Saturday, July 18, 2015
Hammerstein: the forgotten existential years
[Scene: Living room of Oscar Hammerstein. He stares out the window, an empty glass and overflowing ashtray on the piano next to him. Richard Rogers enters.]
Rogers: Hey, Buddy, how are the lyrics coming?
Hammerstein: You mean to the Nazi Nun?
Rogers: We're going to call it "The Sound of Music," remember?
Hammerstein: Right. An uplifting musical about death and fascism.
Rogers: It's about good overcoming evil.
Rogers: What did you think of the music for the Do-Re-Mi song? Did you start on the lyrics yet?
Hammerstein: Yeah, I'm done.
Rogers: Really? You've been so depressed lately.
[They sit at the piano.]
Hammerstein: Dough...a pile...of cold hard cash. Ray...a gun that shoots you dead. Me...the only thing I love. Fatawa, a bullet to your head.
Rogers: Fatwa? I don't even know what that--
Hammerstein: --I don't quite have the metric there yet.
Rogers: ...It's awfully cynical.
Hammerstein: It's set in Nazi Austria.
Rogers: Listen, I thought we discussed this. No more Nietzsche. Not even Camus. It just puts you in this weird funk.
Hammerstein: The next part is lighter.
Rogers: Okay, go ahead.
Hammerstein: So...a word that means who cares? La...the start of la-ti-da. Tee...a shirt my grandpa wears. Back to Doh and blah, blah, blah.
Rogers: Get your swimsuit. I'm taking you to a water park.