Musical theatre

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This article is about traditional Western musical theatre. Musical theatre_sentence_0

For other musical forms and non-Western traditions, see Musical. Musical theatre_sentence_1

"Musical comedy" redirects here. Musical theatre_sentence_2

For the film genre, see Musical film. Musical theatre_sentence_3

For the music genre, see Comedy music. Musical theatre_sentence_4

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. Musical theatre_sentence_5

The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Musical theatre_sentence_6

Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Musical theatre_sentence_7

Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals. Musical theatre_sentence_8

Although music has been a part of dramatic presentations since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre emerged during the 19th century, with many structural elements established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America. Musical theatre_sentence_9

These were followed by the numerous Edwardian musical comedies and the musical theatre works of American creators like George M. Cohan at the turn of the 20th century. Musical theatre_sentence_10

The Princess Theatre musicals (1915–1918) and other smart shows like Of Thee I Sing (1931) were artistic steps forward beyond revues and other frothy entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as Show Boat (1927) and Oklahoma! Musical theatre_sentence_11

(1943). Musical theatre_sentence_12

Some of the most famous musicals through the decades that followed include West Side Story (1957), The Fantasticks (1960), Hair (1967), A Chorus Line (1975), Les Misérables (1985), The Phantom of the Opera (1986), Rent (1996), The Producers (2001), Wicked (2003) and Hamilton (2015). Musical theatre_sentence_13

Musicals are performed around the world. Musical theatre_sentence_14

They may be presented in large venues, such as big-budget Broadway or West End productions in New York City or London. Musical theatre_sentence_15

Alternatively, musicals may be staged in smaller venues, such as fringe theatre, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, regional theatre, or community theatre productions, or on tour. Musical theatre_sentence_16

Musicals are often presented by amateur and school groups in churches, schools and other performance spaces. Musical theatre_sentence_17

In addition to the United States and Britain, there are vibrant musical theatre scenes in continental Europe, Asia, Australasia, Canada and Latin America. Musical theatre_sentence_18

Definitions and scope Musical theatre_section_0

Book musicals Musical theatre_section_1

Since the 20th century, the "book musical" has been defined as a musical play where songs and dances are fully integrated into a well-made story with serious dramatic goals that is able to evoke genuine emotions other than laughter. Musical theatre_sentence_19

The three main components of a book musical are its music, lyrics and book. Musical theatre_sentence_20

The book or script of a musical refers to the story, character development and dramatic structure, including the spoken dialogue and stage directions, but it can also refer to the dialogue and lyrics together, which are sometimes referred to as the libretto (Italian for "little book"). Musical theatre_sentence_21

The music and lyrics together form the score of a musical and include songs, incidental music and musical scenes, which are "theatrical sequence[s] set to music, often combining song with spoken dialogue." Musical theatre_sentence_22

The interpretation of a musical is the responsibility of its creative team, which includes a director, a musical director, usually a choreographer and sometimes an orchestrator. Musical theatre_sentence_23

A musical's production is also creatively characterized by technical aspects, such as set design, costumes, stage properties (props), lighting and sound. Musical theatre_sentence_24

The creative team, designs and interpretations generally change from the original production to succeeding productions. Musical theatre_sentence_25

Some production elements, however, may be retained from the original production, for example, Bob Fosse's choreography in Chicago. Musical theatre_sentence_26

There is no fixed length for a musical. Musical theatre_sentence_27

While it can range from a short one-act entertainment to several acts and several hours in length (or even a multi-evening presentation), most musicals range from one and a half to three hours. Musical theatre_sentence_28

Musicals are usually presented in two acts, with one short intermission, and the first act is frequently longer than the second. Musical theatre_sentence_29

The first act generally introduces nearly all of the characters and most of the music and often ends with the introduction of a dramatic conflict or plot complication while the second act may introduce a few new songs but usually contains reprises of important musical themes and resolves the conflict or complication. Musical theatre_sentence_30

A book musical is usually built around four to six main theme tunes that are reprised later in the show, although it sometimes consists of a series of songs not directly musically related. Musical theatre_sentence_31

