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.
Essays on Composers, Lyricists, Librettists, Arrangers, Choreographers, Designers, Directors, Producers and Performance Artists
Author: Bertram E. Coleman
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.
The Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway's Major Composers
Author: Steven Suskin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Show Tunes fully chronicles the shows, songs, and careers of the major composers of the American musical theatre, from Jerome Kern's earliest interpolations to the latest hits on Broadway. Legendary composers like Gershwin, Rodgers, Porter, Berlin, Bernstein, and Sondheim have been joined by more recent songwriters like Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Flaherty, Michael John LaChiusa, and Adam Guettel. This majestic reference book covers their work, their innovations, their successes, and their failures. Show Tunes is simply the most comprehensive volume of its kind ever produced, and this newly revised and updated edition discusses almost 1,000 shows and 9,000 show tunes. The book has been called "a concise skeleton key to the Broadway musical" (Variety) and "a ground-breaking reference work with a difference" (Show Music)-or, as the Washington Post observed, "It makes you sing and dance all over your memory." The eagerly anticipated Fourth Edition, updated through May, 2009, features the entire theatrical output of forty of Broadway's leading composers, in addition to a wide selection of work by other songwriters. The listings include essential production data and statistics, the most extensive information available on published and recorded songs, and lively commentary on the shows, songs, and diverse careers. Based on meticulous research, the book also uncovers dozens of lost musicals-including shows that either closed out of town or were never headed for Broadway-and catalogs hundreds of previously unknown songs, including a number of musical gems that have been misplaced, cut, or forgotten. Informative, insightful, and provocative, Show Tunes is an essential guide for anyone interested in the American musical.
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.
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.
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.
(Applause Books). This revised and expanded edition of Kislan's acclaimed study of America's musical theater includes a new section on "Recent Musical Theater: Issues and Problems." "The ancient union of drama and song, known as musical theater, comes in many forms vaudeville, burlesque, comic opera, minstrels, etc. The author reviews these and other highlights of American musicals ... with a fascinating background on the elements that contribute to the success of a Showboat ." King Features * "Worth study by anyone who still thinks that the musical is a collection of songs." The Stage
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.