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We’ll Have ManhattanThe Early Work of Rodgers & Hart$
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Dominic Symonds

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199929481

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199929481.001.0001

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The Summer Camps and Varsity Shows

The Summer Camps and Varsity Shows

(p.28) 1 The Summer Camps and Varsity Shows
We’ll Have Manhattan

Dominic Symonds

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the first six years of Rodgers and Hart’s collaboration, from 1919 to 1925. It takes in their formative experiences writing shows at summer camps and for charity benefits, then follows Rodgers’s college education through Columbia University and the Institute of Musical Art (IMA). During this period they met significant writing buddies Herbert Fields and Oscar Hammerstein and started to work with Lew Fields as producer. The chapter considers their Varsity Shows at Columbia, including Fly with Me (1920), their end of year shows for the IMA, and their first professional commissions from Lew Fields in Poor Little Ritz Girl (1920) and The Melody Man (1924). It also discusses the transition between their first commissioned song, “Any Old Place with You” and their first hit, “Manhattan.” This period reveals interests that recur throughout their career, not least a fascination for Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Keywords:   Herbert Fields, Lew Fields, Columbia University, Varsity Shows, Fly with Me, Poor Little Ritz Girl, Melody Man, Connecticut Yankee, Any Old Place with You, Manhattan

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