self-taught, only played the black keys, quintessentially American songs (wasn't originally American); usually optimistic songs/light-hearted," Irving Berlin, is American music, American in Spirit, Berlin loved his adopted country (U.S.), wrote a lot of songs in tribute to the soldiers in WWII.
George M. Cohan
AABA Format, essential legacy=patriotic songs; athletic style to the Broadway stage, physical-masculine dancing, cocky style of dancing
George and Ira Gershwin
fusion on influence to the stage, jazz, blues and classical music all fussed together, picks up on jazz and blues from the African American culture, George was trained with classical music, depth to his music (classical music), and there is soul to his music (blues and jazz)
made theater safe for sex, intricate rhymes; wordsmith as well as a tunesmith; witty, sophisticated, word master, does both composing and lyrists, a lot of romance, healthy sexuality, not naughty music, popular any where in the country
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
took sophistication and mawkishness, Hart- writer, Rodgers- composer, popular only with a certain group, sophisticated white, urbane quality.
Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein
Showboat (first book musical), Kern- composer, Hammerstein- lyrists, had a great love song- "The Way you Looked Tonight"- everyone still listens to it
Stephen Sondheim LEGACIES
most innovative composer of the times, complex (diverts away from AABA format), tells all these stories without happy endings, captures and hooks into that decade, all of his music has no happy ending, left with a lot after all of this songs, very diverse, captures the spirit of the second half of the century, capitalizes on Zeitgeist
Andrew Lloyd Webber
spectacle over substance, operetta musical, "Sunset Boulevard", pop rock sounds in musicals, takes big mythical subjects for his shows and just makes it grand, lavish, spectacle
lavish spectacle, musical reviews, girls girls girls, development of the American musical review that features American composers, making women beautiful, making the American women
a jerk, theater was his life, shrewd marketing tactics, got in fights with a lot of people he worked with, there is no such thing as bad publicity
the single logo, borrows Ziegfeld's spectacle and Merricks market techniques and puts his own twist of single logo (fusion of all three great artist) the lavish spectacle
big thing; interpretive dance used to fuse the music; classically trained in ballet, she did Oklahoma, did a folk dance (take the polka, two step (popular dances) and put them on grander scale)
fusion of jazz and ballet, jazz (there is something else he does with jazz); took an approach that
turn in-ballet; takes an actors point of view; takes ethnic dances, borrows from different cultures to come up with a wonderful fusion; lot of energy, West Side Story, big legacy, fusion of classical, jazz, and interruptive dance
slouching shoulders; develops signature moves (brim hat); hat and canes in all of his choreography, specific style called small pelvic work, very restrain dance style, very unique
develops a show that glorifies a chorus line, wants to glorify an American chorus; not just his dance style but the way he approached the musicals, made the dancing a big part of the show not the singing and dancing
1st major female to become both a director and choreographer, not revolutionary just innovative, incorporates a lot of props, just an innovator, revival of Oklahoma! And the producers
• Cole Porter's Influence- sophistication and whit
• W.S. Gilbert's influence- patter song
• Sondheim's Apprenticeship with Hammerstein- At age 10, he became friends with Jimmy Hammerstein, Oscar's son. Hammerstein II became surrogate father to Stephen; Hammerstein designed a course for Sondheim on musical construction.
• Happy Endings- this is his whole world view, that there is no happy endings, everything falls apart in act two
• 1971, 1973 - Decade dominated by Stephen Sondheim
• A Little Night Music- "Send in the Clowns" (bad timing with two lovers) (2 people with very bad timing, the girl didn't want to settle down with the guy, but later in life she wants to settle down with the guy and then the guy doesn't want to settle down, basically all about bad timing)
Chorus Line: 1975
• Michael Bennett- choreographer of the Chorus Line
o choreographer for The Company and follies (with Sondheim)
• Workshop Origins of Chorus Line- got together with dancer friends and ended up taping their dancing sessions
• Shubert theater sponsored it - saved it and put a lot of cash into the theater; co-producers of Chorus Line contributed "enhancement money" to the project at the Public Shakespeare Festival (Papp) made $50 million on their $500,000 investment
• Joe Papp and Public Theater connection- Papp, Bennett all got money from chorus line b/c it went on for so long, agreed to help Bennett produce the "dancers project." Papp provided rehearsal room for 5 weeks and $ for dancers and creative staff
• Marvin Hamish- composer
• "Counterintuitive Musical?"-no scenery, only mirrors, no real costumes (except for finale), no setting, no intermission, no star.
