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Agnes de MilleTelling Stories in Broadway Dance$
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Kara Anne Gardner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199733682

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199733682.001.0001

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Staging Allegro

Staging Allegro

(p.141) 7 Staging Allegro
Agnes de Mille

Kara Anne Gardner

Oxford University Press

Allegro represented de Mille’s final collaboration with Rodgers and Hammerstein. She served as both director and choreographer for the musical. The show did not find the same level of success as Oklahoma! and Carousel. Its plot lacked coherence, and it had no hit songs. Like Carousel, Allegro operated in the realm of fantasy in its attempt to surface the inner consciousness of the main character, Joseph Taylor Junior. De Mille and Hammerstein collaborated to produce innovative staging, using minimal sets, lighting, and a stage with multiple tiers to show fantasy on one level and reality on another. The show established principles that were later used to great effect in South Pacific. At the time of his death, Hammerstein was working to revise Allegro for television, suggesting that it posed creative challenges that he still hoped to solve.

Keywords:   Allegro, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Theatre Guild, woman director, Joe Mielziner, Stephen Sondheim

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