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Musical Theatre: A History

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  45 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Like every art form, musical theatre has been changing and evolving since its inception more than 2000 years ago. Musical Theatre: A History presents a comprehensive history of stage musicals from the earliest accounts of the ancient Greeks and Romans, for whom songs were common elements in staging, to Jacques Offenbach in Paris during the 1840s, to Gilbert and Sullivan in ...more
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Continuum
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Aug 17, 2015 Valerie rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, history
Very thorough history of Broadway. The bits about Andrew Lloyd Webber were particularly entertaining, as Mr. Kenrick clearly hates him and the Cameron Mackintosh-style megamusical, and it's so nice hearing someone else who doesn't buy into the fuss over, say, Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables. Lots of interesting stuff in the book. I particularly like reading about flops. (Rockabye Hamlet seems to be one worth looking into.)
Nov 26, 2016 Eilidh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really this is 3.5 stars. A good and pretty comprehensive history of musical theatre, with a reasonable amount of attention given to the West End, and Europe generally, which can be unusual. Generally this is a really good read and a good introduction to the history of the musical, although there were points at which the author's personal views came across as somewhat snobbish and disdainful, which was disappointing. Otherwise, a good solid history which I would recommend to all musical theatre ...more
Nicole Knox
Jun 04, 2016 Nicole Knox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this for an online musical theatre history class online. Had to read every chapter to answer questions to assignments. Because I'm a theatre nerd, I really enjoyed this book! I think it is crucial for anyone pursuing musical theatre. Written by a longtime patron and expert/critic of Broadway, he has an index full of more of his in-depth research. Musical theatre evolved out of opera and operetta, into vaudeville, through the Golden Age, to contemporary. He highlights each 'era,' and it's ...more
Sep 10, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Very informative and well written, the author has a fantastic grasp of musical theatre's greats and it's 'founding fathers'. Lots in here that I didn't know!
Like an American, he is a typical hater of the British/French mega-musicals 'Les Mis' and 'Phantom of the Opera' which annoyingly happen to be my favourite musicals, but his views were surprisingly re-freshing. : )
Apr 30, 2009 Bayley rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, musicals
Great! A concise history of musical theatre that gives you enough information to make you feel very well informed without inundating you. I learned lots about musical theatre and discovered many new shows because of this book. A great read!
May 19, 2014 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty comprehensive look at Musical theatre history. Definitely dry, but accomplishes its purpose.
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John Kenrick combines a passion for entertainment history with the practical know-how earned working on stage productions at every level from amateur to Broadway. This Queens native pulls back the curtain and introduces audiences and students to the fascinating people behind show business legends. Every month, his website introduces thousands of visitors to the history of stage and ...more
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