Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show boat to Sondheim and Lloyd Webber
"This new second edition of Enchanted Evenings offers theater lovers an illuminating behind-the-scenes tour of some of America's best loved, most admired, and most enduring musicals. Readers will find such all-time favorites as Show Boat, Carousel, Kiss Me, Kate, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Phantom of the Opera. Geoffrey Block provides a documentary history of each of the musicals, showing how each work took shape and revealing, at the same time, how the American musical evolved from the 1920s to today, both on stage and on screen. The book's particular focus is on the music, offering a wealth of detail about how librettist, lyricist, composer, and director work together to shape the piece. Block also includes trenchant social commentary and lively backstage anecdotes. Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, Kurt Weill, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Frank Loesser, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and other luminaries emerge as hardworking craftsmen under enormous pressure to sell tickets without compromising their dramatic vision. The second edition includes a greatly expanded chapter on Sondheim, a new chapter on Lloyd Webber, and two new chapters on the film adaptations of the main musicals featured in the text."
Off Broadway Musicals, 1910-2007: Casts, Credits, Songs, Critical Reception and Performance Data of More Than 1,800 Shows
"Despite an often unfair reputation as being less popular, less successful, or less refined than their bona-fide Broadway counterparts, Off Broadway musicals deserve their share of critical acclaim and study. A number of shows originally staged Off Broadway have gone on to their own successful Broadway runs, from the ever-popular A Chorus Line and Rent to more off-beat productions like Avenue Q and Little Shop of Horrors. And while it remains to be seen if other popular Off Broadway shows like Stomp, Blue Man Group, and Altar Boyz will make it to the larger Broadway theaters, their Off Broadway runs have been enormously successful in their own right. This book discusses more than 1,800 Off Broadway, Off Off Broadway, showcase, and workshop musical productions. It includes detailed descriptions of Off Broadway musicals that closed in previews or in rehearsal, selected musicals that opened in Brooklyn and in New Jersey, and American operas that opened in New York, along with general overviews of Off Broadway institutions such as the Light Opera of Manhattan. The typical entry includes the name of the host theater or theaters; the opening date and number of performances; the production's cast and creative team; a list of songs; a brief plot synopsis; and general comments and reviews from the New York critics. Besides the individual entries, the book also includes a preface, a bibliography, and 21 appendices including a discography, filmography, a list of published scripts, and lists of musicals categorized by topic and composer."
Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater
"... Spanning more than 150 years, the hefty history is divided into three sections: 'Out of the 19th Century,' 'Into the 20th Century,' and "Toward the New Millennium.' He opens with the 1853 musical adaptation of Uncle Tom's Cabin and the aerial ballerinas of The Black Crook (1867), followed by the Gilded Age, with its minstrels, vaudeville, and comic operas. As George M. Cohan expanded his skits into 'plays with music,' writing 500 songs, the turn-of-the-century rise of Tin Pan Alley coincided with the relocation of New York's entertainment district to Times Square, placing Al Jolson at center stage. Covering musical milestones from Irving Berlin and Florenz Ziegfeld to Oklahoma!, Sondheim, and Fosse, Stempel shows how generic songs could be 'shoehorned into a story' and details the antagonistic tensions that arose between performers, lyricists, and librettists. Throughout, as [author] Stempel traces the evolution with exhaustive archival research, he offers a penetrating and illuminating analysis of various musical forms and influences. Many of the 105 carefully selected b&w illustrations are surprising and revelatory. Theater buffs will be delighted to find that this scholarly, definitive work is also a hugely entertaining read. 16 color pages."
The Sound of Broadway Music: A Book of Orchestrators and Orchestrations
"Broadway's top orchestrators - Robert Russell Bennett, Don Walker, Philip J. Lang, Jonathan Tunick - are names well known to musical theatre fans, but few people understand precisely what the orchestrator does. The Sound of Broadway Music is the first book ever written about these unsung stars of the Broadway musical whose work is so vital to each show's success. The book examines the careers of Broadway's major orchestrators and follows the song as it travels from the composer's piano to the orchestra pit. Steven Suskin has meticulously tracked down thousands of original orchestral scores, piecing together enigmatic notes and notations with long-forgotten documents and current interviews with dozens of composers, producers, conductors and arrangers..."
Women In American Musical Theatre: Essays on Composers, Lyricists, Librettists, Arrangers, Choreographers, Designers, Directors, Producers and Performance Artists
"Throughout the twentieth century women have made significant contributions to the creation of American musical theatre. Directing, choreographing, writing, arranging, producing and designing musicals in a variety of venues throughout America, women have played a significant role in shaping the development of musical theatre both on and off Broadway and in regional, educational, and community venues. The essays in this book examine the history of women in musical theatre, providing biographical descriptions of the women themselves; analyses and interpretations of their productions; and several accounts of how being a woman affected the artists' careers..."