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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 25, 2019 05:16PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is the thread dedicated to the discussion and history of Musicals.

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called simply, "musicals".

Musicals are performed all around the world. They may be presented in large venues, such as big budget West End and Broadway theatre productions in London and New York City, or in smaller fringe theatre, Off-Broadway or regional productions, on tour, or by amateur groups in schools, theatres and other performance spaces.

In addition to Britain and North America, there are vibrant musical theatre scenes in many countries in Europe, Latin America, Australasia and Asia.

Some famous musicals include Show Boat, Oklahoma!, West Side Story, The Fantasticks, Hair, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, The Producers and Wicked.

Source: Wikipedia

message 3: by Garret (new)

Garret (ggannuch)

Above are some links for the broadway musical by Stephen Schwartz, composer for Godspell, Pippin.

Based on the book Wicked The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years, #1) by Gregory Maguire by Gregory Maguire

This is one my family had a lot of fun with. Has anyone read the book? Seen the show?

message 4: by Garret (new)

Garret (ggannuch) Our Musicals, Ourselves A Social History of the American Musical Theater by John Bush Jones John Bush Jones This social history of the musical gets good reviews here at goodreads and on Amazon.

Can anyone recommend any books dealing with musical theater?

message 5: by Liz (new)

Liz Garret wrote: "

Above are some links for the broadway musical by Stephen Schwar..."

I have not read Wicked The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years, #1) by Gregory Maguire by Gregory Maguire Gregory Maguire, but I did see the musical & absolutely loved it! I was a huge fan of the movie, The Wizard of Oz while growing up, so I really enjoyed the new spin on the Wicked Witch of the West.

message 6: by Garret (new)

Garret (ggannuch) Thanks Liz,

My 10 yo loved this as well.

message 7: by Janet (last edited Oct 10, 2010 01:39PM) (new)

Janet My favorite musical is "Ragtime" Ragtime, Vocal Selections by Stephen Flaherty
(it's based on one of my favorite books Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow by E. L. Doctorow E.L. Doctorow )

1998 Tonys were won by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty for best score and Terrence McNally for best book.

Yes, I've seen the play and worn out two CDs of it!

message 8: by Garret (new)

Garret (ggannuch) Did you like the movie?

message 9: by Janet (new)

Janet Garret wrote: "Did you like the movie?"

Forgot about the movie! Yes, I liked it very much.

message 10: by Garret (new)

Garret (ggannuch) The Fantasticks-The TV version

"The show was broadcast by the Hallmark Hall of Fame on October 18, 1964. The cast included John Davidson, Stanley Holloway, Bert Lahr, Ricardo Montalban, and Susan Watson, who had appeared in the original Barnard College production. It is far from perfect, but for anyone who knows the show, it is an invaluable resource and a whole lot of fun."

The Fantasticks: The Complete Illustrated Text Plus the Official Fantasticks Scrapbook and History of the Musical The Fantasticks The Complete Illustrated Text Plus the Official Fantasticks Scrapbook and History of the Musical by Harvey Schmidt Harvey Schmidt

message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 08, 2014 09:59AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
--E.Y. Harburg

Lyricist Yip Harburg (born April 8, 1896) was high school friends with legendary songwriter Ira Gershwin, who later encouraged him to write as well. Harburg went on to pen Over the Rainbow and Brother, Can You Spare a Dime.

The Yip Harburg Foundation website:

Yip Harburg Legendary Lyricist and Human Rights Activist (Music / Interview) by Harriet Hyman Alonso by Harriet Hyman Alonso (no photo)

A new PS Classics recording of Life Begins at 8:40, with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Yip Harburg, is based on a concert presented in March 2010 at the Library of Congress. That performance, featuring a full 24-piece orchestra, conducted by Aaron Gandy, had a cast of Broadway and recording veterans including Kate Baldwin, Philip Chaffin, Christopher Fitzgerald, Montego Glover, Rebecca Luker, Brad Oscar, Faith Prince, Graham Rowat and Jessica Stone. Their performance has been stunningly preserved in this new studio cast album. The witty and effervescent score (set to the original orchestrations by Hans Spialek, Robert Russell Bennett and Don Walker, faithfully restored by Larry Moore) is brought vividly to life. This was the first revival of 8:40 since its initial Broadway engagement in 1934. Two members of the revival's cast, Kate Baldwin and Christopher Fitzgerald, were featured in the recent Broadway production of Finian's Rainbow. Release date: June 8, 2010.