Spoken dialogue is generally interspersed between musical numbers, although "sung dialogue" or recitative may be used, especially in so-called "sung-through" musicals such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Falsettos, Les Misérables, Evita and Hamilton. Musical theatre_sentence_32

Several shorter musicals on Broadway and in the West End have been presented in one act in recent decades. Musical theatre_sentence_33

Moments of greatest dramatic intensity in a book musical are often performed in song. Musical theatre_sentence_34

Proverbially, "when the emotion becomes too strong for speech, you sing; when it becomes too strong for song, you dance." Musical theatre_sentence_35

In a book musical, a song is ideally crafted to suit the character (or characters) and their situation within the story; although there have been times in the history of the musical (e.g. from the 1890s to the 1920s) when this integration between music and story has been tenuous. Musical theatre_sentence_36

As The New York Times critic Ben Brantley described the ideal of song in theatre when reviewing the 2008 revival of Gypsy: "There is no separation at all between song and character, which is what happens in those uncommon moments when musicals reach upward to achieve their ideal reasons to be." Musical theatre_sentence_37

Typically, many fewer words are sung in a five-minute song than are spoken in a five-minute block of dialogue. Musical theatre_sentence_38

Therefore, there is less time to develop drama in a musical than in a straight play of equivalent length, since a musical usually devotes more time to music than to dialogue. Musical theatre_sentence_39

Within the compressed nature of a musical, the writers must develop the characters and the plot. Musical theatre_sentence_40

The material presented in a musical may be original, or it may be adapted from novels (Wicked and Man of La Mancha), plays (Hello, Dolly! Musical theatre_sentence_41

and Carousel), classic legends (Camelot), historical events (Evita) or films (The Producers and Billy Elliot). Musical theatre_sentence_42

On the other hand, many successful musical theatre works have been adapted for musical films, such as West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Oliver! Musical theatre_sentence_43

and Chicago. Musical theatre_sentence_44

Comparisons with opera Musical theatre_section_2

Musical theatre is closely related to the theatrical form of opera, but the two are usually distinguished by weighing a number of factors. Musical theatre_sentence_45

First, musicals generally have a greater focus on spoken dialogue. Musical theatre_sentence_46

Some musicals, however, are entirely accompanied and sung-through, while some operas, such as Die Zauberflöte, and most operettas, have some unaccompanied dialogue. Musical theatre_sentence_47

Second, musicals also usually include more dancing as an essential part of the storytelling, particularly by the principal performers as well as the chorus. Musical theatre_sentence_48

Third, musicals often use various genres of popular music or at least popular singing and musical styles. Musical theatre_sentence_49

Finally, musicals usually avoid certain operatic conventions. Musical theatre_sentence_50

In particular, a musical is almost always performed in the language of its audience. Musical theatre_sentence_51

Musicals produced on Broadway or in the West End, for instance, are invariably sung in English, even if they were originally written in another language. Musical theatre_sentence_52

While an opera singer is primarily a singer and only secondarily an actor (and rarely needs to dance), a musical theatre performer is often an actor first but must also be a singer and dancer. Musical theatre_sentence_53

Someone who is equally accomplished at all three is referred to as a "triple threat". Musical theatre_sentence_54

Composers of music for musicals often consider the vocal demands of roles with musical theatre performers in mind. Musical theatre_sentence_55

Today, large theatres that stage musicals generally use microphones and amplification of the actors' singing voices in a way that would generally be disapproved of in an operatic context. Musical theatre_sentence_56

Some works (e.g. by George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim) have been made into both "musical theatre" and "operatic" productions. Musical theatre_sentence_57

Similarly, some older operettas or light operas (such as The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan) have been produced in modern adaptations that treat them as musicals. Musical theatre_sentence_58

For some works, production styles are almost as important as the work's musical or dramatic content in defining into which art form the piece falls. Musical theatre_sentence_59

Sondheim said, "I really think that when something plays Broadway it's a musical, and when it plays in an opera house it's opera. Musical theatre_sentence_60

That's it. Musical theatre_sentence_61

It's the terrain, the countryside, the expectations of the audience that make it one thing or another." Musical theatre_sentence_62

There remains an overlap in form between lighter operatic forms and more musically complex or ambitious musicals. Musical theatre_sentence_63

