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Showtime by Larry StempelShowtime brings the history of Broadway musicals to life in a narrative as engaging as the subject itself. Beginning with the scandalous Astor Place Opera House riot of 1849, 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. The result is nothing short of the most comprehensive, authoritative history of the Broadway musical yet published.
Publication Date: 2010-09-06
The Book of Broadway by Eric GrodeWhether you're coming to Broadway fresh faced or are an old hand, you'll be able to enjoy profiles of the great musicals to hit the stage!
Publication Date: 2015-08-01
Our Musicals, Ourselves: a social history of the American musical theater by John Bush JonesOur Musicals, Ourselves is the first full-scale social history of the American musical theater from the imported Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas of the late nineteenth century to such recent musicals as The Producers and Urinetown. While many aficionados of the Broadway musical associate it with wonderful, diversionary shows like The Music Man or My Fair Lady, John Bush Jones instead selects musicals for their social relevance and the extent to which they engage, directly or metaphorically, contemporary politics and culture. Organized chronologically, with some liberties taken to keep together similarly themed musicals, Jones examines dozens of Broadway shows from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present that demonstrate numerous links between what played on Broadway and what played on newspapers’ front pages across our nation. He reviews the productions, lyrics, staging, and casts from the lesser-known early musicals (the “gunboat” musicals of the Teddy Roosevelt era and the “Cinderella shows” and “leisure time musicals” of the 1920s) and continues his analysis with better-known shows including Showboat, Porgy and Bess, Oklahoma, South Pacific, West Side Story, Cabaret, Hair, Company, A Chorus Line, and many others. While most examinations of the American musical focus on specific shows or emphasize the development of the musical as an art form, Jones’s book uses musicals as a way of illuminating broader social and cultural themes of the times. With six appendixes detailing the long-running diversionary musicals and a foreword by Sheldon Harnick, the lyricist of Fiddler on the Roof, Jones’s comprehensive social history will appeal to both students and fans of Broadway.
Publication Date: 2011-04-17
Rethinking American Music by Tara Browner (Editor); Thomas Laurence Riis (Editor)In Rethinking American Music, Tara Browner and Thomas L. Riis curate essays that offer an eclectic survey of current music scholarship. Ranging from Tin Pan Alley to Thelonious Monk to hip hop, the contributors go beyond repertory and biography to explore four critical yet overlooked areas: the impact of performance; patronage's role in creating music and finding a place to play it; personal identity; and the ways cultural and ethnographic circumstances determine the music that emerges from the creative process. Many of the articles also look at how a piece of music becomes initially popular and then exerts a lasting influence in the larger global culture. The result is an insightful state-of-the-field examination that doubles as an engaging short course on our complex, multifaceted musical heritage. Contributors: Karen Ahlquist, Amy C. Beal, Mark Clagu,. Esther R. Crookshank, Todd Decker, Jennifer DeLapp-Birkett, Joshua S. Duchan, Mark Katz, Jeffrey Magee, Sterling E. Murray, Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr., David Warren Steel, Jeffrey Taylor, and Mark Tucker