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Musical Theater

an integration of dialect, dance, acting, and song

Patti Schultheis

on 19 November 2012

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Transcript of Musical Theater

Melodrama "song dramas" which included music to accompany the onstage acting Burlesque important components included singing and dancing Opera Opera began in the 1600s in Italy in representation of past Greek dramas. Musical Theater a brief history, how we got the musical theater we have today Musicals are a huge part of Broadway today. Presentational by nature, musicals have gained popularity.
Musicals combine song, dance and acting to create a scene conveying emotion such as humor, anger, love or others. Opera – A close relative and predecessor of musical theater. It is drama set entirely on music. Singing performances set in every part. Recitatives – Transitional sections between Arias Arias – Strong, melodic solos Stories in opera used myth, history, and contemporary fictional and real events as source material. Opera has many of the qualities of drama: vivid characters and stories with plot twists and unexpected reversals. However, it has long been considered within the realm of music rather than drama. Types of musical theaters – Operetta, musical comedy, musical, and revue. During the nineteenth century Burlesque plays featured sketches and songs that poked fun at other theater. It later became more vulgar, with indecent sketches and “girlie shows”. Consisted of juggling, sketches, music, and animal acts and were mostly used as entertainment at larger events. Likewise, minstrel shows, which features white performers in blackface flourished in the nineteenth century. Vaudeville Shows Operetta Encompasses the opera like quality of long songs, however also shows aspects of musical theater, for, they contain dialogue between the songs as well and are mostly light and comical. Well known operettas may be the works of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Costumes and Setting Costumes Stage Design Lighting Not all lights can be electronically managed, human control is still essential. It often takes several people to co-ordinate the lighting scheme. Advanced sets of computer-controlled multi-colored light arrays are required. They still use set background lighting occasionally, usually as mood lighting or to create silhouettes. The mobility of performers requires moving lights capable of keeping up with the action. Designed with minimal set pieces to allow for maximum area and range of movement. May be centered around background or a prominent stage piece around which action occurs. Tailored to allow for maximum freedom of movement and agility. Usually designed to draw an audiences eye to a particular part of the costumes design. (e.g., the Phantom’s Mask or Cats’ wild hair and pointed ears.) The costumes range widely from real-life impersonations to abstract embodiments. Even musicals based on movies usually find inventive costume counterparts for their characters. Major Broadway Musicals through the late 1900s '60s “How to succeed in business,”
“Camelot,” “Bye Bye Birdie,”
“Hello Dolly,” “Cabaret” Plays transformed from the normal narrative into musicals that have no dialogue or are otherwise reminiscent of opera, with dramatic, emotional themes. This also eventually turned into “rock musicals” which would be styled as rock operas. The play Cabaret is an example of when themes became more important than narratives '70s Rocky Horror Picture Show This show was an adaption of the British play called: Rocky Horror Show. This film was made in 1975; Director Jim Sharman collaborated on the screenplay with O'Brien. Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, Les Miserables, and Phantom of the Opera Darker Plays: '90s '80s Andrew Lloyd Webber composed 13 musicals. His play Les Miserables is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. Which they are actually re-doing it with Hugh Jackman and Ann Hathaway . He composed Cats in 1981. Most of his plays reached Broadway and West Side. Disney: Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King Lion King opened on broadway in October 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. It won six Tony Awards including Best Musical. The musical features actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppets . The Beauty and the Beast ran on Broadway for 5,464 performances between 1994 and 2007, played in thirteen countries and 115 cities. Musical Theater Today Increase in Revivals: Shows that have had major musical success Examples: Chicago, Oklahoma!, Annie Get Your Gun Appearance of fresh, off- beat musicals: Shows that broke the norm of typical lightheartedness into a realm of controversy by breaking the Broadway mold. Examples: Rent, Urinetown Productions based on popular stars/groups: Examples: Mamma Mia! (Abba),
Jersey Boys(Frankie Valli), Rain (The Beatles) Musicals based on films Examples: Footloose,
Legally Blonde, The Producers An evolvement of the musical into a more story like quality. The book musical followed a set story, and evoked emotion in its audience while seamlessly involving song and dance. Book Musical One of the most influential plays toward the current modern musical was the production of The Black Crook who performed alongside the French ballet. This production was in fact a happy accident, because originally they had been scheduled to be two different events. George M. Cohan –performer, writer and composer- introduced a strong American sence into his plays rather than the then more common European imitation of songs and performances. He is the composer of the well known songs “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “Give My Regards to Broadway”. His musicals resembled those of book musicals. Musical Comedies In the '20s and ‘30s, around the time of the first world war, there came an evolution of musical theatre. Prior, plays had consisted of roughly thrown together scenes that emphasized music, but had low standards of musical talents, or cohesive story telling. Emerging instead were musical comedies, story-like in structure and featuring amazingly talented song-writers and performers, whose music is still played today on radios and TV. Advances in Musicals Not only were the music and lyrics changing and evolving but so were the performances themselves. Setting Show Boat apart from other musical comedies was its seriously American story. It was the first to depict a relationship between a black man and white woman onstage. It eliminated the use of chorus girls, and used music that would bring it lasting fame. The Golden Age Every aspect of the play- music, lyrics, choreography, emotion- seemed to flow together seamlessly for the first time. Richard Rodger’s and Oscar Hammerstein II’s production of Oklahoma (1943) set the Golden Age into motion with their revolutionary show. It was the first well known play to show an on-stage killing, and also featured a three way love triangle that was thought to be very daring at the time. Oklahoma was not the only play to come out of the Golden Age, simply the first. It was closely followed by well known plays like Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.
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