While Showboat was a harbinger of things to come on the Broadway stage, the form of the musical was in flux until Rodgers collaborated with Hammerstein and Oklahoma rang in the 1940s.
It was radical and different from anything audiences had ever seen before. Then the floodgates opened completely with shows like Carousel, South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, Kismet, and Kiss Me Kate (the first Tony award winner). The 1950s ended with The Sound of Music.
And in 1957 West Side Story pushed the envelope again, and introduced Broadway to Stephen Sondheim. American Musical Theater was defined.
Rodgers and Hammerstein: "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" from Oklahoma
Laurence Guittard and Orchestra
Rodgers and Hammerstein: Overture, "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught" and Finale from South Pacific
Mary Martin, Ezio Pinza and Williams Tabbert
Bernstein: "Times Square 1944" from On the Town
Styne/Sondheim: "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy
Porter: "Another Openin'", "Another Show/Brush Up Your Shakespeare" from Kiss Me, Kate
Lorenzo Fuller, Aloysius Donovan and Alexis Dubroff
Loesser: "Fugue for Tinhorns" and "Adelaide's Lament" from Guys and Dolls
Stubby Kaye, Johnny Silver and Vivian Blaine
Lerner and Lowe: "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" from My Fair Lady
Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison
Bernstein/Sondheim: Prologue from West Side Story
The Jets and Orchestra
Willson: Finale from The Music Man
Robert Preston and Barbara Cook