Doreen Taylor and Davis Gaines will perform An Enchanted Evening: A Night With Oscar Hammerstein II, a “docu-musical” about the career of the lyricist-librettist, as a benefit for the Oscar Hammerstein Museum & Theater Education Center being built at Highland Farm, the Pennsylvania homestead where Hammerstein wrote many of his most famous songs.
The 90-minute An Enchanted Evening is scheduled to run for 10 performances, December 8–17 at the 777 Theatre in the Roy Arias Theatre Center, 777 Eighth Avenue in the Times Square theatre district.
The show features performances by longtime Phantom of the Opera star Davis Gaines and Billboard Top 100 recording artist Doreen Taylor. Taylor also wrote the script.
Members of the extended Hammerstein family are expected to attend selected performances.
Exclusive photos accompanying this story show Taylor at Highland Farm, in parts of the house where Hammerstein wrote his lyrics and librettos.
An Enchanted Evening, which premiered in Philadelphia earlier this year, highlights Hammerstein’s evolution as a Broadway lyricist. At Highland Farm Hammerstein found inspiration for much of the nature imagery found in his lyrics to Broadway musicals Oklahoma!, Show Boat, South Pacific, Carousel, King and I, The Sound of Music, and many others.
William Hammerstein, Oscar‘s grandson, has been instrumental in trying to convert the family home into a museum. To create this show he shared private stories; rarely seen images and videos; and personal memories for an in-depth glimpse into his grandfather’s life.
Taylor said, “I grew up performing in the great shows that Oscar Hammerstein II helped create and to think that the very place these shows were conceived is now being threatened is a travesty. I created this show from a very special place in my heart and as a labor of love. I revere Oscar and will always be grateful for forever changing the landscape of musical theatre history and being able to help save this legendary landmark is a great honor for me.”
In addition to being the place where Hammerstein wrote his timeless classics, Highland Farm was also the spot where Hammerstein gave teenaged Stephen Sondheim the crash course in musicals that put him on the path to his fabled career.
Tickets, which cost $81.50, can be ordered at Hammersteinlive.com, or by phone at (866) 811-4111