Christopher Holmes and Larry Gee

Highway 89 - Season 4, Episode 17

  • Mar 28, 2014 2:00 am
  • 52:47 mins

In this Highway 89 episode Christopher Holmes (baritone) and Larry Gee (piano) regale us with Rodgers and Hammerstein show tunes!  In the early 1940s Richard Rodgers was trying to find someone to turn “Green Grow the Lilacs” into a musical with him. He asked around. He asked Lorenz Hart (who he’d created “A Connecticut Yankee” and “Babes in Arms” with) but Hart and everyone else said no. Who could he get? As fate would have it, across town, Oscar Hammerstein II was also trying to get someone to co-write a musical version of “Green Grow the Lilacs.” He’d asked Jerome Kern (since they’d written Showboat together and that’d been a hit) but Jerome wasn’t interested. He kept asking around. Who could he get? Well, as you know, the rest is history. Eventually Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein connected, and the greatest theater collaboration of the 20th century formed. They ushered in the “Golden Age” of musical theater with Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. Oh and their “Green Grow the Lilacs” project they renamed Oklahoma! Together they netted 34 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, 2 Grammy Awards and the Pulitzer Prize! Because of their outstanding contributions to the City of New York they were honored with the Gold Medal Award by The Hundred Year Association and the United States Postal Service put their faces on a stamp!  Christopher Holmes is the Executive Director of Utah Lyric Opera. Locally he’s sung with Utah Symphony and Opera, Ballet West, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Upcoming engagements include the role of Jesus in St. John’s Passion with the Salt Lake Choral Artists and Renato in Un ballo in mashera with Miami Lyric Opera. He’s also adjunct faculty at Utah Valley University. Follow Highway 89 on twitter @byuH89