Get Broadway Babies: The People Who Made the American Musical PDF

By Ethan Mordden

Vividly recreating the original excitement of experiencing a song-and-dance express, Broadway infants spotlights the lads and girls who made a distinction within the improvement of yankee musical comedy. Mordden's account gains such convey humans as Florenz Ziegfeld, Harold Prince, Bert Lahr, Gwen Verdon, Angela Lansbury, Victor Herbert, Liza Minnelli, and Stephen Sondheim, and such musicals as Sally, Oh Kay!, something is going, express Boat, Oklahoma!, Follies, Chicago, and numerous others. whereas theatrical historians frequently have emphasised the position of the authors of musicals, Mordden additionally examines the non-public types of the administrators, choreographers, and manufacturers, with a purpose to exhibit not just what the musical grew to become yet what it was once. the amount comprises an intensive discography--the first of its kind--which bargains a nearly self-contained historical past of recorded exhibit tune.

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Extra resources for Broadway Babies: The People Who Made the American Musical

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The received interpretation is: Keeler, not the world's most confident performer, is flustered, and husband Al, to cheer her on, sang to her to rouse the spectators into thinking they were in on a hit—wow! spontaneous Jolson! Try another reading: Keeler is nervous not in general but because husband Al has been driving her crazy with his unemployment panic—he is between shows, and, as always, acts as if he'll never be hired again. Rather than let her fill her spotlight in her show, he jumps uninvited into her big number, leaving her to smile and tap it away as best she can.

It's not easy to tell Friml from Romberg. Friml could—he said Romberg was the derivative one (of Friml, particularly). Their heroes are interchangeable, likewise their heroines, their settings are old and foreign, their musical structures invariable from show to show, with standard scenelaying choruses, finales, and big-tune reprises. Actually, the two men's similarity ends at the close of their heyday in the 1920s, for thereafter Friml began to retire, disappointed at the eclipse of his brand of operetta, while Romberg kept at it, moving back into musical comedy and turning out a lively score (completed at his death by orchestrator Don Walker) for The Girl in Pink Tights in the early 1950s Still, it is in their big operettas of the 1920s that Friml and Romberg made their mark, and it is here that they prove Herbert's contribution to the style we call operetta.

There's another curtain call! Brava! Brava! Brava! The drum-rolling, chorus-carolling, audience-baiting star entrance is a Ziegfeld invention; it cannot be found in scores for shows predating Mam'selle Napoleon. Yes, the star entrance qua se was ancient by then. But Ziegfeld's orchestration of these elements was innovative. Similarly Ziegfeldian is the use of a song's topic as the concept for its staging. In The Parisian Model (1906), there is a simple application of this in "A Gown for Each Hour of the Day," in which Held popped in and out in half-a-dozen sumptuous dresses.

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