Musical Theatre - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Musical Theatre

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  1. Musical Theatre Minstrelsy -parodies performed by white entertainers -comes from America and England -first appears on plantations Dixon and Rice (1820’s and 1830’s) -well known for blackface song and dance Two types of impersonations being used in early minstrelsy: -Gumbo Chaff or Jim Crow (plantation or riverboat hand, joyous and uncouth) -Zip Coon or Dandy Jim (northern, elegant clothing and manners)

  2. 1840 Fully developed minstrel show, with following characteristics: -variety show (songs, dances, jokes, speeches, skits -four performers – what do they play? banjo and fiddle in middle; end-men play tambourine and bones

  3. Dan Emmet • One of the original Virginia Minstrels (first group to use the classic instrumentation) • He wrote “Dixie” in 1859 • De Boatmen’s Dance -use of dialect -repetition of short motives/melodies -clicking of bones

  4. 1850’s and 60’s • Minstrelsy grows until the Civil War, Loses its original flavor and character after the war

  5. Civil War to 1900 • Four factors contributing to the growth of Musical Theatre • #1 – the New York stage in the 1860’s was a hot spot of activity • #2 – Vaudeville = clean, family entertainment – a succession of individual acts • #3 – Importations – the earlier British Invasion (Gilbert and Sullivan, H.M.S. Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance) • #4 – Americanization – happens from 1900-1920

  6. George M. Cohan • Showman, author, composer, director • Brought new vitality to the theatre • Yankee Doodle Boy • Fast pace, bold style • Quotes from popular tunes • Mostly in a major key • Simple syncopation (not as elaborate as jazz) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlPR97oYOBA

  7. The Musical in its Maturity • Showboat (1927) -music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein -“Widening and deepening of the dramatic dimensions of the musical” -Realistic and sympathetic portrayal of African Americans on the stage -Music becomes more important – unity in the score -Use of Leitmotifs