What is a musical and what are the terms? • Musical Theatre-a type of entertainment containing music, songs, and usually, dance • Production Number- a large-scale performance within a musical show, usually combining both song and dance • Music Director-shapes the musical tone of the show • Choreographer-the artist who designs dances for the stage • Principal-an actor who has one of the major roles • Chorus-ensemble and supporting roles • Composer-person who writes the music for a musical • Lyricist-the person who writes the words for the music • Book-script for the musical
History of Broadway theatre • 1904-1919: As theater styles and personalities from around the world and the country come to New York, the theater district is born — and so is the American musical. • 1920-1932: Broadway enters its most prodigious period; songwriters create a new musical mythology of Broadway and send it across the country. • 1933-1942: During the Great Depression, Broadway distracts audiences with escapism, while also offering political commentary and social engagement. • 1943-1959: Rodgers and Hammerstein pioneer a new form of narrative storytelling that brings a new age of musical classics. • 1960-1979: Broadway confronts the seismic changes in American culture by reinventing its own tradition. • 1980-2004: Broadway becomes a truly global phenomenon as new innovations respond to economic challenges.
What makes the musical happen • Things to consider behind the scenes: • Directing team: director, music director, choreographer, producers • Budget: High school can range 2 to 15 thousand, Professional can range 4 to 10 million dollars • Performance space: proscenium stages are most often used due to space; rarely use arena or thrust • Cast and crew: principles, chorus, backstage crew, designers, managers, stage hands • Audience: your show has to appeal to your target audience
Musical fyi • The production budget for Wicked is $42 million dollars • The production budget for Spiderman was an estimated $75 million • The production budget for Phantom of the opera is $8 million
The beginning for the u.s. • The first musical was “The Black Crook” • It opened September 12. 1866 • It ran 474 performances • It was 5 ½ hours long
Structure of the Typical American musical • Overture- Orchestral introduction previewing from the show • Act I • Intermission (10-20 minutes) • Entr’acte • Act II • Curtain Call • Exit music
Types of musicals • Book Musical • Traditional musical with a strong story that drives the music and characters • Revue • A collection of songs, generally with some common element. May or may not have a plot • Concept Musical • A musical where the message or metaphor is just as, if not more important, than the actual story • Jukebox musical • Musical using only songs from an artist or group • Rock (or Pop) Musical • Musical that uses rock music (or pop music) as the main style of music. If there is little spoken dialogue, it could be called a rock opera or popopera
Behind the music • Songs are as important as the dialogue that is spoken • The actor must determine the subtext or underlying message of the specific song • Wicked: For Good • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwpKB-sj7GI
Behind the scenes • Wicked: The Road to Broadway • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi-p7anJCmM • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCXEgzBkfsA
“You have 2 kinds of shows on Broadway - revivals and the same kind of musicals over and over again, all spectacles. You get your tickets for The Lion Kin a year in advance, and essentially a family comes as if to a picnic, and they pass on to their children the idea that that’s what the theatre is - a spectacular musical you see once a year, a stage version of a movie. It has nothing to do with theatre at all. It has to do with seeing what is familiar. We live in a recycled culture…. I don’t think the theatre will die per se, but it’s never going to be what it was. You can’t bring it back. It’s gone. It’s a tourist attraction.” Stephen Sondheim
Musical Project • Your group will select a culture outside of the US • Make an informational guide/presentation to your theatre • Give your theatre a name • Use collected information to provide the best experience for your incoming audience • Research the following: descriptions, videos, images, etc. • History of musical theatre: where did musical theatre start • Typical musical theatre experience: what can an audience expect when they attend a musical • Who is involved: what does the support team consist of • Length of a performance: how long does a show normally last • Content of a musical: what are their musicals about
Welcome to blah blah theatre • Our theatre is located in Somewhere • Our style of theatre began in the land of the dinosaurs with our production of T-Rex The Musical • The audience is expected to dress in their finest. Leave all pet dinos at home • Our show will last approximately 5 hours, during intermission the audience will have time to hunt for dinner • Our performance this evening is brought to you by support from our director, dinosaur handler, set designer, costume designer, and the Cave Man Band • Our musicals will make you laugh, cry, and fear for your life as we see a story of love gone awry between our two T-Rex characters.