Saturday, February 13, 2016

Open house where Hammerstein wrote Broadway hit

Central Bucks West students will sing "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" on Doylestown porch where famous composer was inspired, as part of free March 23 event.

Open house where Hammerstein wrote Broadway hit

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Highland Farm, where Oscar Hammerstein II lived from 1941 to 1960.

Doylestown's Highland Farm, where Oscar Hammerstein II composed the opening classic song for Oklahoma!, will be open March 23 for tours, talks and a preview of the play by Central Bucks West High School’s Harlequin Club.

Hammerstein, inspired by the picturesque Bucks County countryside, wrote “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ ” on the front porch of Highland Farm. Members of the Harlequin Club will sing the song in costume on the porch one week before they stage the play at the high school.

The open house, scheduled from 4:30 to 8 pm., will also offer presentations about local and theater history and tours of the three-story mansion where Hammerstein and his family lived from 1941 till his death in 1960. The original house at 70 East Road was built in 1740, was replaced in 1840, and is now a B&B.

The event is free, but donations to the Harlequin Club and the Doylestown Historical Society will be collected. Parking is available across the street at the Farm Office complex.    

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About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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