"Who expects a miracle to happen every day?": Rediscovering Me and Juliet and Pipe Dream, the forgotten musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein
Mariska, Bradley Clayton
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Me and Juliet (1953) and Pipe Dream (1955) diverged considerably from Rodgers and Hammerstein's influential and commercially successful 1940s musical plays. Me and Juliet was the team's first musical comedy and had an original book by Hammerstein. Pipe Dream was based on a John Steinbeck novel and featured bums and prostitutes. This paper documents the history of Me and Juliet and Pipe Dream, using correspondence, early drafts of scripts, interviews with cast members, and secondary sources. I analyze the effectiveness of plot, music, and lyrics, while considering factors in each show's production that may have led to their respective failures. To better understand reception, emphasis is placed upon each show's relationship to the political and cultural landscape of 1950s America. Re-examining these musicals helps document the complete history of the Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration and provides valuable insights regarding the duo's social values and personal philosophies of musical theatre.