The Secret Life of the American Musical

Author: Jack Viertel
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
ISBN: 0374711259
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

The Secret Life of the American Musical

Author: Jack Viertel
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0374256926
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

The Secret Life of the American Musical

Author: Jack Viertel
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
ISBN: 9780374536893
Format: PDF, ePub
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A New York Times Bestseller Putting it together, bit by bit: an insider’s look at the anatomy of the Broadway musical For almost thirty years, Jack Viertel has been a major figure in the Broadway theater world—he’s helped create shows like Hairspray, Angels in America, and Into the Woods; served as dramaturg of the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles; and is currently senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters, which host such shows as The Book of Mormon and Jersey Boys. Not long ago, Viertel noticed that while colleges offer intensive classes on Shakespeare's plays, dissecting them line by line to uncover their structure and meaning, there was nothing that dealt with musical theater in the same in-depth way. And why shouldn’t there be? he asked. If Shakespeare is England’s national theater, aren’t Broadway musicals ours? In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Viertel gives musicals the Shakespeare treatment. The book draws on a range of examples—from Carousel to Wicked, The Music Man to The Book of Mormon—and personal encounters to paint a picture of how Broadway musicals are made, taking you through all the phases of a typical musical theater story, from opening numbers to finales. It’s a hilarious and compelling look at what Viertel has learned over the course of his career, full of observations about the egotists, geniuses, and workaday professionals who have sustained this unique American art form.

Not Since Carrie

Author: Ken Mandelbaum
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 1466843276
Format: PDF, ePub
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Not Since Carrie is Ken Mandelbaum's brilliant survey of Broadway's biggest flops. This highly readable and entertaining book highlights almost 200 musicals created between 1950 and 1990, framed around the notorious musical adaptation of Carrie, and examines the reasons for their failure. "Essential and hilarious," raves The New Yorker, and The New York Times calls the book "A must-read."

The Book of Broadway

Author: Eric Grode
Publisher: Voyageur Press (MN)
ISBN: 076035734X
Format: PDF, Docs
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The Book of Broadway is a celebratory, gorgeous tome dedicated to what is arguably the quintessential American art form: the Broadway show. Lose yourself in 150 profiles of the best, most influential, and most important Broadway musicals and plays ever produced.Shows profiled include everything from the 1860s musical The Black Crook, which captivated and titillated audiences for more than five hours, to Hamilton, Broadway's biggest story of 2016. The men and women who shaped Broadway history--such as Stephen Sondheim, Tennessee Williams, Bernadette Peters, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Ethel Merman, Marlon Brando, August Wilson, and Nathan Lane--are celebrated for their groundbreaking work and photographs throughout illustrate the stunning designs of the shows. This comprehensive book by Eric Grode--arts writer for The New York Times, and author of Hair: The Story of the Show That Defined a Generation--is the ultimate guide to Broadway shows. Even if you consider yourself an expert in the theater, you will be amazed by the fantastic Broadway trivia scattered throughout this volume, as well as the palpable sense of history in this encyclopedic treatment of one of our most beloved pastimes. Just a few of the titles included are: -Annie -The Book of Mormon -Bye Bye Birdie -Cat on a Hot Tin Roof -Chicago -Death of a Salesman -Fiddler on the Roof -Grease -Guys and Dolls -Hamilton -Hello, Dolly! -Kiss Me, Kate -Les Miserables -The Music Man -My Fair Lady -The Phantom of the Opera -Rent -Six Degrees of Separation -The Sound of Music -A Streetcar Named Desire -West Side Story And so many more!

Changed for Good

Author: Stacy Wolf
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195378245
Format: PDF, ePub
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From Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls" to Nina in "In the Heights" and Elphaba in "Wicked," female characters in Broadway musicals have belted and crooned their way into the American psyche. In this lively book, Stacy Wolf illuminates the women of American musical theatre--performers, creators, and characters--from the start of the Cold War to the present day, creating a new, feminist history of the genre. The musicals discussed here are among the most beloved in the canon--"West Side Story," "Cabaret," "A Chorus Line," "Phantom of the Opera," and many others--with special emphasis on the blockbuster "Wicked." Along the way, Wolf demonstrates how the musical since the mid-1940s has actually been dominated by women--women onstage, women in the wings, and women offstage as spectators and fans.

Razzle Dazzle

Author: Michael Riedel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451672160
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"A revered and provocative theater observer presents a grand history of the producers, directors, actors, and critics battling for creative and financial control of Broadway"--Front jacket flap.

Broadway Babies

Author: Ethan Mordden
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195363753
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Vividly recreating the unique pleasure of experiencing a song-and-dance show, Broadway Babies spotlights the men and women who made a difference in the development of American musical comedy. Mordden's account features such show people as Florenz Ziegfeld, Harold Prince, Bert Lahr, Gwen Verdon, Angela Lansbury, Victor Herbert, Liza Minnelli, and Stephen Sondheim, and such musicals as Sally, Oh Kay!, Anything Goes, Show Boat, Oklahoma!, Follies, Chicago, and countless others. While theatrical historians traditionally have emphasized the role of the authors of musicals, Mordden also examines the personal styles of the directors, choreographers, and producers, in order to demonstrate not only what the musical became but what it was. The volume includes an extensive discography--the first of its kind--which offers a virtually self-contained history of recorded show music.

Song of Spider Man

Author: Glen Berger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451684584
Format: PDF
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“One of the best literary works of this year” (Miami Herald-Tribune): The true story of a theatrical dream—or nightmare—come true…the making of the Spider-Man musical. As you might imagine, writing a Broadway musical has its challenges. But it turns out there are challenges one can’t begin to imagine when collaborating with two rock legends and a superstar director to stage the biggest, most expensive production in theater history. Renowned director Julie Taymor picked playwright Glen Berger to cowrite the book for a $25 million Spider-Man musical. Together—along with U2’s Bono and Edge—they would shape a work that was technically daring and emotionally profound, with a story fueled by the hero’s quest for love…and the villains’ quest for revenge. Or at least, that’s what they’d hoped for. But when charismatic producer Tony Adams died suddenly, the show began to lose its footing. Soon the budget was ballooning, financing was evaporating, and producers were jumping ship or getting demoted. And then came the injuries. And then came word-of-mouth about the show itself. What followed was a pageant of foul-ups, falling-outs, ever-more harrowing mishaps, and a whole lot of malfunctioning spider legs. This “circus-rock-and-roll-drama,” with its $65 million price tag, had become more of a spectacle than its creators ever wished for. During the show’s unprecedented seven months of previews, the company’s struggles to reach opening night inspired breathless tabloid coverage and garnered international notoriety. Through it all, Berger observed the chaos with his signature mix of big ambition and self-deprecating humor.

Beating Broadway

Author: Steve Cuden
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
ISBN: 9781481223027
Format: PDF, Docs
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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