In practice, it is often difficult to distinguish among the various kinds of musical theatre, including "musical play", "musical comedy", "operetta" and "light opera". Musical theatre_sentence_64

Like opera, the singing in musical theatre is generally accompanied by an instrumental ensemble called a pit orchestra, located in a lowered area in front of the stage. Musical theatre_sentence_65

While opera typically uses a conventional symphony orchestra, musicals are generally orchestrated for ensembles ranging from 27 players down to only a few players. Musical theatre_sentence_66

Rock musicals usually employ a small group of mostly rock instruments, and some musicals may call for only a piano or two instruments. Musical theatre_sentence_67

The music in musicals uses a range of "styles and influences including operetta, classical techniques, folk music, jazz [and] local or historical styles [that] are appropriate to the setting." Musical theatre_sentence_68

Musicals may begin with an overture played by the orchestra that "weav[es] together excerpts of the score's famous melodies." Musical theatre_sentence_69

Eastern traditions and other forms Musical theatre_section_3

There are various Eastern traditions of theatre that include music, such as Chinese opera, Taiwanese opera, Japanese Noh and Indian musical theatre, including Sanskrit drama, Indian classical dance, Parsi theatre and Yakshagana. Musical theatre_sentence_70

India has, since the 20th century, produced numerous musical films, referred to as "Bollywood" musicals, and in Japan a series of 2.5D musicals based on popular anime and manga comics has developed in recent decades. Musical theatre_sentence_71

Shorter or simplified "junior" versions of many musicals are available for schools and youth groups, and very short works created or adapted for performance by children are sometimes called minimusicals. Musical theatre_sentence_72

History Musical theatre_section_4

Early antecedents of musical theatre Musical theatre_section_5

Main article: Development of musical theatre Musical theatre_sentence_73

The antecedents of musical theatre in Europe can be traced back to the theatre of ancient Greece, where music and dance were included in stage comedies and tragedies during the 5th century BCE. Musical theatre_sentence_74

The music from the ancient forms is lost, however, and they had little influence on later development of musical theatre. Musical theatre_sentence_75

In the 12th and 13th centuries, religious dramas taught the liturgy. Musical theatre_sentence_76

Groups of actors would use outdoor Pageant wagons (stages on wheels) to tell each part of the story. Musical theatre_sentence_77

Poetic forms sometimes alternated with the prose dialogues, and liturgical chants gave way to new melodies. Musical theatre_sentence_78

The European Renaissance saw older forms evolve into two antecedents of musical theatre: commedia dell'arte, where raucous clowns improvised familiar stories, and later, opera buffa. Musical theatre_sentence_79

In England, Elizabethan and Jacobean plays frequently included music, and short musical plays began to be included in an evenings' dramatic entertainments. Musical theatre_sentence_80

Court masques developed during the Tudor period that involved music, dancing, singing and acting, often with expensive costumes and a complex stage design. Musical theatre_sentence_81

These developed into sung plays that are recognizable as English operas, the first usually being thought of as The Siege of Rhodes (1656). Musical theatre_sentence_82

In France, meanwhile, Molière turned several of his farcical comedies into musical entertainments with songs (music provided by Jean-Baptiste Lully) and dance in the late 17th century. Musical theatre_sentence_83

These influenced a brief period of English opera by composers such as John Blow and Henry Purcell. Musical theatre_sentence_84

From the 18th century, the most popular forms of musical theatre in Britain were ballad operas, like John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, that included lyrics written to the tunes of popular songs of the day (often spoofing opera), and later pantomime, which developed from commedia dell'arte, and comic opera with mostly romantic plot lines, like Michael Balfe's The Bohemian Girl (1845). Musical theatre_sentence_85

Meanwhile, on the continent, singspiel, comédie en vaudeville, opéra comique, zarzuela and other forms of light musical entertainment were emerging. Musical theatre_sentence_86

The Beggar's Opera was the first recorded long-running play of any kind, running for 62 successive performances in 1728. Musical theatre_sentence_87

It would take almost a century afterwards before any play broke 100 performances, but the record soon reached 150 in the late 1820s. Musical theatre_sentence_88

