Concord Theatricals is celebrating Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, which opened on Broadway today in 1959, by pulling the curtain back on one of its most beloved songs: "My Favorite Things." Watch the video above and see Oscar Hammerstein II's process writing the song, from a discarded original title and concept to several favorite things that ended up on the cutting room floor.
The musical was the brainchild of Broadway legend Mary Martin, who created the role of Maria. Martin originally conceived the work as a play with music, bringing in her South Pacific songwriters Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to compose some new tunes for the von Trapp family to sing. The project eventually became a full musical, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's final collaboration; Hammerstein passed away just nine months after the work premiered on Broadway.
In the stage version of The Sound of Music, "My Favorite Things" is sung by Mother Abbess to comfort Maria after she finds out she's being sent away from the Abbey to become the von Trapp family's governess. The 1965 film adaptation starring Julie Andrews shifted the song to a later scene in which Maria calms the von Trapp children during a thunderstorm. The song has since become a holiday standard and the score's best known tune, with countless vocal and instrumental covers released.
Take a look at more The Sound of Music's lyric sketches in these papers from the Library of Congress Music Division's Oscar Hammerstein II Collection: