Mary Rodgers

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Mary Rodgers (born January 11, 1931) is an American composer of musicals and an author of children's books. She is a daughter of composer Richard Rodgers and his wife, Dorothy Rodgers, as is her sister, Linda Rodgers Emory. She attended the private girls' school Brearley School in New York City and majored in music at Wellesley College.[1]

Rodgers wrote the music for musicals and revues including Once Upon a Mattress (1959), From A to Z (1960), Hot Spot (1963), The Mad Show (1966), Working (1978), and Phyllis Newman's one-woman show The Madwoman of Central Park West (1979). A revue of Rodgers' music titled Hey, Love, conceived and directed by Richard Maltby, Jr. ran in June 1993 at Eighty-Eight's in New York City.[2]

She eventually transitioned into writing children's books, most notably, Freaky Friday (1972), which was made into a feature film (released 1977) for which Rodgers wrote the screenplay.[3] She later explained, "I had a pleasant talent but not an incredible talent....I was not my father or my son. And you have to abandon all kinds of things."[4] Rodgers' children's books include Summer Switch, A Billion for Boris (later republished under the title ESP TV), and The Rotten Book, and she contributed songs to the landmark children's album Free to Be... You and Me.[5]

Adam Guettel, Rodgers' son by second husband Henry, is a Tony Award-winning musical theatre composer. She has four other surviving children, a fifth child died young. Rodgers is a director of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization and a board member of ASCAP. She also served for several years as chairman of the Juilliard School.[1]


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