Other musical theatre forms developed in England by the 19th century, such as music hall, melodrama and burletta, which were popularized partly because most London theatres were licensed only as music halls and not allowed to present plays without music. Musical theatre_sentence_89

Colonial America did not have a significant theatre presence until 1752, when London entrepreneur William Hallam sent a company of actors to the colonies managed by his brother Lewis. Musical theatre_sentence_90

In New York in the summer of 1753, they performed ballad-operas, such as The Beggar's Opera, and ballad-farces. Musical theatre_sentence_91

By the 1840s, P. Musical theatre_sentence_92 T. Barnum was operating an entertainment complex in lower Manhattan. Musical theatre_sentence_93

Other early musical theatre in America consisted of British forms, such as burletta and pantomime, but what a piece was called did not necessarily define what it was. Musical theatre_sentence_94

The 1852 Broadway extravaganza The Magic Deer advertised itself as "A Serio Comico Tragico Operatical Historical Extravaganzical Burletical Tale of Enchantment." Musical theatre_sentence_95

Theatre in New York moved from downtown gradually to midtown from around 1850, and did not arrive in the Times Square area until the 1920s and 1930s. Musical theatre_sentence_96

New York runs lagged far behind those in London, but Laura Keene's "musical burletta" Seven Sisters (1860) shattered previous New York musical theatre record, with a run of 253 performances. Musical theatre_sentence_97

1850s to 1880s Musical theatre_section_6

Around 1850, the French composer Hervé was experimenting with a form of comic musical theatre he called opérette. Musical theatre_sentence_98

The best known composers of operetta were Jacques Offenbach from the 1850s to the 1870s and Johann Strauss II in the 1870s and 1880s. Musical theatre_sentence_99

Offenbach's fertile melodies, combined with his librettists' witty satire, formed a model for the musical theatre that followed. Musical theatre_sentence_100

Adaptations of the French operettas (played in mostly bad, risqué translations), musical burlesques, music hall, pantomime and burletta dominated the London musical stage into the 1870s. Musical theatre_sentence_101

In America, mid-19th century musical theatre entertainments included crude variety revue, which eventually developed into vaudeville, minstrel shows, which soon crossed the Atlantic to Britain, and Victorian burlesque, first popularized in the US by British troupes. Musical theatre_sentence_102

A hugely successful musical that premiered in New York in 1866, The Black Crook, was an original musical theatre piece that conformed to many of the modern definitions of a musical, including dance and original music that helped to tell the story. Musical theatre_sentence_103

The spectacular production, famous for its skimpy costumes, ran for a record-breaking 474 performances. Musical theatre_sentence_104

The same year, The Black Domino/Between You, Me and the Post was the first show to call itself a "musical comedy." Musical theatre_sentence_105

Comedians Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart produced and starred in musicals on Broadway between 1878 (The Mulligan Guard Picnic) and 1885. Musical theatre_sentence_106

These musical comedies featured characters and situations taken from the everyday life of New York's lower classes and represented a significant step forward towards a more legitimate theatrical form. Musical theatre_sentence_107

They starred high quality singers (Lillian Russell, Vivienne Segal and Fay Templeton) instead of the ladies of questionable repute who had starred in earlier musical forms. Musical theatre_sentence_108

As transportation improved, poverty in London and New York diminished, and street lighting made for safer travel at night, the number of patrons for the growing number of theatres increased enormously. Musical theatre_sentence_109

Plays ran longer, leading to better profits and improved production values, and men began to bring their families to the theatre. Musical theatre_sentence_110

The first musical theatre piece to exceed 500 consecutive performances was the French operetta The Chimes of Normandy in 1878. Musical theatre_sentence_111

English comic opera adopted many of the successful ideas of European operetta, none more successfully than the series of more than a dozen long-running Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas, including H.M.S. Musical theatre_sentence_112 Pinafore (1878) and The Mikado (1885). Musical theatre_sentence_113

These were sensations on both sides of the Atlantic and in Australia and helped to raise the standard for what was considered a successful show. Musical theatre_sentence_114

These shows were designed for family audiences, a marked contrast from the risqué burlesques, bawdy music hall shows and French operettas that sometimes drew a crowd seeking less wholesome entertainment. Musical theatre_sentence_115

