>>>I’M PATRICK PACHECO, COMING UP ON THEATER: ALL THE MOVING PARTS, A CONVERSATION WITH ONE OF THE PRIME MOVERS OF MUSICAL THEATER, TED CHAPIN, THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER OF THE RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN ORGANIZATION. ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪ WELCOME TO THIS EPISODE OF THEATER: ALL THE MOVING PARTS. I’M YOUR HOST, PATRICK PACHECO, HERE AT WEST BANK CAFÉ, ON MANHATTAN’S THEATER ROW. DIRECTING THE SPOTLIGHT TO THOSE WHO HELPED CREATE THE WORLDS OF WONDER WE CALL THE THEATER. TODAY’S GUEST IS TED CHAPIN. AS PRESIDENT AND CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER OF THE RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN ORGANIZATION, HE HAS FOR DECADES BEEN THE CUSTODIAN OF SOME OF THE MOST BELOVED SHOWS AND SONGS IN MUSICAL THEATER. TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF WHAT HE DOES, WITHOUT HIS APPROVAL, DANIEL FISH’S SUBVERSIVE REVIVAL OF OKLAHOMA WOULD NEVER HAVE REACHED BROADWAY AND WON THE TONY AWARD. WELCOME, TED, TO THEATER: ALL THE MOVING PARTS. AND OF ALL THE MOVING PARTS OF YOUR POSITION, IS KEEPING ALIVE SHOWS THAT ARE 50-YEARS-OLD YOUR JOB NUMBER ONE? >>>PROBABLY. >>>[LAUGHS] >>>I MEAN, WHEN I WAS ASKED BY THE RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN FAMILIES TO TAKE OVER THE OFFICE, WHICH WAS A YEAR AFTER RICHARD RODGERS DIED, SO THEY KNEW- >>>’79, I THINK. >>>HE DIED IN ’79 AND I WAS ASKED IN ’81 TO COME AND SORT OF DO AN APPRENTICESHIP FOR A YEAR. TURNS OUT THEY HAD ASKED A COUPLE OF FANCIER PEOPLE TO DO THE JOB AND THEY GOT SCARED AT THE, THE GRANDEUR THAT I THINK SOME OF THESE PEOPLE THOUGHT ABOUT THE JOB. AND THEY KNEW THE CHECKS CAME FROM THE OFFICE AND THEY DIDN’T KNOW TOO MUCH MORE THAN THAT, THE FAMILIES. SO THE IDEA WAS FOR ME TO SORT OF LEARN THE ROPES AND THEN TAKE OVER AND FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO. SO THE FUN WAS, OKAY, THESE RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN SHOWS ARE GOOD, WE KNOW THAT. BUT DO THEY, WILL THEY WITHSTAND THE TEST OF TIME AND THEREFORE, CAN THEY BE MORE THAN JUST, AT THAT TIME, YUL BRYNNER, AND THE KING AND I? THE KING AND I.>>>[LAUGHS] DID YOU ALSO FIND THAT YOU HAD TO PROTECT THESE SHOWS AND THAT PART OF PROTECTING THESE SHOWS WAS THAT YOU HAD TO INTUIT THE WISHES OF RICHARD RODGERS AND OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN? >>>PROBABLY, YES. THE WAY I WOULD PHRASE THAT IS, THAT WITHOUT THE MEN HERE, IT’S HARD TO SAY THEY WOULDN’T HAVE LIKED THIS OR THEY WOULD HAVE LIKED THAT. IN MARY RODGERS, FOR EXAMPLE, WE HAD SOMEBODY WHO HAD A FASCINATINGLY DIRECT ROUTE TO HER FATHER’S WORK. SHE COULD TELL YOU MORE ABOUT HER FATHER THEN YOU WANTED TO HEAR, AS A PERSON. BUT MAN, SIT NEXT TO HER IN A THEATER AND SHE’D SAY THAT TEMPO’S TOO FAST, THAT TEMPO’S TOO SLOW, THAT’S NOT THE RIGHT NOTE. BUT, I THINK THE, THE IMPORTANT WAY THE JOB STARTED WAS TO ENGAGE THE FIRST-RATE ARTISTS IN WANTING TO EXAMINE THESE PROPERTIES. BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS A LAWYER SAYING, YOU, NO, WAIT A MINUTE, THAT’S-THAT’S THE THIRD, THAT’S A, THAT’S A, YOU KNOW, AN EIGHTH NOTE, THAT’S NOT A QUARTER NOTE AND STUFF LIKE THAT. THEY DON’T WANT THAT. THEY WANT TO HAVE THE FREEDOM TO TAKE THESE AND MAKE THEM THEIR OWN. THEREFORE, ONE OF THE THINGS I’VE ALWAYS SAID IS THAT I ALWAYS WANT, AND THIS IS A TRADITION, THAT THERE ARE, ARE VERY SEVERE APPROVALS IN ANY CONTRACT. EXERCISING THOSE APPROVALS IS THE ART. BECAUSE YOU DON’T EVER ACTUALLY WANT TO HAVE TO EXERCISE THEM. YOU WANT THE DIRECTORS AND THE PRODUCERS TO HAVE A DIALOGUE AND SAY, WHAT WOULD YOU THINK OF DONNA MURPHY