Monday, October 21, 2019

A Brief History Of Musical Theater essays

A Brief History Of Musical Theater essays Though it has its roots in European forms such as opera and operetta, what we know as musical theatre today is a form that developed in America during the 20th century. The birth of musical theatre can be traced to an 1866 production called The Black Crook, a far-fetched melodrama scheduled to open in New York City. At the same time a French ballet troupe was scheduled to appear but the theatre where the ballet was to take place burned to the ground. The producer of The Black Crook, having little faith in his show, hired the ballet troupe to be part of his production. The dances were performed in between scenes of the play, thus joining a play with music and dance. It was widely successful. Following this, most of the musicals that were seen came from the vaudeville type show. They were primarily revues with scenes and songs. Little vignettes that were separate entities, featuring very popular songs and usually a large chorus of pretty female dancers. The subject matter was light and frivolous. Popular composers of this time included Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers. The lyrics were generally witty and clever, and they reflected a high order on intelligence. For example, in Youre the Top Cole Porter compares the singers beloved to a wide range of objects, stating that the person is the Colosseum and the Louvre Museum, a Bendel bonnet and a Shakespears sonnet, they rhyming the Tower of Pisa with the smile on the Mona Lisa. Another major milestone in the early development of musical theatre was the work of George M. Cohen. Cohen was a performer, writer and composer who wrote music with a very definite American strain, such as Yankee Doodle Dandy and Give My Regards to Broadway. He wrote dialogue for his shows that was more down-to-earth and was used to move the story forward. This was the birth of the book musical. A musical te...

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