Only a few 19th-century musical pieces exceeded the run of The Mikado, such as Dorothy, which opened in 1886 and set a new record with a run of 931 performances. Musical theatre_sentence_116

Gilbert and Sullivan's influence on later musical theatre was profound, creating examples of how to "integrate" musicals so that the lyrics and dialogue advanced a coherent story. Musical theatre_sentence_117

Their works were admired and copied by early authors and composers of musicals in Britain and America. Musical theatre_sentence_118

1890s to the new century Musical theatre_section_7

Further information: Edwardian musical comedy Musical theatre_sentence_119

A Trip to Chinatown (1891) was Broadway's long-run champion (until Irene in 1919), running for 657 performances, but New York runs continued to be relatively short, with a few exceptions, compared with London runs, until the 1920s. Musical theatre_sentence_120

Gilbert and Sullivan were both pirated and imitated in New York by productions such as Reginald De Koven's Robin Hood (1891) and John Philip Sousa's El Capitan (1896). Musical theatre_sentence_121

A Trip to Coontown (1898) was the first musical comedy entirely produced and performed by African Americans on Broadway (largely inspired by the routines of the minstrel shows), followed by ragtime-tinged shows. Musical theatre_sentence_122

Hundreds of musical comedies were staged on Broadway in the 1890s and early 20th century, composed of songs written in New York's Tin Pan Alley, including those by George M. Cohan, who worked to create an American style distinct from the Gilbert and Sullivan works. Musical theatre_sentence_123

The most successful New York shows were often followed by extensive national tours. Musical theatre_sentence_124

Meanwhile, musicals took over the London stage in the Gay Nineties, led by producer George Edwardes, who perceived that audiences wanted a new alternative to the Savoy-style comic operas and their intellectual, political, absurdist satire. Musical theatre_sentence_125

He experimented with a modern-dress, family-friendly musical theatre style, with breezy, popular songs, snappy, romantic banter, and stylish spectacle at the Gaiety and his other theatres. Musical theatre_sentence_126

These drew on the traditions of comic opera and used elements of burlesque and of the Harrigan and Hart pieces. Musical theatre_sentence_127

He replaced the bawdy women of burlesque with his "respectable" corps of Gaiety Girls to complete the musical and visual fun. Musical theatre_sentence_128

The success of the first of these, In Town (1892) and A Gaiety Girl (1893) set the style for the next three decades. Musical theatre_sentence_129

The plots were generally light, romantic "poor maiden loves aristocrat and wins him against all odds" shows, with music by Ivan Caryll, Sidney Jones and Lionel Monckton. Musical theatre_sentence_130

These shows were immediately widely copied in America, and Edwardian musical comedy swept away the earlier musical forms of comic opera and operetta. Musical theatre_sentence_131

The Geisha (1896) was one of the most successful in the 1890s, running for more than two years and achieving great international success. Musical theatre_sentence_132

The Belle of New York (1898) became the first American musical to run for over a year in London. Musical theatre_sentence_133

The British musical comedy Florodora (1899) was a popular success on both sides of the Atlantic, as was A Chinese Honeymoon (1901), which ran for a record-setting 1,074 performances in London and 376 in New York. Musical theatre_sentence_134

After the turn of the 20th century, Seymour Hicks joined forces with Edwardes and American producer Charles Frohman to create another decade of popular shows. Musical theatre_sentence_135

Other enduring Edwardian musical comedy hits included The Arcadians (1909) and The Quaker Girl (1910). Musical theatre_sentence_136

Early 20th century Musical theatre_section_8

Virtually eliminated from the English-speaking stage by competition from the ubiquitous Edwardian musical comedies, operettas returned to London and Broadway in 1907 with The Merry Widow, and adaptations of continental operettas became direct competitors with musicals. Musical theatre_sentence_137

Franz Lehár and Oscar Straus composed new operettas that were popular in English until World War I. Musical theatre_sentence_138

In America, Victor Herbert produced a string of enduring operettas including The Fortune Teller (1898), Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle. Musical theatre_sentence_139 Modiste (1905), The Red Mill (1906) and Naughty Marietta (1910). Musical theatre_sentence_140

