Do I Hear A Waltz?
Douglas Morrisson Theatre
Based on the play THE TIME OF THE CUCKOO by Arthur Laurents
Music by Richard Rogers
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents
June 4 - July 4, 2004
Directed by Nancy McCullough Engle
Scenic Design by Kim A. Tolman
Vocal Direction by Michael Strelo-Smith
Choreography by Faith Blevins
Costume Design by Nancy McCullough Engle
Leona, an unmarried American secretary "of a certain age," goes on a vacation to Venice where, under the spell of that enchanted city, she falls in love. The gentleman is an attractive, middle-aged shopkeeper, whose attentions give flight to her deepest dreams of romance. Too soon, however, he openly informs her that he is a contented family man, and Leona's hopes are dashed. She can, for a short time, harness romance, yet realizes that such a relationship would have nowhere to go. Still, might it be better than never having loved at all? This timeless story, which is the basis of the movie "Summertime" starring Katharine Hepburn, remains a bittersweet testament to the complexities of the heart.
When DO I HEAR A WALTZ? opened in New York City at the 46th Street Theatre on March 18th, 1965, it was greeted with special interest because it was the first time Richard Rodgers had collaborated with another lyricist since the death of Oscar Hammerstein 2nd. True, he had written his on lyrics for NO STRINGS in 1962 but here, with the brilliant, young Stephen Sondheim he was working with a brand new partner.
Well before the first act was over it was evident that "…Mr. Rodgers is still king of the hill…"as Walter Kerr of the New York Herald Tribune put it – while Richard Watts of the New York Post praised Sondheim's lyrics as being "…deft and intelligent…" The show, with book by Arthur Laurents, bas on his play "The Time of the Cuckoo," went on to enjoy a run of 220 performances. In addition to its enduring title song, DO I HEAR A WALTZ? contains the beautiful "Take the Moment," "Moon in My Window" and "Stay."
Stephen Sondheim (lyricist) won Tony Awards as Best Composer and Lyricist for three consecutive years for Company, Follies and A Little Night Music. All three of these musicals won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, as did his Pacific Overtures. In 1979 Mr. Sondheim received a Tony and Two Drama Desk Awards for his score for Sweeney Todd. His accent to Broadway began with his lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, and DO I HEAR A WALTZ? and continued with music and lyrics for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Form and Anyone Can Whistle.
Richard Rodgers (composer) worked with his first collaborator, Lorenz Hart, for twenty-five years, during which time they wrote the songs for 26 Broadway musicals, 3 London musicals, and 9 films. They also collaborated on one night club revue and one non-musical play. Mr. Hart died in 1943 at the age of 48. Mr. Rodgers then entered another extraordinary partnership with a man he had known from their Columbia University days – Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, with whom he worked exclusively until Mr. Hammerstein's death in 1960. Their partnership produced nine Broadway musicals, including Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music, as well as one film musical Cinderella. Mr. Rodgers continued to entertain Broadway and television audiences with his music until his death in 1979.