• The climax of the show ("One, Singular Sensation")→last song, celebrated the dancers' uniformity, not their individuality
• Multiple Tony's and the Pulitzer Prize for Chorus Line
• Why did Chorus Line become Broadway's "Cash Cow"- was on for so long
• Chicago opened a few months before Chorus Line, which stole all of its thunder
• Kander and Ebb
• Bob Fosse - Director/Choreographer; his wife was Gwen Verdon and brought him this idea, about real women on trial and being acquitted
• Fosse's background - in military where he met Joe Papp, emulated Astaire, MGM contract - Used canes/hats/slouched shoulders/small pelvis work/hands
God-Centric Musicals of late 1970s
• Stephen Schwartz- wrote God Spell→ circus playing Christ and the 12 apostles,
• Trend in the early 70s and late 80s to do this god trend stuff
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street:1979
Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece
• Gory Farce/Melodrama - UK's boogeyman of 19th century
• Harold Prince directs - Concept tied to "Industrial Age Alienation"
• Gilbert and Sullivan influence- hilarious patter songs
• Angela Lansbury, George Hearn
• Plot-Todd basically has come to get revenge on the judge because he put him in jail for a crime he didn't commit and he wants his daughter and wife back but his wife has died and the judge is trying to marry his daughter so Todd kills everyone who came into his barber shop and they use the bodies to put into meet pies and in the end Todd discovers that the beggar woman was his wife Lucy, whom he had believed to be dead based on Lovett's account of the poisoning. Todd realizes that Lovett knew Lucy was alive, and she attempts to convince Sweeney that she misled him for his own good, confessing she loves him and would be a better wife than Lucy ever was. Todd pretends to forgive her, waltzing maniacally with her around the bake house before hurling her into the open furnace and locking her in. He returns to Lucy and cradles her dead body as an angry and vengeful Toby emerges from the sewer and picks up the discarded razor. Todd appears to hear him and raises his head, allowing Toby to slit his throat. As Toby walks away, Todd bleeds to death over his dead wife's body, leaving Johanna presumably clear to run away with Anthony and start a new life together.
• 8 Tonys including Best New Musical
1980s- The British Invasion
• Zeitgeist of the 1980s
• Reagan era: turned us from depressed to optimistic, Baroque - ornamentation, opulence, went back to: spectacle
• Dynasty era- big hair, big shoulder pads, tons of make-up
• American Musicals had declined by the 1980s - Because Labor unions, theater rent, advertising, and all costs were rising exponentially
• By 1990s, large consortiums and corporate producers had taken over Broadway -Producers came from all walks of life - the money had to come from sources other than traditional musical producers. Because it was really expensive to produce musicals
• Creativity declining→ ran out of good ideas
• Consortiums→ limited partnerships
• Full of special effects; idea: give them what they want; lavish; produce expensive musicals and that trend continues today
• Regional Theaters were now Incubators for musicals - WHY? idea of having a safe haven where profit is not outrageous, didn't have to deliver a perfect show every night, only had act one, came back to see how the show was evolving and ended up going to Broadway, WHY- the spiraling costs and the desire of producers and composer to develop and workout the problems in the musical before showing, find some place to peruse what they want to do without being judged by critics
• Movies were being converted into Broadway Musicals - WHY? - They already had the built in audience, built in following, built in generations of people who wanted to see it stories
• Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice - Collaborators on Joseph and Technicolor Dream coat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Vita
• 1987 - Fosse and Bennett (aids) die leaving Broadway without great innovators
The Abominable Showman
• Connection to Ziegfeld-A Scotsman, Mackintosh combined the promotional wizardry of David Merrick with the exacting showmanship of Ziegfeld, tempered by a global vision.
• Public Relations (PR) Gimmicks - endless Promoter, "False Advertising"?-To market the show he used skywriting planes, publicity stunts, advertising, etc., and he believed that there was no such thing as bad advertizing.
• Bullying Tactics - He feuded with stars, humiliated directors and writers into quitting. When he wanted a song cut, he stole the sheet music from the orchestra pit.
• "No Such Thing as Bad Publicity"-any publicity was good publicity
• What happened to small concept musicals of the 1970s such as Chorus Line, Company-people were
• Size of Chorus/ Bought out Investors/SPECTACLE returns to Broadway
• Gower Champion - Director/Choreographer
• Origins of Musical-Show are based on the 1933 film. Merrick bought the rights from Warner Brothers and set it on the stage.
• 42nd Street-PLOT (bringing spectacle back to Broadway)- Little Peggy Sawyer tapped and sang her way from a last-minute job in a chorus of a Broadway-bound show to instant fame as the stand-in star on Broadway.
• Champion's Death/Merrick's Announcement-Merrick announced Champion's death to a stunned cast and audience during the show's curtain call. Merrick's announcement made front-page news worldwide, boosting ticket sales, and the show ran for 3,500 performances - over 22 years.
• In 1980 Webber decided to work alone on T.S. Eliot's poetry and set to music
• Name of Eliot's Collection of Poems about Cats- The Old Possums Book of Practical Cats (by T.S. Elliot).
