The Secret Life of the American Musical

Author: Jack Viertel
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
ISBN: 0374711259
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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
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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 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!

Not Since Carrie

Author: Ken Mandelbaum
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 1466843276
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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."

Song of Spider Man

Author: Glen Berger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451684584
Format: PDF, Docs
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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.

Words with Music

Author: Lehman Engel
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
ISBN: 1557835543
Format: PDF
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The dean of Broadway musical directors examines the dynamics of how the book, music and lyrics work together to create such hits as My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, Hair, Pal Joey, West Side Story, Company, South Pacific, Threepenny Opera and Porgy and Bess. Howard Kissel, chief theater critic for the New York Daily News, extends the reach of Engel's subjects by bringing them up to date with commentary on such shows as A Chorus Line, Nine, Sunday in the Park with George, Rent, Working and Falsettos. Kissel offers a thoughtful history on how musical theater has evolved in the three decades since Engel wrote Words with Music (1972) and how Engel's classic work remains vital and illuminating today.

The Broadway Musical Quiz Book

Author: Laura Frankos
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
ISBN: 1423492757
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Includes over 80 quizzes on every aspect of the Broadway musical, including stars, directors, choreographers, shows imported from England, biographical shows, jukebox musicals, and shows by the decade.

Razzle Dazzle

Author: Michael Riedel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451672187
Format: PDF, ePub
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The story of the rise, fall, and redemption of Broadway—its stars, its biggest shows, its producers, and all the drama, intrigue, and power plays that happened behind the scenes—“unfolds faster than a curtain going up on opening night….A must read” (Kevin Spacey). “A rich, lovely, debut history of New York theater in the 1970s and eighties” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Razzle Dazzle is a narrative account of the people and the money and the power that turned New York’s gritty back alleys and sex-shops into the glitzy, dazzling Great White Way. In the mid-1970s Times Square was the seedy symbol of New York’s economic decline. Its once shining star, the renowned Shubert Organization, was losing theaters to make way for parking lots and losing money. Bernard Jacobs and Jerry Schoenfeld, two ambitious board members, saw the crumbling company was ripe for takeover and staged a coup and staved off corporate intrigue, personal betrayals and criminal investigations. Once Jacobs and Schoenfeld solidified their power, they turned a collapsed theater-owning holding company into one of the most successful entertainment empires in the world, spearheading the revitalization of Broadway and the renewal of Times Square. “For those interested in the business behind the greasepaint, at a riveting time in Broadway’s and New York’s history, this is the ticket” (USA TODAY). Michael Riedel tells the stories of the Shubert Organization and the shows that re-built a city in grand style—including Cats, A Chorus Line, and Mamma Mia!—revealing the backstage drama that often rivaled what transpired onstage, exposing bitter rivalries, unlikely alliances, and inside gossip. “The trouble with Razzle Dazzle is…you can’t put the damn thing down” (Huffington Post).

Broadway

Author: Laurence Maslon
Publisher: Bulfinch
ISBN: 9780821229057
Format: PDF, Docs
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Along with jazz and abstract expressionism, the Broadway musical is one of the few uniquely American art forms. A companion to the six-part PBS documentary series, BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL is the first comprehensive history of the musical, from its roots at the turn of the 20th century through the smashing successes of the new millennium. The compelling, in-depth text is lavishly illustrated with a treasure trove of photographs, sheet-music covers, posters, scenic renderings, production stills, rehearsal shots, and caricatures, many previously unpublished. Complementing the narrative are lively sidebars that highlight the stars, the shows, and the songs--the key ingredients that make the musical great. Each chapter also included essays written by some of Broadway's most fascinating luminaries, past and present. An entertaining amalgam of unpublished material, candid and production photographs, and a trunkful of anecdotes and Broadway lore, BROADWAY will appeal to eighth-graders in their first high school musical as well as to connoisseurs of the art form.

Changed for Good

Author: Stacy Wolf
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199831238
Format: PDF, Docs
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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. Moving from decade to decade, Wolf first highlights the assumptions that circulated about gender and sexuality at the time. She then looks at the leading musicals to stress the key aspects of the plays as they relate to women, and often finds overlooked moments of empowerment for female audience members. 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.