IN THE KING AND I? OR, WHAT WOULD YOU THINK OF, KELLI O’HARA IN SOUTH PACIFIC? AND THE BEST TIMES ARE WHEN YOU CAN SAY, GREAT. >>>FOR THE FIRST DECADE AND A HALF YOU DEALT WITH MARY RODGERS AND JAMES HAMMERSTEIN, AS THE TWO POINT PEOPLE IN TERMS OF THE ESTATE. BY 2014 THEY HAD BOTH DIED. >>>RIGHT. >>>HOW DID YOUR DECISION MAKING PROCESS CHANGE WHEN YOU DIDN’T HAVE THEM? >>>MY FIRST BOSSES WERE DOROTHY RODGERS, WIDOW OF RICHARD RODGERS, AND BILL HAMMERSTEIN, OLDEST SON OF OSCAR. AND SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE WE ARRIVED AT MEETINGS, MONTHLY MEETINGS WHERE I WOULD SIT WITH THE TWO OF THEM AND WE WOULD HAVE A VERY CAREFUL AGENDA. AND IT WOULD BE THE THINGS THAT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE ANSWERED RIGHT AWAY, BUT IT ALSO GAVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT THINGS AND TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE AND IDEAS. I WOULD PUT FORWARD IDEAS AND WE WOULD DISCUSS THEM, BUT IT WAS A VERY, VERY GOOD FOCUS SO THAT I COULD, FRANKLY, DECIDE WHAT DECISIONS I THOUGHT SHOULD BE MINE AND KEPT, YOU KNOW, KEPT AT THE OFFICE AND WHAT DECISIONS NEEDED TO BE BUMPED UP TO THE FAMILIES. AND SINCE THEY HAD BEEN AROUND THE THEATER, THEY WERE VERY, VERY SMART ABOUT DECISIONS. AND LUCKILY EARLY ON I MADE ONE DECISION THAT DOROTHY RODGERS DIDN’T WANT ME TO MAKE AND I LEARNED, OKAY, WE, THAT LINE IS NOW HERE, NOT THERE. >>>AND WHAT WAS THAT? >>>IT WAS JUST AN APPROVAL OF A USE IN A SITUATION COMEDY. A MINOR THING, LUCKILY, IT WAS A MINOR THING. BUT I THOUGHT, OKAY, OKAY, I HEAR YOU.>>>YOU LICENSE TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY PRODUCTIONS A YEAR AND MOST OF THOSE ARE THE TWO BOOKENDS, OKLAHOMA AND THE SOUND OF MUSIC.>>>RIGHT. >>>WHAT MAKES THESE SHOWS SO DURABLE? >>>LISTEN, IF WE KNEW THAT, PEOPLE WOULD BE WRITING THEM ALL THE TIME. WHAT I ALWAYS THINK IS FASCINATING IS THAT OKLAHOMA WAS THE SURPRISE. NOBODY KNEW IF THAT SHOW WAS EVER GOING TO GET WRITTEN, LET ALONE BE ANY GOOD. RODGERS WAS STILL WORKING WITH HART. HAMMERSTEIN WAS STILL WORKING WITH KERN. NEITHER OF THE PARTNERS WAS INTERESTED IN THIS HOMESPUN AMERICANA PLAY. SO, HALF OF TWO TEAMS JOINED FORCES. THE THEATER GUILD WAS OUT OF MONEY. YOU KNOW, AGNES DE MILLE, HAD BEEN FIRED FROM THE SHOWS SHE’D DONE. MAMOULIAN, HAD DONE PORGY AND BESS, BUT IT WAS A VERY ODD GROUP THAT HAPPENED TO COME UP WITH THIS SHOW THAT HIT LIKE GANGBUSTERS. SO, ONCE THE TEAM WAS ESTABLISHED AND THEY KEPT GOING, I THINK IN THE, IT’S FAIR TO SAY THAT IN THE 50S, THEY LOST THEIR WAY A LITTLE BIT, YOU KNOW, AS HAPPENS WITH-WITH ARTISTS WHO ARE AT IT FOR A LONG TIME. AND IN A VERY INTERESTING ODD QUIRK OF FATE, YOU KNOW, THE LAST SHOW, WHICH THEY WERE INVITED IN TO. THE SOUND OF MUSIC WAS NOT THEIR INITIAL IDEA- >>>RIGHT, YEAH. >>>… IT WAS MARY MARTIN’S IDEA. SHE WAS GOING TO PLAY MARIA VON TRAPP IN A PLAY ON BROADWAY. AND SOMEBODY THOUGHT, WAIT A MINUTE, MAYBE A PLAY ON BROADWAY WITH MARY MARTIN, ABOUT THE VON TRAPPS, SHOULDN’T JUST HAVE AUSTRIAN FOLK SONGS AND MADRIGALS. >>>RIGHT. >>>LET’S ASK DICK AND OSCAR TO WRITE A COUPLE OF SONGS. AND TO THEIR CREDIT, THEY HEARD THE STORY AND SAID, YOU KNOW, IF YOU CAN WAIT FOR US TO FINISH FLOWER DRUM SONG, WE THINK THERE’S A MUSICAL IN HERE. SO, IT TURNED OUT TO BE KIND OF THE RECAPITULATION, IN A WAY, OF EVERYTHING THAT THEY KNEW HOW TO DO AND KNEW HOW TO DO WELL. >>>NINE SHOWS LATER, ONE MOVIE AND ONE TELEVISION SHOW.