• "Empty Spectacle"- the cat is lifted up on a giant tire but it looks like a space ship (that's the big pay-off)
• Redid the cast completely- from British to American cast
• Cats opens in London in 1981 and transfers to Broadway in 1982
• another Cash Cow for the Shubert Organization
• Judi Dench connection (original); Betty Buckley (took her place as Grusabella)
• Originally directed by: Trevor Nunn and showed at Royal Shakespeare Company
Sunday in the Park with George:1983-1984
• Sondheim has an avant-garde sensibility in a Traditional Art Form.
• Sondheim in the 1980s - almost left theatre to write mystery novels
• James Lapine- play writer and director, help Sondheim to write and direct the narrative of Sunday in the Park with George, helps Sondheim come back
• Georges Seurat (based on this painters life) and A Sunday on La Grande Jatte
• Opens originally: Playwrights Horizon
• La Cage a Folles→ beat out Sunday in the Park with George
• Pulitzer Prize in 1985
• "Color and Light"- The Painting Comes Together- where all the characters are all together and he puts the people in the same place of the painting and then the real painting comes down
• Bernadette Peters and Mandy Potemkin
La Cage Aux Folles
• Jerry Hermann→ Know: his other major hit→ Hello Dolly
• AIDS epidemic- La Cage Aux Folles has been taken over by the AIDS epidemic, just all about Gays, rainbow flags
• George Hearn (stars in it)- sings "I Am What I Am"
• EXTRA CREDIT- BALLET TROCADERO (YOUTUBE) → has to do with men who dress like women; ballet with boys in point shoes and white flowy gowns; swan lake parody; talented ballet dancers; French company and all they do is parodies and use actual choreographies but make it funny; Ziegfeld's nightclub→ got the name from it; nobody but the French
• Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg- wrote the sheet music
• Victor Hugo Connection - he wrote the 19th century novel Les Miserables, about the redemption of ex-convict Jean Valjean (main character) in Paris
• Trevor Nunn and Royal Shakespeare Company- Mackintosh assembled English-language team
• Takes an impossible life story and makes it possible
The Phantom of the Opera:1988
• Harold Prince (directing)
• Andrew Lloyd Webber( choreographing)
• Cameron Mackintosh (producing)
• Origin of story-based on 1911 French novel, Phantom of the Opera
• Masquerade → big pay off- The chandelier crashing
Into the Woods - 1987
• Sondheim's fractured fairy tale - No Happy Endings
• Grimms Brothers- the original fairy tales are gory and bloody
• Sondheim takes the Grimm Brothers takes and weaves them together using a narrorator to get from one story to the next
• Beginning of Act II everything falls apart; all intersect at the end
• Bernadette Peters
• Boublil and Schonberg- French guys
• Mackintosh- producing
• Jonathan Pryce → leading to hold the show hostage saying that they would never cast an Asian again
• Puccini's Madame Butterfly- based on this
• Vietnam War - plot
• SPECTACLE- the helicopter at the end
• Globalization of Tours
• Diversity in Casting - Color-Blind Casting
• Controversy - Actors' Equity and Miss Saigon (Jonathan Pryce)
• Mackintosh's Radical Innovations in Theatrical Marketing
• New musical style had Insidious influence on Performance Style - because Megahits tapped into pop-rock synthesis of high-voltage ballads with ever-ascending key changes that required singers who could belt the hell out of them
• Tradition→ from transitional singing to pop-rock, contemporary
• Belters versus Interpreters-A new generation of pop-inflected singers came into their own in the 1980s, going from one megahit show to the next, seemingly interchangeable
• Broadway Economics Years-long Musical runs through 1980s and 1990s RE-CREATED economics of Broadway musicals and touring industry.-The Megahits injected much-needed vitality into Broadway box office and re-created economics of touring - in 1995-96 season, touring musicals grossed $762 million. Broadway megahits also bring billions in ancillary tourist spending to NYC
1990s and Today
• Broadway's journey from decadence to decay and back again
• 1970s - 1990 - cycle of decay
• When Ed Koch was mayor→ did a redo because it looked too much like Disney
• Mayor Ed Koch's efforts in 1978- the ford foundations
• 1980s period of greatest decline
• 1990s - Mayor David Dinkins - The New 42 - 42nd Street Project?
