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Hammersteins: A Musical Theatre Family

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  27 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The remarkable, unprecedented biography of the Hammersteins, Broadway's greatest and most influential family, as told by Oscar Andrew Hammerstein

The Hammersteins is the story of one of Broadway's most creative and productive families. It is a story that begins in 1864 when Oscar Hammerstein I emigrates to America, establishes himself as a successful cigar merchant and tur
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published October 27th 2010 by Black Dog & Leventhal (first published September 29th 2010)
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This book disappointed me. The idea is wonderful: the Hammersteins were a powerful force in American theater for 80 years (much longer if you consider Stephen Sondheim an honorary Hammerstein), and a family biography could have traced the evolution of musical theater in New York from its vaudevillian origins to its present semi-operatic state. But Andy Hammerstein's intent was apparently much less ambitious. He gives us what is essentially an annotated scrapbook of family photos and press clippi ...more
First line: "The impact three generations of Hammersteins had on the development of the American musical theatre has no historic equal."

Oscar Hammerstein III presents an interesting but brief history of his family. I learned a bit here and there and enjoyed the photos from the Hammerstein archive. This book is a good general over view of their careers. However, it does not delve into anything truly personal. It reads more like a blow-by-blow list of productions and activities of these men. By th
I really liked this book. Rodgers & Hammerstein are arguably the best musical partners ever, and I really enjoyed reading about the Hammerstein family and how Oscar Hammerstein came to be part of the Broadway scene. I loved the pictures of the old theaters in NYC from the late 1890s through the 1950s, so gorgeous! I also had no idea that Stephen Sondheim was Hammersteins protege, that was really fun to read about. I would recommend this to anyone interested in musicals or theater! :)
Pamela Okano
You have to be a real Broadway musical afficianado to like this book. Lots of detail about pre-Oklahoma musicals you've never heard of and for good reason. The first Oscar Hammerstein was quite a personality, but you have to wade through all the shows he put on to find out about it. Not enough detail about the second Oscar Hammerstein. Perhaps this book would have been better had it been written by a non-family member.
Enjoyable, but I would've liked more on Oscar II. I found the first part, about Oscar I, to be the most engaging because it also involved a history of Times Square and the burgeoning theatre district--where I spent a lot of my time watching plays.
Very interesting! The pictures, programs, cartoons, etc. really add to the flavor of the book and the stories of Oscar I and his grandson, Oscar II. This book is written by Oscar II's grandson, Oscar III.
Jul 17, 2012 Joyce rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mike
Recommended to Joyce by: Marie
Interesxting biography/chronology of Oscar Hammerstein I, Arthur, and Oscar II. great pictures and anecdotes.
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