Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! marked the dawning of a new era in American musical theatre. It also began the most successful songwriting partnership that Broadway has ever seen.
In 1942, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart were highly successful, having written musical comedies that were praised for their wit and sophistication. A decade prior, Oscar Hammerstein II enjoyed similar success writing innovative operettas that consistently reshaped the art form. Showboat, his 1927 collaboration with Jerome Kern, is highly regarded as a landmark in American theatre history.