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Great American Music: Boadway Musicals

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Give my regards to Broadway... . Is it possible to read those lyrics, let alone hear them, without mentally filling in: Remember me to Herald Square? Have you begun to hum or sing it to yourself, with the words and notes carrying you back in time to the Broadway of George M. Cohan and the heyday of Tin Pan Alley?

For most people who've grown up with and shared America's mus
Published 2008 by Teaching Company (first published January 1st 2006)
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Parts of this were awesome, and parts were just ok. I got some really interesting tidbits about early American musicals in the form of minstrel shows, vaudeville, and burlesque. There was a really cool interview at the end with Stephen Schwartz, who explains the evolution of the song that began as "Making Good" and ended up as "The Wizard and I." And the parts spanning the Jazz Age through the Golden Age of musicals was riveting. I came away with even more respect for the talents of the immortal ...more
Michael Nash
Oct 02, 2016 Michael Nash rated it liked it
This was a perfectly acceptable set of Great Courses lectures. My girlfriend who is a musical theater nerd thought that the lectures didn't have enough detail and focused too much on the earlier history at the expense of spending time on more modern broadway shows (1970 to present are covered in a single lecture). Personally I thought it was a pretty good overview in the same style as most Great Courses sets.
Sep 26, 2016 Adrienne rated it liked it
Entertaining & educational though I felt too much time was devoted to everything before 1930 and not enough to more recent material.
Dee Mills
Sep 27, 2016 Dee Mills rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this audio book.
This was an outstanding course and listen. Even though I minored in Theater in college and grew up in NY along with the Golden Age of Broadway, I learned a ton about history, song writers, producers, choreographers and how Musical Theater evolved. The author/teacher was wonderful. He has an engaging voice, is super knowledgeable and made the course so enjoyable. I couldn't wait to get into my car and listen every day. The music was great and I loved hearing the history of songs that have become ...more
Bill Glover
Feb 17, 2015 Bill Glover rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can learn more about jazz by learning more about the history of American musicals. The great American song book comes almost entirely from Broadway's history.
Messenger gets a little 'the good old days were better' toward the end. He even claims Hair might have been bad for society, encouraging moral laxity and such I suppose. That's a tough sell for a jazz man who has a firm idea about heroin deaths in the jazz crowd. Eh, whatever, a really good course.
Sep 07, 2016 Alan rated it it was amazing
This series of lectures was a real joy to listen to. And I’ve listened to this series twice. Bill Messenger is great. I especially love his piano playing and discussion of how the songs are constructed. The lectures are at their best discussing the early history of musicals. I enjoyed learning about the interplay of black and white musicians in the early years. The lectures ended too soon. I look forward to a second edition or follow up.
May 21, 2015 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful series. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer because Messenger is forced to gloss over or skip entirely many excellent musicals due to time constraints. I learned many things about early American musical theater and composers such as Irvin Berlin and George Gershwin. I'm sure I will listen to this again.
As a person whose career is in the arts, I found this history absolutely fascinating. The course takes you from the origins of the minstrel show through to the modern Broadway musical. There were so many elements of this journey that surprised me. For anyone that enjoys musicals or just understanding the evolution of an art form, this is definitely worth a listen.
Feb 11, 2016 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks-i-own
I know minstrel shows and vaudeville are an important foundation of Broadway shows, but nearly two-thirds of the course seemed focused on that. A mere four lectures were spent on what I thought the whole course was going to be.
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ rated it liked it
the notes of 'old man river' used just the black keys - who knew!

Many interesting facts and some lovely old songs to singalong with.
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