Richwood High School Mixed Chorus may not have been the best in
Ohio, but we did have a reputation for putting on an excellent
production of a Broadway musical every spring My
Fair Lady, Annie Get Your Gun, South Pacific.
the music director left for a
bigger school in 1962, and the next fellow had a little trouble
carrying on the tradition. We had a particularly bad production
of Pal Joey in 1964: poor direction, inept acting, and a
weak story line that was even immoral in places. [A quote about
the antihero from Richard Rodgers, who wrote the music:
"Joey was not disreputable because he was mean, but because he
had too much imagination to behave himself."]
that, a friend of mine, Terry Rockhold, and I decided we could write
a better musical ourselves if we just borrowed a few songs from
Rodgers and Hammerstein. We had a fairly well-developed idea
for a story line, dealing with something that was bothering us
at the time (and still is) but that has never been discussed openly
of the characters had begun to seriously doubt his religion.]
R&H could take care
of the musical end of it.
one big advantage of this plan was that it would make it possible
for the Chorus to get out of the red: no royalties to pay and
no elaborate sets to construct.