2010, by Larry Stempel
Traces the growth of musicals from minstrel shows and burlesques, through the golden age of Show Boat and Oklahoma!, to such groundbreaking works as Company and Rent. Stempel describes the Broadway stage with vivid accounts of the performers drawn to it, and detailed portraits of the creators who wrote the music, lyrics, and stories for its shows, both beloved and less well known. But Stempel travels outside the theater doors as well, to illuminate the wider world of musical theater as a living genre shaped by the forces of American history and culture. He reveals not only how musicals entertain their audiences but also how they serve as barometers of social concerns and bearers of cultural values. Showtime is the culmination of decades of painstaking research on a genre whose forms have changed over the course of two centuries. In covering the expansive subject before him, Stempel combines original research--including a kaleidoscope of primary sources and archival holdings--with deft and insightful analysis.
2009, by Geoffrey Holden Block
"This new second edition of Enchanted Evenings offers theater lovers an illuminating behind-the-scenes tour of some of America's best loved, most admired, and most enduring musicals. Readers will find such all-time favorites as Show Boat, Carousel, Kiss Me, Kate, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Phantom of the Opera. Geoffrey Block provides a documentary history of each of the musicals, showing how each work took shape and revealing, at the same time, how the American musical evolved from the 1920s to today, both on stage and on screen. The book's particular focus is on the music, offering a wealth of detail about how librettist, lyricist, composer, and director work together to shape the piece. Block also includes trenchant social commentary and lively backstage anecdotes. ...Packed with information, including a complete discography and plot synopses and song-by-song scenic outlines for each of the fourteen shows, Enchanted Evenings is an essential reference as well as a riveting history.
2002, edited by William A. Everett
"This Companion is an accessible survey of one of the most popular forms of musical performance. Written especially for students and theatergoers, it offers a guide to the history and development of the musical in England and America, and worldwide. Starting with the early history of the musical, the volume examines the latest works and innovations, and includes information on the singers, audience and critical reception, and traditions. The book contains a chronology, reading lists and photos from key productions."
2002, by Joseph Peter Swain
This survey focuses mainly on the power of music in twenty musical plays. Illustrated with more than 150 musical excerpts and essays, Swain includes the latest research and viewpoints of contemporary critics, offering insight into dramatic expression and how renowned composers influenced the Broadway musical. This provides insights into the many impressive musicals to hit the stage between the years of 1927 and 1987, illuminating how specific revisions to productions such as Showboat and, Oklahoma! forever changed their popularity. Learn how music is used as a symbol for psychological or emotional action from Shakespearean drama's such as Kiss Me, Kate and West Side Story, to more current dramas including Godspell, A Chorus Line, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Includes an expanded epilogue highlighting the phenomena behind Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera, "megamusicals" that changed the direction of the Broadway tradition.
2006, by Ken Bloom
The Routledge Guide to Broadway is the second title in our new student reference series. It will introduce the student to the Broadway theater, focusing on key performers, writers, directors, plays, and musicals, along with the theaters themselves, key awards, and the folklore of Broadway. Broadway is the center of American theater, where all the great plays and musicals make their mark. Students across the country in theater history, performance, and direction/production look to Broadway for their inspiration. While there are illustrated coffee table type books on Broadway, there are few that offer a comprehensive look at the key figures and productions of the last two centuries. The Routledge Guide to Broadway offers this information in an easy-to-use, inexpensive format that will appeal to students, professors, and theatrical professionals.
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