In the 1910s, the team of P. Musical theatre_sentence_141 G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, following in the footsteps of Gilbert and Sullivan, created the "Princess Theatre shows" and paved the way for Kern's later work by showing that a musical could combine light, popular entertainment with continuity between its story and songs. Musical theatre_sentence_142

Historian Gerald Bordman wrote: Musical theatre_sentence_143

The theatre-going public needed escapist entertainment during the dark times of World War I, and they flocked to the theatre. Musical theatre_sentence_144

The 1919 hit musical Irene ran for 670 performances, a Broadway record that held until 1938. Musical theatre_sentence_145

The British theatre public supported far longer runs like that of The Maid of the Mountains (1,352 performances) and especially Chu Chin Chow. Musical theatre_sentence_146

Its run of 2,238 performances was more than twice as long as any previous musical, setting a record that stood for nearly forty years. Musical theatre_sentence_147

Revues like The Bing Boys Are Here in Britain, and those of Florenz Ziegfeld and his imitators in America, were also extraordinarily popular. Musical theatre_sentence_148

The musicals of the Roaring Twenties, borrowing from vaudeville, music hall and other light entertainments, tended to emphasize big dance routines and popular songs at the expense of plot. Musical theatre_sentence_149

Typical of the decade were lighthearted productions like Sally, Lady, Be Good, No, No, Nanette, Oh, Kay! Musical theatre_sentence_150

and Funny Face. Musical theatre_sentence_151

Despite forgettable stories, these musicals featured stars such as Marilyn Miller and Fred Astaire and produced dozens of enduring popular songs by Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart. Musical theatre_sentence_152

Popular music was dominated by musical theatre standards, such as "Fascinating Rhythm", "Tea for Two" and "Someone to Watch Over Me". Musical theatre_sentence_153

Many shows were revues, series of sketches and songs with little or no connection between them. Musical theatre_sentence_154

The best-known of these were the annual Ziegfeld Follies, spectacular song-and-dance revues on Broadway featuring extravagant sets, elaborate costumes and beautiful chorus girls. Musical theatre_sentence_155

These spectacles also raised production values, and mounting a musical generally became more expensive. Musical theatre_sentence_156

Shuffle Along (1921), an all-African American show was a hit on Broadway. Musical theatre_sentence_157

A new generation of composers of operettas also emerged in the 1920s, such as Rudolf Friml and Sigmund Romberg, to create a series of popular Broadway hits. Musical theatre_sentence_158

In London, writer-stars such as Ivor Novello and Noël Coward became popular, but the primacy of British musical theatre from the 19th century through 1920 was gradually replaced by American innovation, especially after World War I, as Kern and other Tin Pan Alley composers began to bring new musical styles such as ragtime and jazz to the theatres, and the Shubert Brothers took control of the Broadway theatres. Musical theatre_sentence_159

Musical theatre writer Andrew Lamb notes, "The operatic and theatrical styles of nineteenth-century social structures were replaced by a musical style more aptly suited to twentieth-century society and its vernacular idiom. Musical theatre_sentence_160

It was from America that the more direct style emerged, and in America that it was able to flourish in a developing society less hidebound by nineteenth-century tradition." Musical theatre_sentence_161

In France, comédie musicale was written between in the early decades of the century for such stars as Yvonne Printemps. Musical theatre_sentence_162

Show Boat and the Great Depression Musical theatre_section_9

Progressing far beyond the comparatively frivolous musicals and sentimental operettas of the decade, Broadway's Show Boat (1927), represented an even more complete integration of book and score than the Princess Theatre musicals, with dramatic themes told through the music, dialogue, setting and movement. Musical theatre_sentence_163

This was accomplished by combining the lyricism of Kern's music with the skillful libretto of Oscar Hammerstein II. Musical theatre_sentence_164

One historian wrote, "Here we come to a completely new genre – the musical play as distinguished from musical comedy. Musical theatre_sentence_165

Now ... everything else was subservient to that play. Musical theatre_sentence_166

Now ... came complete integration of song, humor and production numbers into a single and inextricable artistic entity." Musical theatre_sentence_167

