WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) – The grandson of the man who is behind some of Broadway’s most famous shows is coming to Detroit.
Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the lyrics to the songs in “The Sound Of Music” and to “Oklahoma” and was one half of the famed theatrical team of Rodgers and Hammerstein.
His grandson, Oscar Hammerstein III, comes to the metro Detroit area this week to discuss his family’s history. He tells WWJ’s Tim Kiska that he has a theory about the popularity of so much of the Rodgers and Hammerstein material:
“The story is the organic center around which everything else orbits, and that’s what makes these shows so successful,” said Hammerstein III.
Hammerstein III says that the relationship between the famed duo was friendly but they were not friends.
“The relationship was pretty cool … not unfriendly, it was not like a friendship,” said Hammerstein III.
He is now the unofficial family historian, telling WWJ that his great-grandfather was a vaudeville impresario who reportedly came up with the pie-in-the-face comedy idea.
Hammerstein III will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Jewish Community Center on West Maple in West Bloomfield.