London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane will host a one-night-only 80th anniversary celebration of landmark musical theatre writing duo Rodgers and Hammerstein December 12. A starry list of headliners has been assembled to lead the evening, including Audra McDonald, Julian Ovenden, Marisha Wallace, and Patrick Wilson. More headliners are to be announced.
The connections to the Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music writers abound. McDonald won her first Tony Award playing Carrie Pipperidge in a 1994 Broadway revival of their Carousel. Ovenden was an Olivier nominee for his Emile de Becque in South Pacific, and Wallace was nominated for her work as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, the West End transfer of Daniel Fish's Tony-winning revival. Wilson was Tony-nominated playing Curly in the 2002 Broadway revival of Oklahoma!
Theatre Royal Drury Lane has its own Rodgers and Hammerstein connections as well, having hosted the West End premieres of Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, and The King and I.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II began collaborating with 1943's Oklahoma!, a landmark musical that is considered the genre's first to fully integrate the book, lyrics, and choreography as agents of forwarding the plot. They would go on to dominate Broadway over the next two decades as both a writing and producing team, writing a string of classic musicals including Carousel, South Pacific, Allegro, The King and I, and The Sound of Music; and producing I Remember Mama and Annie Get Your Gun.
Tickets are available at RH80Concert.com.