As the Great Depression set in during the post-Broadway national tour of Show Boat, the public turned back to mostly light, escapist song-and-dance entertainment. Musical theatre_sentence_168

Audiences on both sides of the Atlantic had little money to spend on entertainment, and only a few stage shows anywhere exceeded a run of 500 performances during the decade. Musical theatre_sentence_169

The revue The Band Wagon (1931) starred dancing partners Fred Astaire and his sister Adele, while Porter's Anything Goes (1934) confirmed Ethel Merman's position as the First Lady of musical theatre, a title she maintained for many years. Musical theatre_sentence_170

Coward and Novello continued to deliver old fashioned, sentimental musicals, such as The Dancing Years, while Rodgers and Hart returned from Hollywood to create a series of successful Broadway shows, including On Your Toes (1936, with Ray Bolger, the first Broadway musical to make dramatic use of classical dance), Babes in Arms (1937) and The Boys from Syracuse (1938). Musical theatre_sentence_171

Porter added DuBarry Was a Lady (1939). Musical theatre_sentence_172

The longest-running piece of musical theatre of the 1930s was Hellzapoppin (1938), a revue with audience participation, which played for 1,404 performances, setting a new Broadway record. Musical theatre_sentence_173

Still, a few creative teams began to build on Show Boat's innovations. Musical theatre_sentence_174

Of Thee I Sing (1931), a political satire by the Gershwins, was the first musical awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Musical theatre_sentence_175

As Thousands Cheer (1933), a revue by Irving Berlin and Moss Hart in which each song or sketch was based on a newspaper headline, marked the first Broadway show in which an African-American, Ethel Waters, starred alongside white actors. Musical theatre_sentence_176

Waters' numbers included "Supper Time", a woman's lament for her husband who has been lynched. Musical theatre_sentence_177

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (1935) featured an all African-American cast and blended operatic, folk and jazz idioms. Musical theatre_sentence_178

The Cradle Will Rock (1937), directed by Orson Welles, was a highly political pro-union piece that, despite the controversy surrounding it, ran for 108 performances. Musical theatre_sentence_179

Rodgers and Hart's I'd Rather Be Right (1937) was a political satire with George M. Cohan as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Kurt Weill's Knickerbocker Holiday depicted New York City's early history while good-naturedly satirizing Roosevelt's good intentions. Musical theatre_sentence_180

The motion picture mounted a challenge to the stage. Musical theatre_sentence_181

Silent films had presented only limited competition, but by the end of the 1920s, films like The Jazz Singer could be presented with synchronized sound. Musical theatre_sentence_182

"Talkie" films at low prices effectively killed off vaudeville by the early 1930s. Musical theatre_sentence_183

Despite the economic woes of the 1930s and the competition from film, the musical survived. Musical theatre_sentence_184

In fact, it continued to evolve thematically beyond the gags and showgirls musicals of the Gay Nineties and Roaring Twenties and the sentimental romance of operetta, adding technical expertise and the fast-paced staging and naturalistic dialogue style led by director George Abbott. Musical theatre_sentence_185

The Golden Age (1940s to 1960s) Musical theatre_section_10

1940s Musical theatre_section_11

The 1940s would begin with more hits from Porter, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, Weill and Gershwin, some with runs over 500 performances as the economy rebounded, but artistic change was in the air. Musical theatre_sentence_186

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! Musical theatre_sentence_187

(1943) completed the revolution begun by Show Boat, by tightly integrating all the aspects of musical theatre, with a cohesive plot, songs that furthered the action of the story, and featured dream ballets and other dances that advanced the plot and developed the characters, rather than using dance as an excuse to parade scantily clad women across the stage. Musical theatre_sentence_188

Rodgers and Hammerstein hired ballet choreographer Agnes de Mille, who used everyday motions to help the characters express their ideas. Musical theatre_sentence_189

It defied musical conventions by raising its first act curtain not on a bevy of chorus girls, but rather on a woman churning butter, with an off-stage voice singing the opening lines of Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin' unaccompanied. Musical theatre_sentence_190

It drew rave reviews, set off a box-office frenzy and received a Pulitzer Prize. Musical theatre_sentence_191