>>>CORRECT. >>>ARE SOME OF THE SHOWS MORE RESILIENT TO RADICAL REINTERPRETATION THAN OTHERS? AND YOU CAN TELL US WHICH ONES ARE AND WHICH ONES ARE NOT. >>>IT’S INTERESTING, AS OF TODAY, THE SHOW THAT PEOPLE ARE THE MOST INTERESTED IN LOOKING AT IN INTERESTING QUIRKY WAYS IS OKLAHOMA, WHICH IS PERCEIVED IN, YOU KNOW, HISTORICALLY AS THE MOST INNOVATIVE. AND IT’S KIND OF FASCINATING. AND IT WITHSTANDS A LOT OF DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS. I MEAN, THE ONE THAT’S PLAYING NOW, YOU KNOW, FOCUSES ON THE LIBRETTO, I MEAN, THE DARK SIDE IS THE EASY WAY TO SAY IT, BUT IT’S MORE THIS SORT OF ROUGH SIDE OF WHAT THOSE PEOPLE WERE GOING THROUGH IN THAT TERRITORY IN THAT TIME KNOWING THAT STATEHOOD WAS ON THE HORIZON. THERE’VE BEEN OTHER PRODUCTIONS OF OKLAHOMA THAT HAVE BEEN INTERPRETED IN ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT WAYS. >>>WHAT SHOW IS LEAST OPEN TO RADICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE CATALOG?>>>WELL, GOING BACK TO YOUR BOOKENDS, I THINK, THE SOUND OF MUSIC.>>>RIGHT, YEAH. >>>THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE SOUND OF MUSIC THAT IS VERY STRAIGHT FORWARD. I’VE SEEN SOME PRODUCTIONS THAT HAVE TAKEN RADICAL NOTIONS TO THE SCENERY AND MAKING IT MORE ABSTRACT, BUT STILL WITH THE STAIRS FOR UPSTAIRS. [LAUGHING] IN A FUNNY WAY, I’VE BEEN AT THIS, I’VE BEEN AT THIS JOB LONG ENOUGH IT’S LIKE, DON’T BRING ME A SOUND OF MUSIC THAT DOESN’T HAVE A STAIRCASE.>>>IS THE NAZI INSIGNIA CONTROVERSIAL IN PRODUCTIONS OF THE SOUND OF MUSIC? >>>WELL, IT WAS VERY CONTROVERSIAL WHEN THE SHOW WAS FIRST DONE AND THEY, THEY MADE CHANGES. NO, THERE WERE NO ARMBANDS. SALZBURG FESTIVAL WAS CARLSBERG. I MEAN, THERE WERE THINGS THAT WERE TONED DOWN AND, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE THE WORLD WAR TWO WASN’T THAT LONG PRIOR TO THAT, SO THERE WAS A SENSITIVITY TO IT. ALTHOUGH THERE’S SOME VERY INTERESTING BITS AND PIECES IN THE, IN THE EARLIER DRAFTS AND I ACTUALLY SAW A SET DESIGN OF A DROP WITH MOUNTAINS WITH SWASTIKAS IN THE MOUNTAINS. AND I ASKED TIM CROUSE, WHO IS RUSSEL CROUSE’S SON, DID HE REMEMBER THAT. HE SAID, ACTUALLY HE DID AS A KID, HANGING IN THE THEATER IN NEW HAVEN AND NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN. >>>WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN DIRECTORS WHO WANT TO TAKE ON A RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN SHOW IN TERMS OF YOUR INITIAL DISCUSSIONS WITH THEM? >>>WELL, THEY MOSTLY ACTUALLY COME FROM PRODUCERS.>>>OH, REALLY. >>>BECAUSE PRODUCERS ARE THE ONES THAT WILL, WILL WANT TO HAVE AND HOLD THE RIGHTS. THE PRODUCERS USUALLY HAVE A DIRECTOR VERY MUCH IN MIND. WHEN THE NATIONAL CAME ABOUT CAROUSEL, AND THEY HAD NICK HYTNER, VERY MUCH IN MIND. UP TO THE BARD WHEN GIDDY AND LESTER FROM BARD APPROACHED ME WITH DANIEL FISH, VERY MUCH IN HIS BACK POCKET. BUT WHAT I, WHAT I’VE ALWAYS SAID IS, LET’S HAVE THE CONVERSATION. YOU KNOW, WHAT’S IN YOUR MIND.>>>AND YOU HAVE THAT WITH THE PRODUCER OR THE PRODUCER AND THE DIRECTOR?>>>I’LL HAVE IT WITH ANYBODY. I’LL HAVE IT WITH ANYBODY. AND THE MORE, THE MORE OPEN THEY ARE THE BETTER. I’VE ALWAYS CONSIDERED US A LITTLE BIT OF A HIDDEN SECRET IN THE MUSICAL THEATER, BECAUSE WE’RE ACTUALLY NOT THERE TO RAP KNUCKLES OR TO PUT A METRONOME ON THE TABLE. WE’RE THERE TO LISTEN AND I’VE NOW ACCUMULATED ENOUGH INFORMATION THAT I THINK I HAVE A VALUE TO POINT OUT THINGS THAT MAYBE DIRECTORS AND PRODUCERS WHO ARE NEW TO THAT PARTICULAR SHOW MAY TAKE A WHILE TO FIGURE OUT. AND I CAN SAY, OH BY THE WAY, YOU KNOW, JUST SO YOU KNOW, I’VE BEEN THERE AND HERE’S SOMETHING THAT’S, THAT YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO. >>>CAN YOU DIVORCE YOUR EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO A SHOW FROM WHATEVER VISION A DIRECTOR OR A PRODUCER, OR BOTH, MAY BE PRESENTING YOU?