All tagged Peter Stone

Remembering Two By Two

When the groundbreaking composing team of Rodgers and Hammerstein came to an end with Hammerstein’s death in 1960, Rodgers spent the balance of his career trying to find a lyricist with whom he could achieve similar magic. A decade later, Rodgers was still searching when he paired with lyricist Martin Charnin for the musical Two By TwoTwo By Two was based on the Clifford Odets play The Flowering Peach (adapted by Peter Stone) that followed the biblical character of Noah and his family as they prepare for the flood, build an ark, and set sail with a menagerie of animals, one male and one female of each species. 

Broadway Blip: Sugar

The 1959 Billy Wilder film Some Like it Hot is regarded by many to be one of the greatest film comedies of all time. Certainly the ingredients were in place for that to be so: a hilarious, comedy of errors screenplay, Wilder’s always spot-on, direction with carefully chosen tempoes, and a cast that featured Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis. There was also a lot of cross-dressing and that, coupled with the film’s final moment, made Some Like It Hot about as risqué and saucy as a film could be in 1959 and still get away with it. The idea of turning Some Like It Hot into a musical, on paper, certainly makes sense. You have larger-than-life characters who play in a band, an exotic locale (a Floridian resort hotel), and a situation that is guaranteed to make audiences laugh. It makes sense that Bob Merrill would come together with Jule Styne, as well as librettist Peter Stone, to try to make this property sing for the musical stage.    

Best of the Broadway Book Writers

Writing the book for a Broadway musical is a craft that is fraught with landmines. It is the delicate art of creating the framework for musical storytelling, a house of cards on which to hang the songs and characters that will hopefully yield a fascinating depth and a compelling purpose. When a musical fails, the blame is often put squarely on the musical's book, yet if a show succeeds, the book writer is rarely given the credit they are due. Despite the challenges a book writer faces, there has been a handful of craftsmen who have successfully delivered first-rate books that continue to be as potent and perfect as the days these shows opened. Help me celebrate the unsung heroes of musical theatre, the most-enduring of Broadway musical book writers.