From the favorites of Tin Pan Alley to today’s international blockbusters, the stylistic range required of a musical theatre performer is expansive. Musical theatre roles require the ability to adapt to a panoply of characters and vocal styles. By breaking down these styles and exploring the output of the great composers, Songwriters of the American Musical Theatre offers singers and performers an essential guide to the modern musical. Composers from Gilbert and Sullivan and Irving Berlin to Alain Boublil and Andrew Lloyd Webber are examined through a brief biography, a stylistic overview, and a comprehensive song list with notes on suitable voice types and further reading. This volume runs the gamut of modern musical theatre, from English light opera through the American Golden Age, up to the "mega musicals" of the late Twentieth Century, giving today’s students and performers an indispensable survey of their craft.
(Book). This volume collects, for the first time, 28 biographies of the greatest songwriters and lyricists of Broadway musicals. It goes below the surface to see what made them tick and to uncover the secrets of their success as well as the personal foibles that sometimes led to their downfall. Longtime theatre lover and stage veteran Herbert Keyser takes us on a personal journey through the music that made these great artists so much a part of our history and our lives. Keyser has assembled a reader-friendly collection of stories that will capture your heart, bring a tear to your eye or a smile to your face, and all the while have you singing along. In presenting these life histories, full of drama, humor, and poignancy, The Geniuses of the American Musical Theatre gives us the story of the golden age of Broadway from a well-informed, witty, and warmhearted new perspective. The first book of its type ever assembled, it is a tremendous attraction for all those who love theatre and popular music, with intimate, little-known details of popular songwriters' lives.
From the diverse proto-theatres of the mid-1800s, though the revues of the ‘20s, the ‘true musicals’ of the ‘40s, the politicisation of the ‘60s and the ‘mega-musicals’ of the ‘80s, every era in American musical theatre reflected a unique set of socio-cultural factors. Nathan Hurwitz uses these factors to explain the output of each decade in turn, showing how the most popular productions spoke directly to the audiences of the time. He explores the function of musical theatre as commerce, tying each big success to the social and economic realities in which it flourished. This study spans from the earliest spectacles and minstrel shows to contemporary musicals such as Avenue Q and Spiderman. It traces the trends of this most commercial of art forms from the perspective of its audiences, explaining how staying in touch with writers and producers strove to stay in touch with these changing moods. Each chapter deals with a specific decade, introducing the main players, the key productions and the major developments in musical theatre during that period.
Essays on Composers, Lyricists, Librettists, Arrangers, Choreographers, Designers, Directors, Producers and Performance Artists
Author: Bertram E. Coleman,Judith Sebesta
Publisher: McFarland & Company Incorporated Pub
"These essays examine the history of women in musical theatre, providing biographical descriptions; interpretations of their productions; and several accounts of how being a woman affected their careers"--Provided by publisher.
From patriotic "God Bless America" to wistful "White Christmas," Irving Berlin's songs have long accompanied Americans as they fall in love, go to war, and come home for the holidays. Irving Berlin's American Musical Theater is the first book to fully consider this songwriter's immeasurable influence on the American stage. Award-winning music historian Jeffrey Magee chronicles Berlin's legendary theatrical career, providing a rich background to some of the great composer's most enduring songs, from "There's No Business Like Show Business" to "Puttin' on the Ritz." Magee shows how Berlin's early experience singing for pennies made an impression on the young man, who kept hold of that sensibility throughout his career and transformed it into one of the defining attributes of Broadway shows. Magee also looks at darker aspects of Berlin's life, examining the anti-Semitism that Berlin faced and his struggle with depression. Informative, provocative, and full of colorful details, this book will delight song and theater aficionados alike as well as anyone interested in the story of a man whose life and work expressed so well the American dream.
The Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway's Major Composers
Author: Steven Suskin
Publisher: OUP USA
Show Tunes, the most comprehensive musical theatre reference book ever, chronicles the work of Broadway's greatest composers, from 1904 through 2009. Almost 1,000 shows and 10,000 show tunes are included, with additional musicals and composers added to the fourth edition. This fact-packed volume is informative, insightful, provocative, and entertaining: the definitive survey of a fascinating field. It is a must for musical theatre enthusiasts, performers, students, collectors, and anyone who enjoys Show Tunes.
