Broadway Babies Say Goodnight. Musicals Then and Now Book View full size

Broadway Babies Say Goodnight. Musicals Then and Now Book

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  • Cat Number: 571200311
  • Barcode: 9780571200313

The Broadway musical was a glorious seventy-year tradition proceeding smoothly from Jerome Kern to Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim and giving us along the way the best songs in American popular music the art of lyric-writing the structural integrity of the musical play and a new form of dramatic choreography. But what's left of that in a lush 'through-composed' operetta such as Phantom of the Opera or a dance-free 'chamber opera' such as Aspects of Love? Mark Steyn considers the pioneers who made the Broadway musical the central thruway of American popular culture and the reasons why it crumbled away to a dusty backroad. But fifteen years after Cats he also contemplates the health of British musicals and wonders whether they too have met their Sunset Boulevard.

The Broadway musical was never simply a jazzed-up form of Viennese or English operetta Mark Steyn argues in this book it always set its own terms and conditions. At some time during the 1970s or '80s though the Broadway musical hit the buffers which coincided with the arrival of the "British Broadway musical". With "Miss Saigon" "Aspects of Love" and "The Phantom of the Opera" the British musical in the West End is in rude health attracting serious directing and acting talent and serious money.Steyn asks the question: "Whither the musical?". Are the current successes in the great tradition of musical theatre established by Cole Porter Rogers and Hammerstein Lerner and Loewe or is there too much emphasis on "production value" spectacular effects for effect's sake and never mind the story-line? Is the musical still a valid form or has it become fatally self-conscious?

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