>>>I HOPE I CAN. WHAT I LOVE IS WHEN I SEE THE FINISHED PRODUCT AND IT GETS ME IN THE SOLAR PLEXUS. THAT’S WHAT WE ALL LIVE FOR AND THERE ARE SOME THAT DO THAT. AND THEN YOU THINK, OKAY, EVERYBODY’S, EVERYBODY’S DOING THE WORK WELL. >>>HOW NERVOUS WERE YOU AFTER YOU SAW THE PRODUCTION, THIS HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL PRODUCTION OF OKLAHOMA AT BARD AND KNEW THEY WANTED TO GO TO ST. ANN’S AND POSSIBLY BROADWAY? >>>WELL ACTUALLY, AT BARD, THEY WANTED SOME FUTURE, BUT IT WAS EXTREMELY UNCLEAR. SO I WASN’T NERVOUS AT ALL. I THOUGHT, I MAY NEVER SEE IT AGAIN AND IT WAS AN INTERESTING EXPERIMENT. AND IT WAS WHEN EVA PRICE CAME INTO THE PICTURE SHE’S THE ONE- >>>THE PRODUCER. >>>YEAH, THE PRODUCER. SHE’S THE ONE WHO HAD ST. ANN’S ON HER RADAR. AND THAT MADE SENSE, I THOUGHT, TO COME TO THIS TOWN BUT NOT COMPETE ON BROADWAY. BUT ST. ANN’S, YOU KNOW, IS A VERY INTERESTING PLACE, AND I THINK THE AUDIENCE THAT GOES THERE IS INTERESTED IN A VARIETY OF THEATRICAL EVENINGS. AND SO, THERE WERE A LOT OF GOOD CHANGES THAT HAVE BEEN MADE FROM BARD TO ST. ANN’S. CASING CHANGES AND ALSO CLARIFICATION OF WHAT THE DIRECTOR HAD IN MIND. HE ALSO WELCOMED ME IN AND ASKED FOR MY COMMENTS. AND INTERESTING->>>DANIEL FISH. THE DIRECTOR. >>>DANIEL FISH. AND ONE OF THE INTERESTING COMMENTS, WHEN HE FIRST SHOWED ME A REHEARSAL BEFORE BARD, THE ONE THING I SAID TO HIM WAS, “DON’T, DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE HUMOR THAT’S IN THIS PIECE.” >>>YEAH. >>>BECAUSE- >>>HE’S A SERIOUS GUY. >>>HE’S A VERY SERIOUS GUY AND HE WAS DOING A VERY SERIOUS PRODUCTION. BUT, WHEN YOU READ OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN’S LIBRETTO, YOU DON’T LAUGH. WHEN YOU SEE IT, COMING FROM THE MOUTHS OF ACTORS, IT’S ASTONISHING HOW HE USES HUMOR. BECAUSE HE KNEW, INSTINCTIVELY, THAT DRAMA AND HUMOR GO SO HAND IN HAND THAT, THAT SOMETIMES, I MEAN, I THINK OF THE END OF THE KING AND I WHEN PRINCE CHULALONGKORN IS COMING ON YOU KNOW, AND HE, AND THE KING SAYS, “WHAT WILL YOU DO?” AND HE SAYS, “I’LL HAVE BOAT RACES.” AND HE SAYS, “WHY BOAT RACES?” AND THE KID SAYS, “I LIKE BOAT RACES.” >>>[LAUGHS] >>>AND IT’S A LAUGH WHICH JUST GETS THE AUDIENCE OVER THE HUMP TO GET TO THE KING’S DEATH. ANYWAY, SO I SAID THAT TO DANIEL, AND IT’S, WHAT’S INTERESTING IS THAT I THINK, WHEN HE CAST ALI STROKER FOR BROOKLYN, THAT’S A FUNNY ACTRESS AND I THINK SHE INJECTED A KIND OF HUMOR INTO THE SURROUNDINGS WHICH ALLOWED ME TO SIT BACK AND SAY, “THAT’S WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT.”>>>WHEN EVA CAME TO YOU AND SAID, WE WANT TO MOVE TO BROADWAY. >>>RIGHT. >>>WHAT WERE YOU NERVOUS ABOUT? >>>EVERYTHING. [LAUGHING]>>>I DON’T BLAME YOU. >>>EVERYTHING, BECAUSE- >>>IT WAS PRETTY RADICAL.>>>WELL, IT WAS VERY RADICAL. I WAS ALSO PAYING, I WAS PAYING ATTENTION TO PEOPLE WHO WOULD REACH OUT TO ME AND IT WAS A SPECTRUM. I MEAN, THE FIRST THING I GOT WAS, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING OF? BUT THEN I STARTED TO GET THESE INCREDIBLY PASSIONATE, I HAD NO IDEA THAT PIECE HAD THAT IN IT. I DIDN’T REALIZE WHAT THE RISKS WERE FOR THAT COMMUNITY. I MEAN, A VERY, VERY INTERESTING THINGS THAT I HAVE TO SAY. THE KIND OF COMMENTS THAT WE ALL LOOK FOR WHEN WE GO TO THE THEATER. WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE ENGAGED THAT WAY. SO, IT WAS, IT WAS A PROCESS AND THEN THERE WAS A QUESTION OF WILL CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE BE AVAILABLE? YOU KNOW, SO, IT WAS SORT OF A PROCESS, ONE STEP AND ANOTHER. AND TO GIVE HIM CREDIT, NICK SCANDALIOS OF THE NEDERLANDER, CALLED AND I HAD THE MOST INTERESTING CONVERSATION ABOUT THE PRODUCTION AT ST. ANN’S COMING ACROSS. HE HAD TWO OR THREE NOTES THAT WERE, SOME OF