From 1925 to 1951--three chaotic decades of depression, war, and social upheaval--Jewish writers brought to the musical stage a powerfully appealing vision of America fashioned through song and dance. It was an optimistic, meritocratic, selectively inclusive America in which Jews could at once lose and find themselves--assimilation enacted onstage and off, as Andrea Most shows. This book examines two interwoven narratives crucial to an understanding of twentieth-century American culture: the stories of Jewish acculturation and of the development of the American musical. Here we delve into the work of the most influential artists of the genre during the years surrounding World War II--Irving Berlin, Eddie Cantor, Dorothy and Herbert Fields, George and Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein, Lorenz Hart, and Richard Rodgers--and encounter new interpretations of classics such as The Jazz Singer, Whoopee, Girl Crazy, Babes in Arms, Oklahoma!, Annie Get Your Gun, South Pacific, and The King and I. Most's analysis reveals how these brilliant composers, librettists, and performers transformed the experience of New York Jews into the grand, even sacred acts of being American. Read in the context of memoirs, correspondence, production designs, photographs, and newspaper clippings, the Broadway musical clearly emerges as a form by which Jewish artists negotiated their entrance into secular American society. In this book we see how the communities these musicals invented and the anthems they popularized constructed a vision of America that fostered self-understanding as the nation became a global power.
A reference that covers American stage, film, and television musicals from 1860 to 2007 offers information on the musical productions and the historical evolution of the musical, as well as on performers, composers, and producers.
(Limelight). The lyricist/librettist of The Fantasticks , the longest-running show in the history of the American theater, takes on a new role as your guide through the magical world of the stage musical.
An Encyclopedic Guide to the American Musical Theatre
Author: Thomas S. Hischak
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
A one-stop source for information on the American musical theatre, Stage It with Music packs an astonishing quantity of facts as well as insights and anecdotes into a convenient A-Z dictionary format. Coverage extends from the genre's nineteenth century beginnings to the present. Included are entries on over 300 individual shows, musical series, performers, composers, lyricists, librettists, directors, designers, music directors, orchestrators, choreographers, producers, producing companies and other theatrical institutions, as well as related topics and genres. Thoroughly indexed, the volume also includes a chronology of musical shows and a bibliography. As fascinating as its subject, Stage It with Music will lure the student or researcher into delightful and rewarding browsing.
Contains entries on collaborators Rodgers and Hammerstein, including stage, film, and television projects, theater playhouses, organizations, their two hundred thirty-one major songs, and other artists who worked with the two men.
How to Create Stories for Musicals That Get Standing Ovations
Author: Steve Cuden
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
Category: Performing Arts
The popularity of musicals has reached an all-time high leading to the development of numerous original shows. In this comprehensive new guide, Beating Broadway: How to Create Stories for Musicals That Get Standing Ovations, written by veteran storyteller and successful creator of musicals Steve Cuden, readers learn how the plots and stories behind musicals are developed and honed. With a breezy, lighthearted approach, creators at all levels are provided key advice for building winning musical stories. Cuden, who has been there, done that, offers writers the know-how and encouragement to construct brilliant, attention-grabbing musical storylines. Beating Broadway provides readers with practical, down-to-earth advice for crafting successful musical theater stories that will reach audiences everywhere. This complete, two-part manual also guides aspiring writers in what it takes to develop shows that can attract Broadway producers. By showing writers the ins and outs of storytelling required for today's commercial musical theater, Beating Broadway places success firmly within grasp. Readers also gain insight into how stories function in forty of the world's most beloved stage and movie musicals as Cuden breaks down each one into key narrative beats and plot points. “Beating Broadway is a take-you-by-the-hand guided tutorial written by a seasoned professional who really knows his stuff. This book feeds your mind with how stories for musicals are made. If you are interested in creating or producing a musical, Steve's insights will be helpful and inspiring to you.JEFF MARX, Tony winning Composer/Lyricist of Avenue Q “Beating Broadway digs deep to the core of how stories for successful musicals are created. This is a must-have book for anyone who wants to write exceptional musicals or is just a fan.”SCOTT WITTMAN, Tony Winning Lyricist of Hairspray and Co-Lyricist and Executive Producer for the Hit TV Series, Smash “Beat-by-beat, Steve Cuden breaks down story, structure, and song spotting so you can beat the Broadway musical before it beats you!”CHERI STEINKELLNER, Emmy-winning Writer/Producer of Cheers and Teacher's Pet, Tony-nominated Writer of Sister Act