Business of Rainbows by Yip Harburg by Yip Harburg (no photo)

The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition Instrumental Solos Alto Saxophone (Pop Instrumental Solo Series) by Yip Harburg by Yip Harburg
(no photo)

Over the Rainbow (Art & Poetry Series) by Yip Harburg by Yip Harburg (no photo)

Edgar Yipsel "Yip" Harburg (born Isidore Hochberg, Yiddish: איסידור הוכברג; April 8, 1896 – March 5, 1981) was an American popular song lyricist who worked with many well-known composers. He wrote the lyrics to the standards "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?," "April in Paris," and "It's Only a Paper Moon," as well as all of the songs in The Wizard of Oz, including "Over the Rainbow."

Source: full article - Wikipedia

Listen and see:

Judy Garland singing Over the Rainbow:

If I Only Had a Brain:

The Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) tells Dorothy (Judy Garland) through a song all about what he would do if he only had a brain.

The Cowardly Lion - The Wizard of Oz (6/8) Movie CLIP (1

Bert Lahr is the cowardly lion.

If I only had a Heart

Dorothy Meets The Tinman (The Wizard of Oz 1939)

Jack Haley as Hickory / Tin Man

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime

Rudy Vallee - Brother can you spare a dime (1931)

April in Paris

Frank Sinatra - April In Paris

It's Only a Paper Moon

Nat King Cole. Its Only A Paper Moon.( Live In Colour). HD.

Old Devil Moon
FINIAN'S RAINBOW First Look: Old Devil Moon

message 12: by Douglass, HBC Admin/TL - Economics/Finance (last edited Oct 26, 2014 11:28PM) (new)

Douglass Gaking | 550 comments Mod
I am currently teaching a musical theatre class. I just now realized that there is a musical theatre thread on this group. I have tons of great stuff to share! For starters, here is a great musical theatre history site:

Now, here are just a few videos from the first half of the 20th century to take you down memory lane:

George M. Cohan

"Yankee Doodle Dandy" from Little Johnny Jones (1904)

"Mary Is a Grand Old Name" from 45 Minutes from Broadway (1906)

"You're a Grand Old Flag" from George Washington, Jr. (1906)

Ragtime Era

"Settle Down in a One Horse Town" from Watch Your Step (Irving Berlin's first musical in 1914)

"Irene" from Irene (1919)

Jazz Age

"I'm Just Wild About Harry" from Shuffle Along

George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin

"Fascinating Rhythm" from Lady, Be Good (1924)

"Oh, Lady Be Good" from Lady, Be Good (1924)

"Someone To Watch Over Me" from Oh, Kay! (1926)

"Strike Up the Band" from Strike Up the Band (1927)

Cole Porter (my favorite song-writer)

"Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love" from Paris (1928)

"Night and Day" from Gay Divorce (1932, this clip is from the film version, The Gay Divercee, 1933)

Ending montage from The Gay Divorcee (Watch Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers dance on the table Ginger not step on the chair on the way down. It will blow your mind.)

"You're the Top" from Anything Goes (1934)

"Anything Goes" from Anything Goes (2011 Broadway cast, amazing choreography)

"Begin the Beguine" from Jubilee (1935, this clip has Fred Astaire & Eleanor Powell dancing)

"I've Got You Under My Skin" from Born to Dance (1936 film)

Irving Berlin

"Puttin' on the Ritz" from Puttin' on the Ritz (1930 film)

"Easter Parade" from As Thousands Cheer (1933, this clip from the 1948 film Easter Parade starring Fred Astaire & Judy Garland)

This is just a taste of the great classics from 1900 to 1940.

message 13: by Jill (last edited Oct 26, 2014 11:41PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) are a gem!!! What a great collection of clips of some of the classics. Look how many feature my favorite, Fred Astaire.