THEM THE SAME NOTES THAT I HAD, BUT HE SAID THEM SO CLEARLY AND HE SAID, “THE CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE IS THE ONLY PLACE FOR THAT PRODUCTION ON BROADWAY, DON’T PUT IT ON A PROSCENIUM ARCH. DO IT THERE AND I THINK REVIVALS THESE DAYS-” HE SAID TO ME, “… NEED A POINT OF VIEW.” HE SAID, “ONCE UPON A TIME YOU COULD DO A VERY GOOD REVIVAL AND GET A GOOD TWO YEAR RUN OUT OF IT.” HE SAID, “THOSE DAYS ARE GONE.” HE SAID, “YES, BETTE MIDLER, GOT IT BUT, OTHERWISE, YOU NEED A REAL POINT OF VIEW.” >>>TRULY THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL ASPECTS OF OKLAHOMA WAS THE END- >>>YEAH. >>>… IN WHICH IT SEEMS THAT THE TOWNSPEOPLE ARE COMPLICIT IN A KANGAROO COURT->>>RIGHT. >>>… AND GIVES THE IDEA THAT SOMEHOW, AMERICA IS AT A CORRUPT PERIOD OF THEIR LIFE [LAUGHS], AT OUR LIVES->>>WHO KNEW? >>>… [LAUGHS] AT THIS POINT. WERE YOU, WHAT WERE YOUR NOTES ON THAT OR YOUR DISCUSSIONS WITH DANIEL FISH ON THAT? >>>QUITE SPECIFICALLY, AND A SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN IT, BUT, WHEN THE PRODUCTION WAS DONE IN BARD AND THE WAY JUD COMES TO THE WEDDING, NOT DRUNK AND REELING WITH A, YOU KNOW, BRANDISHING A KNIFE AS TENDS TO BE IN PRODUCTIONS.>>>RIGHT. >>>BUT VERY WELL DRESSED, METICULOUS WITH A GIFT. GIVES IT TO CURLY AND IT’S A GUN. AND AT BARD, CURLY TOOK THE GUN OUT AND SHOT HIM. AND THEN AS YOU SAID, THE KANGAROO COURT, TO GET HIM OFF ON HIS WEDDING NIGHT. AND I SAID TO DANIEL, “THAT’S, THAT’S TOO FAR REMOVED FROM WHAT THE, I THINK THESE GUYS WANTED.”>>>GETTING BACK TO INTUITY IN THESE TASKS. >>>EXACTLY. EXACTLY. AND ALSO, FRANKLY, COLD-BLOODED MURDER AND THEN SEEING SOMEBODY GET OFF IS TOO MUCH IN THE NEWS EVERY DAY AND IT WAS NOT PART OF WHAT THIS SHOW WAS. AND SO, FIGURE SOMETHING OUT SO THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN. WHICH IS THE KIND OF NOTE I LIKE TO GIVE RATHER THAN SAY, YOU MUST DO THIS, THIS AND THIS. IT’S LIKE, YOU’RE THE ARTIST, YOU FIGURE IT OUT AND HE DID IN A VERY INTERESTING KIND OF PROVOCATIVE WAY. >>>THE OTHER CONTROVERSIAL ASPECT OF THE PRODUCTION IS THE DREAM BALLET. >>>YES. >>>THE DREAM BALLET, WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THAT AND YOUR DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THAT? >>>MY NOTE WAS VERY SIMPLE AFTER, AFTER BROOKLYN, MAKE IT HALF AS LONG.>>>[LAUGHS] >>>AGAIN, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW I->>>WERE YOU THERE WITH A STOPWATCH? >>>WELL, I JUST SAID, IT FELT TOO LONG TO ME. IT FELT STYLISTICALLY VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE REST OF THE EVENING. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO FEEL THE EVENING WOULD BE EVEN STRONGER WITHOUT IT. BUT AGAIN, I WORK WITH, I WANT TO ENGAGE THE ARTISTS. AND THERE WAS, THERE WAS ONE VERY PARTICULAR MOMENT IN PREVIEWS WHEN DANIEL FISH ASKED FOR ME AND WE WENT TO A RESTAURANT AND HE WAS SITTING THERE AND HIS MUSICAL DIRECTOR WAS THERE, AND HIS CHOREOGRAPHER WAS THERE AND THEY SAID NOTHING. AND HE JUST LOOKED AT ME AND SAID, “I’VE DONE EVERYTHING I WANT TO DO.”>>>THE GRANDSON OF OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN, OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN III, WEIGHED IN ON THE PRODUCTION, SAID IT WAS A TRAVESTY, NOT WHAT HIS GRANDFATHER WOULD HAVE WANTED. >>>RIGHT. >>>ARE YOU SENSITIVE TO THOSE RESPONSES, THOSE REACTIONS? DOES IT HURT A LITTLE BIT MORE BECAUSE IT’S COMING FROM THE FAMILY OR IS IT JUST ONE OF ANOTHER OPINION? >>>A LITTLE TRICKY BECAUSE HE WAS TWO-YEARS-OLD WHEN HIS GRANDFATHER DIED AND THE TIMES THAT I WAS AT R AND H, HE SHOWED NO INTEREST IN WHAT WAS ACTUALLY GOING ON. AND THE FAMILY THE GENERATION ABOVE HIM DECIDED