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Chapter 15: Musical Theatre

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Allen Casey

on 11 March 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 15: Musical Theatre

Chapter 15: Musical Theatre
Birth of the Broadway Musical
Broadway Musical
dramatic stage form that combines the arts of acting and singing.
The musical is uniquely an American invention.
Its forerunners included not only operettas but minstrel shows and
vaudeville -
an early staged variety show that included songs, dances and comedy skits.
George M. Cohan
One of the first composers of Broadway musicals was George M. Cohan.
His first hit show was Little Johnny Jones (1904).
"Give My Regards to Broadway," became a classic song and was the first to reference Broadway as the home of musical theatre.
An Intro to
Musical Theatre
During the 1800s, opera as an art form continued to evolve, but in two directions: heroic operas (Wagner) and
light operas
(Gilbert and Sullivan).
Les Miserables
One of the most popular musicals ever staged.
It opened in London in 1985 and is still being performed today.
It ran for 16 years on Broadway, from 1987 to 2003.
Based on the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo.
French composers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schoenberg adapted the work into a musical.
The Musical - Act 1
Jean Valjean and Javert set up their conflicts in the Prologue.
What Have I Done?
Valjean sings a
monologue -
a dramatic speech or song delivered by one character in a play.
Do You Here the People Sing - Finale
Give My Regards...
The Classic
Broadway Musical
In the 1920s, the Broadway musical underwent some refinements. The stories began to assume more of the characteristics of actual drama.
Dialogue -
the spoken lines of a play or musical show
Composers of this era were George Gerswin, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter.
Post World War II
After WWII, composers expanded the musical.
Great songwriting teams: Loewe and Lerner -"My Fair Lady;" Rodgers and Hammerstein - "The Sound of Music;" and Bernstein and Sondheim - "West Side Story."
These musicals added to a pop singer's
an inventory of compositions mastered and performed by a musician
From Broadway
to Hollywood
Many Broadway musicals have been adapted into successful films. Several have become Hollywood hits.
The most successful so far has been West Side Story (1961) - ten Oscars, including best picture.
Musicals Today
Many non-American composers have had success with musicals the last few decades, especially Andrew Loyd Webber (Phantom of the Opera).
Audra McDonald and other current singers have many performance choices in the flourishing market of musicals today.
Les Miserables - The Musical
The History of Musicals
I Dreamed a Dream
Fantine laments her lost dreams and hopes as she sells everything to make money for her daughter.
One Day More
- End of Act 1
Les Mis - Act II
Eponine sings about her unrequited love for Marius in the song "On My Own."
Empty Chairs
at Empty Tables
Marius sings about the death of his friends.
Motive -
short musical idea that is easily remembered and helps unify a composition.
Do You Hear the People Sing?
One of the most famous songs of the musical.
Video by C y n i c a l d y e
Full transcript