• New Amsterdam Theatre rescue and renovation
• Michael Eisner, (bought the new Amsterdam) CEO of Disney - renovate the new theatre
• Success of Beauty and the Beast in 1994
• Disney Theatrical Productions
• Giuliani's promise to Eisner- get rid of all that bad element; once you renovate the theater everything outside will be gone
Revivals in the 1990s
• The Golden Age Musicals "Re-Imagined"- the main idea, take this old shows and reimagining them in a invested way
• Kander and Ebb re-imagined
• Cabaret and Chicago when reinvented→ made much darker
• Remained and reinvented for new audience→ new scenery and new cast but the story is still intact
• 1960s musicals revived - darker, more streamlined
• 1990- didn't do well
• 2003- swept the Tony's
• Everybody's Got the Right→ (to be happy) group of convicts with guns marching around singing
• The Gun Song→ "all you gotta do is move your little finger, and you can change the world" (talking about shooting/killing someone); "trust your little finger", three men with deep voices singing; girl comes in and says that "she's got this really great gun" and she shoots to early (comedy)
• Revival more successful than premiere WHY?- the first gulf war, and 9/11 and then it was shown
1991: Jelly's Last Jam
• Gregory Hines-as Composer Jelly Roll Morton was portrayed in this musical as both a lovable rogue and a light-skinned Creole who denigrated darker-skinned blacks as he distanced himself from his roots.
• Plot- Jelly as a racist had surprising results. Jelly's Last Jam ran for 600 performances, Wolfe and Savior Glover the young dancer and choreographer translated the fury of African American experience into Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk in 1992
• Savion Glover taps into "fury" of black culture- the young dancer and choreographer translated the fury of African American experience into Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk in 1992. Glover starred as young Jelly opposite Gregory Hines in Jelly's Last Jam
• Jonathan Larson- trying to become a successful composer, and quiet his job
• Puccini's La Boehme
• New York Theatre Workshop for months
• Larson dies night of preview
• Wins Toni's, Pulitzer 1994
• Know song→ Season's of Love
The Lion King-1997
• Julie Taymor- she used her training; Balinese puppetry; directed it, and innovated approach based on giant puppets, and studied African culture
• Based on →Mel Brooks and original movie in 1968
• Susan Stroman→ big debut as a director/choreographer
• Book and the lyrics are all by Mel Brooks who isn't really a composer
• Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) and Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder)
• Max - Nathan Lane; Leo - Mathew Broderick→ recreating rolls
• Universal Pictures Produces based on Wizard of Oz
• Stephen Schwartz
• Based on the witches from the Wizard and Oz
• Advance Sales- had to make million of dollars each sale
• "Delirious Cost of Tickets"→ got really expensive
Dirty Wrotten Scandrols
• Broadway musical, movie made into a musical, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and a book by Jeffrey Lane; it is based on the film of the same name. The musical ran on Broadway in 2005 and also had a US tour.
• Know song→ "Great Big Stuff"
On Broadway Today
• Spring Awakening
David Hyde Pierce
won Tony award for doing "Curtain's" Joked for not really being accepted; won the tony for best performance on the musical for the male lead, in Spamalot as Sir Robbin
only one who has played both the child prodigy in Gypsy as well as her indomitable mother; stage debut at age 9 (prodded by her own indomitable mother); branched into television and Hollywood; Sunday in the park with George altered her career (earned her 3rd Tony); Into the Woods (earned her reputation as Sondheim's most eloquent female interpreter and went on to perform his songs; revived Annie get your gun; Gypsy; lost the 2003 Tony for Best Actress in a Musical but gave her performance of "Rose's Turn" at the awards ceremony that may have been the greatest of her career; seemed to be bidding farewell to her trademark innocence.
focus on his eccentrics; got his first taste of music in the synagogue; Harold Prince's play Evita (he was peripatetic narrorator Che) won him best supporting Actor Tony; starred in Sunday at the park with George; Joseph Papp was one of his mentors; it introduced him to Sondheim music.
Brian Stokes Mitchell
mans man leading man; won the Tony in the revival for Kiss Me, Kate; real Broadway leading man with a real Broadway sound.
broke barriers when she was cast as the second lead in the revival of Carousel; surprised critics that a character named Carrie Snow was being played by a black woman; won Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical; won 3rd and 4th Tony; Sung in Porgy and Bess and Sweeny Todd (beggar woman) and Julie Jordan's Carousel.
American treasure; Producers in Broadway; a funny thing that happened in the forum; Guys and Dolls; he adopted the first name of his character, Nathan Detroit (his real first name was Joseph); been in 17 Broadway shows.
Influences:Greek Theater and Chorus
represent citizens, give background, draw conclusions, singing and dancing (want to feel thrilled) there is a connection between singing and dancing with the chorus
Influences:Purpose of Doing the Dionysus Rituals
reach a state of ecstasy through musical theater; you expect that singing to transport that singing into a higher state of chorus
Influences: Medieval Theater
wondering minstrels, troubadours, represent a collective voice for the audience
Troubadour-serve as the collective voice of society
The Black Crook
mellow drama and ballet; First accidental American musical; melodrama; good VS evil.