The romance of Rodgers and Hammerstein

7 September 2011, 11:04 | Updated: 26 November 2018, 11:31

The lush romance of South Pacific continues to have an enduring appeal, with many new productions springing up across the UK this autumn. But which other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals can match up to its starry-eyed romance?

Oklahoma is often overshadowed by some of the more well-known musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein, but it’s definitely a contender. It has a darker side than most of their work, with the character of Jud encapsulating the wilder side of the West, but many romantic songs and a joyfully happy ending.

On paper The Sound of Music sounds ludicrous with its cast of nuns, Nazis and children, but it’s one of the most romantic musicals ever performed. The songs are timeless and brilliant, the Austrian scenery beautiful and Maria’s transformation from dippy novice to leading lady believable and sympathetic.

Whilst the premise isn’t a million miles away from The Sound of Music, the setting is and that’s what makes The King and I special. Whilst its most well known songs, I Whistle a Happy Tune and Getting To Know You, aren’t about romance, the story of love lost and love denied make it an intense and moving story.

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