TO SELL EVERYTHING. SO, IN A WAY, IT MAY BE SELLERS REMORSE THAT’S GOING ON THERE. BUT, YOU KNOW, I MEAN, THIS HAPPENS AND, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU READ IT AND AS SOMEBODY SAID, YOU KNOW, AND THE, AND THE PAPER WILL BE ON THE PARAKEETS CAGE THE NEXT DAY. >>>[LAUGHS] MOST ESTATES OR OFTEN ESTATES ARE HANDLED BY LAWYERS AS, THAT YOU MENTIONED EARLIER, A LAWYER SAYING, YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA DO THIS, YOU GOTTA DO THAT. YOU HAVE PEOPLE THAT ARE WORRIED ABOUT GOING WRONG, MAKING A MISTAKE. >>>RIGHT. >>>I GATHER YOU DON’T HAVE THAT FEAR THAT MUCH IN TERMS OF MAKING A MISTAKE OR IT SEEMS TO BE THAT YOU’RE A LOT RISKIER THAN OTHER ESTATES MIGHT BE.>>>THANK YOU. [LAUGHING] I’LL ACCEPT THAT AS A COMPLIMENT. WHAT I WOULD SAY IS THIS, WHEN I WAS GROWING UP IN NEW YORK AND LUCKILY I, YOU KNOW, I GREW UP IN THIS TOWN, SO I COULD GET ON THE SUBWAY AND GO SEE SHOWS, WHICH I DID ALL THE TIME. THE, RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN WERE NOT THE FIRST SHOWS THAT I WENT TO SEE. I DID SEE, THE KING AND I AT THE MUSIC THEATER OF LINCOLN CENTER. ACTUALLY, WHEN I STARTED WORKING THERE, I HAD NEVER SEEN THE SOUND OF MUSIC ON STAGE. IN MY EARLY DAYS AT R AND H, I CAME TO HAVE SUCH A RESPECT FOR THESE WORKS AS WORKS OF THEATER AND, IT’S A CATALOG. I MEAN, EVERYBODY REFERRED TO THE BIG FIVE THEN BEING, OKLAHOMA, CAROUSEL, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I, AND THE SOUND OF MUSIC. TO WHICH WE HAVE ACTUALLY ADDED CINDERELLA, I WILL SAY. BUT THE GOOD THING ABOUT THAT AND WHY I THINK WE HAD, WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO TAKE A FEW MORE RISKS IS THAT IF ONE OF THEM DOESN’T WORK, IT CAN FADE OUT A LITTLE BIT, BUT THERE’S ANOTHER ONE THAT CAN COME TO THE FOUR. AND IN MY TIME AT R AND H, THERE’S BEEN KIND OF NICE CYCLES. I MEAN, WHAT’S, WHAT WAS CURIOUS FOR ME, AND HENCE THE GRAY HAIR- >>>[LAUGHS] >>>… WHEN I STARTED, YUL BRYNNER WAS TOURING IN THE KING AND I. IN THE 90S I SAW A PRODUCTION IN AUSTRALIA OF THE KING AND I, AND SHOPPED IT AROUND. THE ONLY TIME WE’VE EVER DONE THIS, SHOPPED IT AROUND TO BROADWAY PRODUCERS, AND IT OPENED IN 1996. AND TWO YEARS AGO LINCOLN CENTER DID THE PRODUCTION THAT BART DIRECTED. SO IN MY TIME NOW, I’VE SEEN THREE BROADWAY PRODUCTIONS OF THE KING AND I.>>>AND YOU’RE REALLY TALKING ABOUT THE RESILIENCE OF THESE WORKS->>>YEAH. >>>… TO TAKE THESE INTERPRETATIONS, AS WELL.>>>YEAH. NO, ABSOLUTELY. AS LONG AS EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS THAT WHEN YOU TAKE ON A RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN SHOW, YOU’RE NOT TAKING ON A BLUEPRINT FROM WHICH YOU, YOU SHOULD CREATE SOMETHING ON YOUR OWN. ALL THE FINE THEATER ARTISTS WHO HAVE DEALT WITH THE SHOWS IN RECENT YEARS HAVE AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER SAID TO ME SOME VERSION OF, I AM ASTONISHED AT HOW THESE SHOWS ARE CONSTRUCTED. BART SHER, EVEN SAID THAT TO ME WHEN HE STARTED WORKING ON MY FAIR LADY. HE SAID, “WHOA, WHOA, THOSE RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN TRANSITIONS ARE AMAZING.” [LAUGHTER] >>>ONE OF THE THINGS THAT CAROUSEL, ONE OF THE FIVE THAT YOU JUST MENTIONED, CAME UP AGAINST WAS THE ME TOO MOVEMENT, IN THIS ERA. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE QUOTE, UNQUOTE, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS THAT IS PART OF THE ZEITGEIST, IF YOU’LL EXCUSE THAT EXPRESSION. AND HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE THAT IN YOUR POSITION DEALING WITH THE CATALOG? >>>I THINK- >>>AND CAROUSEL SPECIFICALLY.