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Musical Theatre: The Golden Age

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Rachel Saliba

on 12 February 2014

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Transcript of Musical Theatre: The Golden Age

a mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation
Americans attended Broadway performances to escape hardship
Uplifting themes
Anything Goes
- 1934
Cole Porter
Porgy and Bess
- 1935
George and Ira Gershwin
Musical Theatre: The Golden Age
The Great Depression
"deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world..."

Stock market crash - October 1929

Peaked in 1933
13 - 15 million Americans unemployed
half of the nation's banks had failed

Economic revival with WWII in 1939
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Kings of the Golden Age

both successful on their own

invented the "integrated musical"
song and dance contribute to plot and character development

34 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, 2 Grammy Awards, 1 Pulitzer Prize
West Side Story
- 1957
3 new Broadway Giants:
Jerome Robbins - director/choreographer
Leonard Bernstein - composer
Stephen Sondheim - lyricist
modernized "Romeo and Juliet"
based on gang culture in Spanish Harlem
The Sharks vs. The Jets
generally successful --> tragedy
overshadowed by traditional shows
"Maria," "I Feel Pretty," "America"
West Side Story
Rodgers and Hammerstein's first collaboration
Morale lifting themes during wartime
rural life - farm
2,212 performances
Pulitzer Prize in 1944
"Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "Oklahoma!"
- 1943
Full transcript