I also had read (I think) that George M. Cohan personally chose Cagney for "Yankee Doodle Dandy"....a great choice and it won Cagney an Oscar.

message 14: by Douglass, HBC Admin/TL - Economics/Finance (new)

Douglass Gaking | 550 comments Mod
I need to dig out more Fred Astaire clips. That barely scratches the surface. He did some amazing stuff.

I don't doubt that Cohan had a role in picking Cagney. He was perfect for the role, and you can see Cohan's footprints all over the film. It is a fairly accurate interpretation of his biography, and the few changes they made to the true story were well worth it for the comedy they provided.

message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Great adds Douglass and Jill

message 16: by Jill (last edited Nov 12, 2014 09:14PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Since we mentioned George M. Cohan in a previous post, here is the definitive biography of the "Yankee Doodle Dandy".

George M. Cohan: The Man Who Owned Broadway

George M. Cohan The Man Who Owned Broadway by John McCabe by John McCabe(no photo)


"I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy, a Yankee Doodle do or die. A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam's born on the fourth of July."

These words, written by George M. Cohan for Little Johnny Jones in 1904, might sum up both the author's pride in his heritage and the keystone of his star spangled success. Bright, brash, wise-cracking and intensely patriotic, Cohan was the most important man in the American theater for many years. From 1901 through 1940, he produced 80 Broadway shows - many of which he wrote himself - during a period that spanned some of this country's most ebullient years.

Much more than just the "song and dance man" that he loved to call himself, George M. Cohan is given additional perspective in these pages through underlining of his ability as an actor (in Ah, Wilderness! and I'd Rather Be Right), as a playwright (Seven Keys to Baldpate and The Tavern) and as a director (Cohan to Tracy, "Spencer, you have to act less.") Written with warmth, humor and a wealth of detail, this is an affectionate look at the American theater as it was epitomized by one unique and shining star.

message 17: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) You will find your favorites here.....and there a photos from each show.

Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time

Broadway Musicals The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time by Frank Vlastnik by Frank Vlastnik (no photo)


Finally, a book as glorious as its subject: this lush showcase for everyone who loves musicals covers the 101 most influential, popular, and enduring Broadway shows--all of which have toured the country and been performed in theatres large and small everywhere. Each listing includes expert commentary that sets the play in historical and cultural context, plus features on the creators and performers, plot synopses, cast and song lists, production details, backstage anecdotes, and more. Four or five beautifully reproduced photographs from each show--the majority never before published--accompany the text and make the shows leap off the page. Appendices and special features include cast albums, poster artists, revivals, guilty pleasures, Off-Broadway musicals, notable flops, and much more.

message 18: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This musical caused a real sensation when it first appeared.

The Age of Hair: Evolution and Impact of Broadway's First Rock Musical

The Age of Hair Evolution and Impact of Broadway's First Rock Musical by Barbara Lee Horn by Barbara Lee Horn (no photo)


A reflection and symbol of the turbulent 1960s and the culture and lifestyles of the Hippies, "Hair" made history as the first rock musical on Broadway and one of the most successful musicals. The sixties left an indelible imprint upon the American psyche, and Hair, in the words of critic Clive Barnes, summed it up better than any other piece of American theatre. Aside from bringing experimental techniques and rock music to Broadway, "Hair," in author Barbara Horn's view, represented a major step in the evolution of the concept musical from the book musical and was the first concept musical to reach mass audiences, an achievement unheralded and little recognized.

