Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers

Playwright, Composer


Richard Charles Rodgers (June 28, 1902 – December 30, 1979) was an American composer of music for more than 900 songs and for 43 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television. He is best known for his song writing partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II and, together, they crafted what we now recognize as the quintessential American musical.

Rodgers was born in New York in 1902 and was introduced to music and live theater at a young age. He began to compose music at summer camp and became determined to work in musical theater. Whilst at Columbia University, Rodgers’ elder brother, Mortimer, introduced him to both Oscar Hammerstein II and Lorenz Hart. Rodgers first collaborated with Hart, a partnership that saw them write scores of songs, such as "Blue Moon," "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," and "My Funny Valentine," and the music and lyrics for 26 Broadway shows.

When Hart became ill and could not continue to write, Rodgers began to work with Hammerstein. Together they had a huge influence on American musical theater, creating classic shows such as Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Carousel, and The King and I. They also created a special televised musical of Cinderella, starring Julie Andrews, in 1957. After Hammerstein died in 1960, Rodgers did not stop working, but instead collaborated with big theatrical names such as Stephen Sondheim and Martin Charnin.

Rodgers was the first person to accumulate what are considered the top show business awards in television, recording, movies and Broadway—an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony—now known collectively as an EGOT. Additionally he and Hammerstein won the Pulitzer Prize for their work on South Pacific.

Rodgers died in 1970 but his musical legacy lives on, with his daughter Mary composing Once Upon a Mattress (1959) and his grandson Adam Guettel composing The Light in the Piazza, which won the Tony Award for Best Original Score and Best Orchestration.

Shows by Richard Rodgers


The show chronicles nearly four decades in the life of an average American, Joseph Taylor, Jr., from cradle through a mid-life crisis and the knowledge of his wife's infidelity. Soon, however, he discovers who he is and the m... read more

As a young couple, Michael and Geraldine left St. Paul Minnesota for Hollywood determined to be silent-movie stars. Geraldine becomes a star but Michael doesn’t. However, once talking films are introduced, the situation is re... read more

One of the quintessential “Hey, let’s put on a show” musicals, which boasts one of the most beautiful scores ever written, by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, including such timeless standards as “The Lady is a Tramp”, “Where... read more

Boy loses twin. Boy seeks twin. Boy finds trouble. When Antipholus of Syracuse leaves his home, with his trusty servant Dromio in tow, and spends seven years searching for his long-lost twin brother, he finds his life in dang... read more

By Jupiter takes place in the land of the Amazons, which is ruled by women. An army of Greek soldiers arrives seeking the Sacred Girdle of Diana, currently in use by the Queen of the Amazons. The women initially refuse to g... read more

Richard Rodgers once wrote that of all the musicals he wrote, Carousel was his personal favorite. This iconic American classic features some of the most powerful music ever written for the stage, including “If I Loved You”,... read more

Li-Pi Tchou, the Grand Eunuch's son, and his wife Chee-Chee flee from Peking because Li-Pi has no desire becoming a eunuch himself “ a requirement in his line of work. On their journey they are set upon by the tartars, monks,... read more

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s enchanting adaptation of the timeless fairytale, Cinderella, was their only musical originally composed for television. When the television program, starring Julie Andrews as Cinderella, first aired... read more

Martin is about to get married to Fay Morgan but is knocked in the head when she sees him talking to his former fiancée, Alice. While he is knocked out he dreams of being in the court of King Arthur and gaining immens... read more

The musical is set in New York City in 1776 during the American Revolution. The story concerns an American woman, Betsy, who falls in love with a British soldier, Sir John Copeland... read more

After years of struggling as a poor New York secretary, Leona Samish has finally begun her dream vacation to Venice, Italy. While in Italy, she stays at the Pensione Fioria, run by the flirtatious Signora Fioria. At the Pensi... read more

Set in the late 1950s, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song centers on naive immigrant, Mei-Li, who arrives in San Francisco's Chinatown, after fleeing communist China. The young refugee is befriended by Wang, who is st... read more

Leonard, a farm boy, is determined to compete in a major six-day bicycle race and win the heart of the girl he loves, Mollie Farrell. Even though the race has been fixed by corrupt gamblers, Leonard manages to win the race a... read more

Willy Palaffi, a banker and ladies’ man, is fed up with earthly women and declares that the only woman he would marry is an angel. To his shock, the gods send down a real Angel and she and Willy quickly marry. However, troubl... read more

I Remember Mama was Richard Rodgers final work. It tells the story of a struggling Norwegian immigrant family living in San Francisco at the turn of the century. After members of the family experience health and money probl... read more

Jumbo is a show about a war between two rival circuses .... read more

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I is a moving, radiant story of East meets West. It is the early 1860s when newly widowed Anna Leonowens and her son, Louis, set sail from their native England for Bangkok, Siam . Anna,... read more

‘Me and Juliet’ revolves around the inner mechanisms of a Broadway musical and two sets of lovers. The show-within-the-show is also titled "Me and Juliet" and stars famous literary heroes and heroines: Juliet, Don Juan, and C... read more

No Strings is the bitter-sweet story of an American writer, David, attempting to woo a beautiful American model, Barbara, while they are living in Paris. David is in Paris trying to overcome his writer's block. Barbara is i... read more

The first collaboration of famed partners Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Oklahoma set the American musical theatre standard. Set in Western Indian Territory just after the turn of the 20th Century, the spirited riv... read more

While teaching music at Knickerbocker University, Junior Donal tries to pursuade Sergei Alexandrovich, the director of the Russain Ballet, to stage a friend's jazz ballet Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. After getting involved with... read more

By using his self-confidence and cockiness, Joey Evans manages to get an M.C. gig at Mike's club. He quickly gets a girlfriend; the naive Linda. He treats her badly and ends up in an affair with a wealthy, married customer... read more

"Pipe Dream" is a tale of hard times and star-crossed love on Cannery Row. The musical is populated with longshoremen and "ladies of the evening", who weave a poignant story of the friendship and romance that blossoms among t... read more


Taking place in 1520, the show revolves around Queen Elizabeth I of England and her father, King Henry VIII... read more

The final collaboration between Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II, The Sound of Music, has become a play beloved around the world. Based on the true story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, this play captures a personal ta... read more

Set against the dramatic background of an idyllic South Pacific island during WWII, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific intertwines the themes of romance, duty, and prejudice to create a story that is all at once hilariou... read more

Originally based on Phil Strong’s novel of the same name, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair was the only musical they wrote directly for feature film. In 1995, this romantic story set in America’s heartland was adapted fo... read more

‘Two by Two’ is the story of Noah’s preparations for the Great Flood and its aftermath. Besides having trouble convincing people of the upcoming flood, Noah struggles trying to keep his chaotic family together.... read more


Show Categories
Comedy, Farce, Drama, Romance, Fairy Tale/Fantasy, Dark Comedy, Historical/Biographical