A New York Times Bestseller For almost a century, Americans have been losing their hearts and losing their minds in an insatiable love affair with the American musical. It often begins in childhood in a darkened theater, grows into something more serious for high school actors, and reaches its passionate zenith when it comes time for love, marriage, and children, who will start the cycle all over again. Americans love musicals. Americans invented musicals. Americans perfected musicals. But what, exactly, is a musical? In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Jack Viertel takes them apart, puts them back together, sings their praises, marvels at their unflagging inventiveness, and occasionally despairs over their more embarrassing shortcomings. In the process, he invites us to fall in love all over again by showing us how musicals happen, what makes them work, how they captivate audiences, and how one landmark show leads to the next—by design or by accident, by emulation or by rebellion—from Oklahoma! to Hamilton and onward. Structured like a musical, The Secret Life of the American Musical begins with an overture and concludes with a curtain call, with stops in between for “I Want” songs, “conditional” love songs, production numbers, star turns, and finales. The ultimate insider, Viertel has spent three decades on Broadway, working on dozens of shows old and new as a conceiver, producer, dramaturg, and general creative force; he has his own unique way of looking at the process and at the people who collaborate to make musicals a reality. He shows us patterns in the architecture of classic shows and charts the inevitable evolution that has taken place in musical theater as America itself has evolved socially and politically. The Secret Life of the American Musical makes you feel as though you’ve been there in the rehearsal room, in the front row of the theater, and in the working offices of theater owners and producers as they pursue their own love affair with that rare and elusive beast—the Broadway hit.
Oklahoma! premiered on Broadway in 1943 under the auspices of the Theatre Guild, and today it is performed more frequently than any other Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. In this book Tim Carter offers the first fully documented history of the making of this celebrated American musical. Drawing on research from rare theater archives, manuscripts, journalism, and other sources, Carter records every step in the development of Oklahoma! The book is filled with rich and fascinating details about how Rodgers and Hammerstein first came together, the casting process, how Agnes de Mille became the show’s choreographer, and the drafts and revisions that ultimately gave the musical its final shape. Carter also shows the lofty aspirations of both the creators and producers and the mythmaking that surrounded Oklahoma! from its very inception, and demonstrates just what made it part of its times.
Acting in Musical Theatre remains the only complete course in approaching a role in a musical. It covers fundamental skills for novice actors, practical insights for professionals, and even tips to help veteran musical performers refine their craft. Updates in this expanded and revised second edition include: A brand new companion website for students and teachers, including Powerpoint lecture slides, sample syllabi, and checklists for projects and exercises. Learning outcomes for each chapter to guide teachers and students through the book’s core ideas and lessons New style overviews for pop and jukebox musicals Extensive updated professional insights from field testing with students, young professionals, and industry showcases Full-colour production images, bringing each chapter to life Acting in Musical Theatre’s chapters divide into easy-to-reference units, each containing group and solo exercises, making it the definitive textbook for students and practitioners alike.
How do you turn songwriting talent into a professional career? This essential guide tackles that question, alongside many others, taking songwriters through all the developmental phases and commercial experiences along the way in order to inspire and encourage the reader to find their own voice and write successfully within their chosen genre. Collating the best-available expertise with fresh ideas about the industry, Andrew West equips the reader with what every productive songwriter needs to know: how to write communicative songs that express meaning and convey individuality; how to develop songs into records; how the writer can function as a marketer and seller of original work; how domestic and international markets operate; and how to act and interact meaningfully within the culture of those market. Armed with this knowledge, the songwriter is able to engage creatively and financially to make the most of their potential.