Horn analyzes the social context of Hair and the Hippies, describes the tenor of the Broadway theatre of the times and the experimental trends Off-Broadway that culminated in "Hair's" innovations on the Great White Way. She then goes on to relate the dramatic story of "Hair's" creation and growth, dash myths and clarify the actual events, including the casual meeting of coauthors Gerome Ragni and James Rado with producer Joseph Papp on a train. The transfer of "Hair" to Broadway is fully detailed, and the Broadway production is compared with the earlier production at Papp's Public Theater with lists of song sequences provided. Several revivals and the film version are also discussed, and staff and cast lists appear as appendixes. Horn's extensive archival research is amplified by insights from numerous interviews, including those with the authors, Ragni and Rado; composer, Galt MacDermot; Broadway producer, Michael Butler, directors, Gerald Freedman and Tom O'Horgan, musical director, Galt MacDermot; set designer, Robin Wagner; lighting designer, Jules Fisher, cast members, Melba Moore and Lorrie Davis; and others associated with one or more of the productions, as well as with theatre critics and theorists. Numerous published works were also connsulted, and a strong bibliography is provided.

message 19: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This book looks like a dandy!!

Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater

Showtime A History of the Broadway Musical Theater by Larry Stempel by Larry Stempel Larry Stempel


Showtime brings the history of Broadway musicals to life in a narrative as engaging as the subject itself. Beginning with the scandalous Astor Place Opera House riot of 1849, Larry Stempel traces the growth of musicals from minstrel shows and burlesques, through the golden age of Show Boat and Oklahoma!, to such groundbreaking works as Company and Rent.

Stempel describes the Broadway stage with vivid accounts of the performers drawn to it, and detailed portraits of the creators who wrote the music, lyrics, and stories for its shows, both beloved and less well known. But Stempel travels outside the theater doors as well, to illuminate the wider world of musical theater as a living genre shaped by the forces of American history and culture. He reveals not only how musicals entertain their audiences but also how they serve as barometers of social concerns and bearers of cultural values.

Showtime is the culmination of decades of painstaking research on a genre whose forms have changed over the course of two centuries. In covering the expansive subject before him, Stempel combines original research—including a kaleidoscope of primary sources and archival holdings—with deft and insightful analysis. The result is nothing short of the most comprehensive, authoritative history of the Broadway musical yet published.

message 20: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) If you crave a bit of back-stage gossip, this is the book for you!

Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway

Razzle Dazzle The Battle for Broadway by Michael Riedel by Michael Riedel (no photo)


Broadway’s most respected (and feared) commentator pulls back the curtain on its stars, its producers, and its mega-hits to reveal all the shocking drama, intrigue, and power plays that happened off stage.

Razzle Dazzle is a provocative, no-holds-barred narrative account of the people and the money and the power that re-invented an iconic quarter of New York City, turning its gritty back alleys and sex-shops into the glitzy, dazzling Great White Way—and bringing a crippled New York from the brink of bankruptcy to its glittering glory.

In the mid-1970s Times Square was the seedy symbol of New York’s economic decline. Its once shining star, the renowned Shubert Organization, was losing theaters to make way for parking lots. Bernard Jacobs and Jerry Schoenfeld, two ambitious board members, saw the crumbling company was ripe for takeover and staged a coup amidst corporate intrigue, personal betrayals, and criminal investigations. Once Jacobs and Schoenfeld solidified their power, they turned a collapsed theater-owning holding company into one of the most successful entertainment empires in the world, ultimately backing many of Broadway’s biggest hits, including A Chorus Line, Cats, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and Mamma Mia! They also sparked the revitalization of Broadway and the renewal of Times Square.

Now Michael Riedel tells the stories of the Shubert Organization and the shows that re-built a city in grand style, revealing the backstage drama that often rivaled what transpired onstage, exposing bitter rivalries, unlikely alliances, and—of course—scintillating gossip. This is a great story, told with wit and passion.

message 21: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (andrh) | 2849 comments Mod
Now for something a little ... different :-)

The Boxtrolls

Madame Frou Frou:
The Boxtrolls song

message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Well that certainly was (lol)

message 23: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Mar 21, 2018 04:09AM) (new)

André (andrh) | 2849 comments Mod
Glad it made you smile.
Folks at Laika (the stop motion production company) do great work.
My favorite of their films is ParaNorman

message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
French music now: the boom in electro pop

Following our whistlestop history of French pop, our journey through the sounds of Europe continues here with French DJ Mimi Xu as she introduces the acts in her country who are making waves now

Source: The Guardian

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