. His sons, Willie and Arthur carry on the tradition and nurture such talents as Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, Al Jolson, Houdini, and Charlie Chaplin. Willie's son Oscar II becomes the most successful lyricist of all time, writing the story and words to the Broadway shows Showboat , Oklahoma , South Pacific , Carousel , The King and I , and The Sound of Music . The accomplishments of this family are monumental. Their tale is enchanting.

Written by Oscar "Andy" Hammerstein (Oscar II's grandson), The Hammersteins presents a multi-layered portrait of the Hammerstein legacy, complete with personal and professional highlights, as well as the scandals and tragedies. The book also draws heavily upon the family archives, presenting a rich collection of photographs, theatre blueprints, letters, programs, patents, and more, much of which has never been seen before. The Hammersteins is at once a deeply personal story of an American family living the American dream and a celebration of musical theater in this country.
Publisher: New York : Black Dog & Leventhal, 2010.
ISBN: 9781579128463
Branch Call Number: 782.1409 HAM
Characteristics: 236 p. : ill. (some col.), ports.


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Apr 23, 2013

You have to be a real Broadway musical afficianado to like this book. Lots of detail about pre-Oklahoma musicals you've never heard of and for good reason. The first Oscar Hammerstein was quite a personality, but you have to wade through all the shows he put on to find out about it. Not enough detail about the second Oscar Hammerstein. Perhaps this book would have been better had it been written by a non-family member.

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