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Musical Theater Lecture 7

The British Invasion: The Megamusical
by

Jessica López-Barkl

on 24 August 2017

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Transcript of Musical Theater Lecture 7

Musical Theater Lecture 7
A musical by Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux. Lyrics by Charles Hart. Additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. The book was written by Lloyd Weber and Stligoe.

Opened on the West End in 1986 and on Broadway in 1988. It is the longest running musical on Broadway.
The Phantom of the Opera

Born in 1946 in Enfield, North London, Sir Cameron Mackintosh is a leading producer in the commercial theater on both sides of the Atlantic – on London’s West End and Broadway. His name is synonymous with such award-winning musicals as
Cats
,
Les Misérables
,
The Phantom of the Opera
,
Miss Saigon, Whistle Down the Wind
,
The Witches of Eastwick
, and the London revival of
Oklahoma!

Sir Cameron Mackintosh

In the 1980s, through the influence of two Englishmen – producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh and composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber – the “larger-than-life” musical arrived:
Cats
,
The Phantom of the Opera
,
Les Misérables
, and
Miss Saigon
.

Called Megamusicals, a term that described the phenomenon of sung-through musicals in which set design, choreography, and special effects were as important as the music.
British Megamusicals

Has the same writing team as Les Misérables.

Opened on the West End in 1989 and on Broadway two years later.

Shared the plot with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

With echoes of the East-meets-West motifs of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific and The King and I, Miss Saigon, looked squarely into the face of America’s abandonment of ideals, and, ultimately, Vietnam’s people.
Miss Saigon

Music composed by Claude-Michel Schönberg, and the lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with an English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer.

Based on the novel by the same name by Victor Hugo.

The longest running musical on the West End.
Les Misérables

Musical composed by Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber, based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot.

Introduced song standard “Memory”.
Opened on the West End in 1981 and Broadway in 1982.

The show is completely told through music with virtually no spoken dialogue in between the songs.

Dance was a key element, especially the 10-minute Jellicle Ball dance sequence
Cats

Born in 1948, Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber began composing at the age of seventeen. At one time he had four musicals playing simultaneously on London’s West End:
Cats
(1981),
Starlight Express
(1984),
The Phantom of the Opera
(1986), and
Whistle Down the Wind
(1998). Three of these came to Broadway within two years of their London openings, and
Phantom of the Opera
became the longest running musical on Broadway and
Cats
is the second longest running.

Weber’s musicals deal by and large with religious and historical figures, with healing and redemption.
Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber

The shows dazzled with effects: the furry junkyard creatures (Cats), the falling chandelier (The Phantom of the Opera), the barricade (Les Misérables), and the helicopter (Miss Saigon).
British Megamusicals

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cameron Mackintosh, and
The Mega-Musical
The British Invasion

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