>>>YEAH, CAROUSEL, I MEAN, YES, CAROUSEL HAS A VERY SPECIFIC PLOT POINT THAT IS VERY TRICKY ON THE SURFACE FOR PEOPLE TO DEAL WITH THESE DAYS. WE MAY SEE A PRODUCTION THAT HAS IN INTERESTING TAKE ON HOW TO DEAL WITH THAT. WE HAVEN’T YET. I’M OPEN TO IT. YOU KNOW, ONE, THE BEST PRODUCTIONS OF CAROUSEL THAT I HAVE SEEN IN MY TIME HAVE FOCUSED ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JULIE AND BILLY, BECAUSE IT’S THE KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WHERE YOU, WHERE THE AUDIENCE WANTS TO YELL AT JULIE, DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN. BUT SHE’S GONE FOR HIM. SHE’S JUST IS IN LOVE WITH HIM IN A WAY THAT OTHERS IN LIFE AREN’T AND SHE FORGIVES. AND THERE ARE OTHER CHARACTERS WHO SAID, YOU KNOW, DON’T WHAT, HE HIT YOU, NO. BUT, THE PRODUCTIONS WHERE THE SHOW HAS WORKED HAVE HAD JULIE, AND I’LL TELL YOU, ONE OF THEM WAS TEAL WICKS WHO WAS IN THE CHER SHOW, PLAYED HER WITH SUCH PATHOS AND SUCH DETERMINATION THAT IT’S LIKE, WOW, SHE BELIEVES IN HIM EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T.>>>WELL, SCOTT RUDIN SAID IT A BIT MORE SUCCINCTLY, HE SAID, “SHE’S A CHARACTER, GET OVER IT.” >>>RIGHT. >>>RIGHT. AT THE SAME TIME THAT IT WAS THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF OKLAHOMA, IT WAS ALSO THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF STONEWALL, IN A WAY AND YOU HAD THE PRODUCTION OF THE OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL- >>>RIGHT. >>>… WHERE IT WAS A SAME-SEX PRODUCTION. IT WAS LAUREY AND CURLY WERE NOW TWO WOMEN. >>>RIGHT. >>>THE CHARACTERS ARE TWO WOMEN. ADO ANNIE BECAME ADO ANDY, ANDY- >>>RIGHT. >>>… IN THIS. WHAT WERE SOME OF THE DISCUSSIONS THERE AND DID YOU GET A LOT OF BLOW BACK FROM THAT?>>>THAT WHOLE THING WAS ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING. BILL RA- >>>THIS IS THE OREGON SHAKESPEARE. >>>THE OREGON SHAKESPEARE. BILL RAUCH, WHO WAS THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, STILL IS I THINK THROUGH THIS SEASON OF THE OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL. HE APPROACHED ME AND HE WAS VERY NERVOUS, VERY NERVOUS. >>>[LAUGHS] BECAUSE HE HAD TO GET IT PAST HIM. >>>WELL, HE, BUT I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS COMING TO SEE ME, AND WE DID LICENSE CINDERELLA TO HIM YEARS AGO IN HIS CROSSROADS THEATER, I THINK IT’S CALLED IN LOS ANGELES WHERE HE DID MEDEA, MACBETH AND CINDERELLA TOGETHER AS A MASH-UP THAT MADE NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. SO, WE LET HIM DO IT AND IT WAS FASCINATING. SO HE CAME TO ME AND HE, HE POSED THIS IDEA OF DOING OKLAHOMA WHERE CURLY WAS A WOMAN, SO THE LAUREY, CURLY RELATIONSHIP IS WOMEN. ADO ANDY, TWO MEN AND AUNT ELLER BEING A TRANSGENDER WOMAN. AND BECAUSE I KNEW, >>>BEING PLAYED BY A TRANSGENDER WOMAN- >>>YES. >>>… OR AN ACTUAL TRANSGENDER WOMAN? >>>PLAYED BY A TRANSGENDER WOMAN AND I THINK, GOOD QUESTION, I THINK MEANT TO BE A TRANSGENDER WOMAN, VERY MUCH SO. >>>SO, SHE’S A CHARACTER AS TRANSGENDER. >>>NOW, PART OF, PART OF MY CONVERSATIONS WITH BILL, EARLIER THAN THIS MEETING, I KNEW THAT HE’S A GAY MAN MARRIED TO A WONDERFUL ACTOR, DIRECTOR OUT THERE. THEY ADOPTED TWO SONS. THEIR SECOND SON WAS AS A TEENAGER TRANSITIONING. SO I KNEW THAT NOT ONLY IS BILL AN ARTIST TO BE RECKONED WITH, BUT GENDER WAS VERY MUCH A PART OF HIS LIFE. SO, AND I THINK THE REASON HE WAS NERVOUS WAS BECAUSE OF THAT, THIS WAS NOT A GIMMICK. HE HAD THOUGHT THIS THING THROUGH SO CLEARLY THAT I, WHAT I SAID TO HIM WAS, “YES YOU CAN DO IT AT OREGON. PLEASE DON’T TALK TO ANY OTHER THEATER ABOUT DOING A CO-PRODUCTION.” AND HE SAID, “AND WE DO THIS DEDALUS DAY EVERY SUMMER AND WE DO A READING OF SOME GAY THEMED MUSICAL AND WE’D LIKE TO DO THIS PRODUCTION OF OKLAHOMA.” AND I