American Musical Theater

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-09-09
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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American Musical Theater provides a chronological history of musical theater within a cultural context. Covering the major artistic trends, seminal works, and leading figures in the field, the text uses case study musicals in each chapter as a lens through which to explore themes and developments in the evolution of musical theater over time. In addition to exposing students to the musical theater canon, author James Leve encourages them to think across the disciplines, drawing on their knowledge of music, literature, popular culture, and history. For anyone from diehard musical theater fans to novices to the style, American Musical Theater offers a definitive guide to this inherently American art form.

Table of Contents


1. Oklahoma! and the Integrated Book Musical
Integration Theory
Rodgers and Hammerstein
The Evolution of Oklahoma!
The Artistic Components
Plot of Oklahoma!
And Bear in Mind (Kiss Me, Kate)

2. Musical Theater in Nineteenth-Century America
Plot-Centered Genres
Variety-Show Formats

3. Broadway at the Turn of the Century
Musical Comedy
Plot of Little Jimmy Jones
And Bear in Mind (The Chocolate Soldier)

4. The Teens
Princess Theatre Musicals
Plot of Very Good Eddie
Beyond the Princess Theatre
And Bear in Mind (Naughty Marietta)

5. The Twenties
The Cinderella Musicals
Other Musical Comedies
The Operetta Revival
Show Boat
Plot of Show Boat
After Show Boat
And Bear in Mind (No, No, Nanette)

6. The Thirties
Cole Porter
Plot of Anything Goes
Satirical Musicals Comedies and Revues in the Thirties
Plot of The Cradle Will Rock
Other Revues
Other Notable Events on Broadway
And Bear in Mind (Of Thee I Sing)

7. The Forties
Lerner and Loewe
Plot of Brigadoon
The Rodgers and Hammerstein Generation
New Voices
And Bear in Mind (Pal Joey)

8. The Fifties
Historical Background
Cultural Background
The Music Man
Plot of The Music Man
The Music Man Versus West Side Story
An Embarrassment of Riches
And Bear in Mind (The Most Happy Fella)

9. The Sixties
"The Age of Aquarius"
Writers of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Era
The First Post-Rodgers and Hammerstein Generation
Concept Musical
Plot of Cabaret
And Bear in Mind (The Fiddler on the Roof)
The Nixon Era

10. The Seventies
Serious and Comic Trends in the Seventies
The Sondheim Decade
The Sondheim-Prince Musicals
Musical Theater Beyond Broadway
And Bear in Mind (A Chorus Line)

11. The Eighties
From Rock Opera to Megamusical
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Plot of The Phantom of the Opera
American Musicals in the Eighties
Familiar Voices
Interesting Flops
A Doll's Life and Grind
Revivals and Retrospectives
The Legacy of the Megamusical
And Bear in Mind (Les MisÚrables)

12. The Nineties
The Incredible Story of Rent
Plot of Rent
American Megamusicals
Beyond the Megamusical
Musical Theater at the End of the Millennium
Dawn of the Corporate Producer
And Bear in Mind (The Lion King)

13. The New Millennium
Corporate Producing
Musical Theater in the Twenty-First Century
Plot of The Light in the Piazza
Broadway Today
And Bear in Mind (In the Heights)

14. Musical Theater Off Broadway
The Off Broadway Scene
The Fantasticks
Plot of The Fantasticks
The Halcyon Days of Off Broadway Musicals
And Bear in Mind (Little Shop of Horrors)

15. The "Black Musical"
Early Years
The Twenties
The Thirties
Postwar Black Musicals
The Seventies
Plot of The Wiz
Post-Civil Rights Era
And Bear in Mind (In Dahomey)

16. Rock on Broadway
The Rock Musical
Early Rock Musicals on Broadway
Plot of Hair
After Hair
Second-Wave Rock Musicals
And Bear in Mind (Godspell)

17. The Star
Singing and Stardom
Al Jolson
Marilyn Miller
The "Merm"
Gypsy and Mama Rose
Plot of Gypsy
Broadway Stars Today
Merman's Legacy
And Bear in Mind (Fine and Dandy)


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