The Golden Age of Musical Theater

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Where we are coming from:. The Great Depression is in its end stagesIrving Berlin has been the most popular composer for the past two decadesShows of the 1930's were focused on good songs and good fun" and not focused on creating works of artJerome Kern's Showboat (1927) began to foreshadow a c

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The Golden Age of Musical Theater

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1. The Golden Age of Musical Theater The 1940’s and 1950’s

2. Where we are coming from: The Great Depression is in its end stages Irving Berlin has been the most popular composer for the past two decades Shows of the 1930’s were focused on “good songs and good fun” and not focused on creating works of art Jerome Kern’s Showboat (1927) began to foreshadow a change to a more integrated musical

3. Trends of the Era Continued the integration of story, music, and dance that began with Jerome Kern’s Showboat The first long-running “blockbuster” shows begin to emerge Many shows had some sort of relation to either WWII or the Cold War Importance of “Americana” Development and maturation of many of the most well-known composers/lyricist/writing teams Emergence of more serious characters and plot lines

4. Broadway Starts to Grow Up Pal Joey (1940) – Title character is a sleazy nightclub MC who hustles his way to success by manipulating a wealthy mistress, only to lose everything when she dumps him Songs range from innocent in “I Could Write a Book”, to more adult in “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” Lady in the Dark (1940) A magazine editor using psychoanalysis to explore her emotional insecurities Music was restricted to several dream sequences in which the main character saw herself at events representing her inner turmoil -- a party, a trial, and a circus

5. Important People of the Era Richard Rodgers- Composer Oscar Hammerstein II- Lyricist Leonard Bernstein- Composer Frank Loesser-Composer and Lyricist Alan Jay Lerner- Lyricist Frederick Lowe- Composer Arthur Laurents- Writer Agnes de Mille- Choreographer Jerome Robbins- Choreographer Betty Comdon- Lyricist Adolph Green-Lyricist

6. Important Shows of the Era Oklahoma! (1943) Carousel (1945) South Pacific (1949) Guys and Dolls (1950) The King and I (1951) West Side Story (1957) The Music Man (1957) The Sound of Music (1959)

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