This is a story of how a remarkable and very different number of theatrical elements were welded together into something also remarkable and very different called "the musical". From operetta, vaudeville, variety, burlesque, revue and most importantly British music hall, came "the musical". But it did not come about by accident. It was the deliberate and conscious achievement of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein and the director Rouben Mamoulian. Against considerable opposition, both critical and commercial, they created a new art form which was unique and yet familiar.