SAID, “OH, GOD. ALL RIGHT, TWO CONDITIONS. DON’T TELL ANYBODY AND I’M GOING TO BE THERE.” SO, TO HIS CREDIT, I WENT THERE AND IT WAS A FASCINATING AFTERNOON. AND AFTERWARDS I SAID, “ADO ANDY IS ACTUALLY A RIOT.” BECAUSE IT’S MOSTLY ABOUT SEX AND SAY WHAT YOU WILL, YOUNG GAY MEN JUMPING IN AND OUT OF EVERYBODY’S BEDS- >>>[LAUGHS] >>>… IS MORE ACCEPTABLE TO A MODERN AUDIENCE. AND, THE FACT THAT THE PEDDLER DOESN’T WANT HIM. >>>[LAUGHS] >>>SO THERE’S A LOT OF HUMOR JUST BY DOING THAT. BUT I SAID TO HIM, “I’M NOT SURE OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN’S GOING TO BE THERE TO SUPPORT YOU WITH THE CURLY, LAUREY WOMEN, YOU KNOW, SAME-SEX THING.” AND WHAT HE SAID TO ME WHEN I WENT TO SEE THE PRODUCTION WAS, THAT KEPT, HE KEPT THINKING ABOUT THAT, TRYING TO FIND WAYS TO MAKE IT WORK. AND TO HIS CREDIT, HE MADE IT WORK AND IT WAS ODDLY UNBELIEVABLY MOVING. I MEAN, HE DID A PRODUCTION THAT WAS QUITE TRADITIONAL, SO THERE WAS, YOU KNOW, YOU CAME IN AND IT LOOKED THE CORN, YOU SAW THE CORNFIELD, YOU SAW THE FENCE, YOU SAW THE HOUSE. BUT YOU KNOW, I’LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE OF THE KIND OF SMART THEY WERE. FIRST THING, ON THE PORCH COMES AUNT ELLER WITH A PITCHER, OPENS THE BUTTER CHURN AND POURS THE MILK IN THE BUTTER CHURN AND I SAT THERE THINKING, THERE ARE GENERATIONS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A BUTTER CHURN IS- >>>[LAUGHS] >>>… OR DOES. [LAUGHING] AND IT’S LIKE, YOU PUT THE MILK IN AND YOU CHURN IT, AND IT TURNS INTO BUTTER. >>>WELL, I WAS GOING TO ASK YOU, IF DANIEL FISH’S PRODUCTION WAS NOT COMING TO BROADWAY, WOULD YOU HAVE LET THAT PRODUCTION COME TO BROADWAY? >>>YOU KNOW WHAT, I DIDN’T THINK EITHER ONE OF THESE PRODUCTIONS WERE BROADWAY MATERIAL. >>>[LAUGHS] >>>I DON’T WANT TO SAY WERE, BECAUSE THEY ARE. JUST THAT THE BROADWAY, AS YOU KNOW, BROADWAY CHANGES EVERY YEAR. AND I HAD NO IDEA WHETHER THERE WOULD BE A HOSPITABLE WORLD FOR AN OKLAHOMA DONE IN EITHER ONE OF THESE WAYS. >>>YEAH. SO THE TONY WAS, MUST HAVE BEEN SOMEWHAT VINDICATING. [LAUGHS] >>>IT WAS GREAT. [LAUGHING] I HAVE TO SAY, IT WAS GREAT. >>>BECAUSE THERE WAS NO SLAM DUNK THAT IT WAS EVER GOING TO GO THE DISTANCE.>>>NOT AT ALL. >>>NOT AT ALL. >>>NOT AT ALL. >>>I MEAN, YOU WERE- I MEAN, YOU WERE OUT THERE IN THE DARK AS, AS EVERYBODY ELSE WAS. >>>AND IN A FUNNY WAY, I’VE GOTTEN A LOT- WHAT I SAY TO PEOPLE IS THAT, YOU KNOW, EITHER BLAME ME OR CONGRATULATE ME BECAUSE, PART OF MY JOB IS TO NURSE THESE THINGS THROUGH. AND TO, I HAVE TO SAY TO THEIR CREDIT, THE NEW OWNERS CONQUERED WERE VERY, VERY SWEET ABOUT IT. YOU KNOW, THEY DID SAY TO ME, WELL, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD SAID, “NOW YOU’VE, YOU THOUGHT THIS LIKE THROUGH YEARS AGO, RIGHT, THIS WAS ALL GOING TO HAPPEN?” AND I SAID, “OH, YEAH. OF COURSE. OF COURSE.”>>>[LAUGHING] WELL, WE HAVE TO WRAP UP. WE COULD GO ON AND ON, AND ON. I’M SURE THAT IN THE FUTURE THE BEST HOPE FOR THE RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN CATALOG IS THAT THE STORIES ARE REINVENTED AND RETOLD, AND RETOLD, AND CAPTURED AT HEART. AND YOU HAVE DONE A SUPERB JOB- >>>WELL, THANK YOU. >>>… OF EXACTLY FULFILLING THAT MANDATE SO->>>I’LL KEEP DOING IT IF I CAN. [LAUGHS] >>>YOU ARE NOT TO BE BLAMED TED, AS YOU ARE TO BE CONGRATULATED. AND I CAN->>>THANK YOU. [LAUGHS] >>>… HARDLY WAIT TO SEE WHEN YOU MIGHT BE BLAMED.>>>[LAUGHING] THANK YOU.>>>THANK YOU SO MUCH. >>>THANKS. >>>THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. WE’LL BE BACK NEXT MONTH WITH ANOTHER LOOK AT THE EXPERT AND SINGULAR CREATIVES WHO LIVE AND WORK ONLY TO ASTONISH US. I’M PATRICK PACHECO. ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