Winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award (2005)Many of today’s Broadway shows, from Rent to The Lion King, have become commercial hits, but do they have the cultural importance or the dramatic and musical artistry of such enduring productions as Oklahoma!, Show Boat, or Kiss Me, Kate? Mark N. Grant traces the transformation of singing and melody, libretto and lyric writing, dance rhythms, sound design, and choreography and stage direction through three distinct eras: the formative period (1866-1927), the golden age (1927-1966), and the fall (1967 to the present). He explores how and why the unsophisticated genre of pre-1927 musical comedy evolved into the creative, innovative, and immensely popular theatre produced by the likes of Rodgers and Hammerstein and then steadily faded as a significant entertainment genre in American culture, giving rise to the “McMusicals” of today.This provocative, sometimes irreverent work offers a refreshing perspective on the history of American musical theatre and provides strong views on restoring the genre to its former greatness.
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