Mary Rodgers Dies At 83

Mary Rodgers, who, as the daughter of a famous musical theatre composer (Richard Rodgers), a musical theatre successful composer herself (“Once Upon a Mattress”) and the mother of a musical theatre composer (Adam Guettel), held a singular place in the history of the American theatre, died June 26. She was 83. There are many many stories, told to me many times by theatre folk, attesting to her quick wit. One of my favorites: Mary had a fairly strict rule not to drink in the mornings. She was boarding a 9 am flight in L.A., heading to New York. The flight attendant asked her if she’d like something before take-off. “Yes,” she replied. “A martini.” Her traveling companion remonstrated gently: “Are you drinking in the morning now, Mary?” Mary looked at her watch, and quickly turned it ahead three hours: “It’s not morning where we’re going.”

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