Brooks Atkinson wrote in The New York Times that the show's opening number changed the history of musical theater: "After a verse like that, sung to a buoyant melody, the banalities of the old musical stage became intolerable." Musical theatre_sentence_192

It was the first "blockbuster" Broadway show, running a total of 2,212 performances, and was made into a hit film. Musical theatre_sentence_193

It remains one of the most frequently produced of the team's projects. Musical theatre_sentence_194

William A. Everett and Paul R. Laird wrote that this was a "show, that, like Show Boat, became a milestone, so that later historians writing about important moments in twentieth-century theatre would begin to identify eras according to their relationship to Oklahoma!" Musical theatre_sentence_195

"After Oklahoma!, Rodgers and Hammerstein were the most important contributors to the musical-play form... Musical theatre_sentence_196

The examples they set in creating vital plays, often rich with social thought, provided the necessary encouragement for other gifted writers to create musical plays of their own". Musical theatre_sentence_197

The two collaborators created an extraordinary collection of some of musical theatre's best loved and most enduring classics, including Carousel (1945), South Pacific (1949), The King and I (1951) and The Sound of Music (1959). Musical theatre_sentence_198

Some of these musicals treat more serious subject matter than most earlier shows: the villain in Oklahoma! Musical theatre_sentence_199

is a suspected murderer and psychopath with a fondness for lewd post cards; Carousel deals with spousal abuse, thievery, suicide and the afterlife; South Pacific explores miscegenation even more thoroughly than Show Boat; and the hero of The King and I dies onstage. Musical theatre_sentence_200

The show's creativity stimulated Rodgers and Hammerstein's contemporaries and ushered in the "Golden Age" of American musical theatre. Musical theatre_sentence_201

Americana was displayed on Broadway during the "Golden Age", as the wartime cycle of shows began to arrive. Musical theatre_sentence_202

An example of this is On the Town (1944), written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, composed by Leonard Bernstein and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. Musical theatre_sentence_203

The story is set during wartime and concerns three sailors who are on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City, during which each falls in love. Musical theatre_sentence_204

The show also gives the impression of a country with an uncertain future, as the sailors and their women also have. Musical theatre_sentence_205

Irving Berlin used sharpshooter Annie Oakley's career as a basis for his Annie Get Your Gun (1946, 1,147 performances); Burton Lane, E. Musical theatre_sentence_206 Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy combined political satire with Irish whimsy for their fantasy Finian's Rainbow (1947, 725 performances); and Cole Porter found inspiration in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew for Kiss Me, Kate (1948, 1,077 performances). Musical theatre_sentence_207

The American musicals overwhelmed the old-fashioned British Coward/Novello-style shows, one of the last big successes of which was Novello's Perchance to Dream (1945, 1,021 performances). Musical theatre_sentence_208

The formula for the Golden Age musicals reflected one or more of four widely held perceptions of the "American dream": That stability and worth derives from a love relationship sanctioned and restricted by Protestant ideals of marriage; that a married couple should make a moral home with children away from the city in a suburb or small town; that the woman's function was as homemaker and mother; and that Americans incorporate an independent and pioneering spirit or that their success is self-made. Musical theatre_sentence_209

1950s Musical theatre_section_12

Further information: Musical film Musical theatre_sentence_210

The 1950s were crucial to the development of the American musical. Musical theatre_sentence_211

Damon Runyon's eclectic characters were at the core of Frank Loesser's and Abe Burrows' Guys and Dolls, (1950, 1,200 performances); and the Gold Rush was the setting for Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's Paint Your Wagon (1951). Musical theatre_sentence_212

The relatively brief seven-month run of that show didn't discourage Lerner and Loewe from collaborating again, this time on My Fair Lady (1956), an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion starring Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, which at 2,717 performances held the long-run record for many years. Musical theatre_sentence_213

Popular Hollywood films were made of all of these musicals. Musical theatre_sentence_214

This surpassed the run of two hits by British creators: The Boy Friend (1954), which ran for 2,078 performances in London and marked Andrews' American debut, was very briefly the third longest-running musical in West End or Broadway history (after Chu Chin Chow and Oklahoma! Musical theatre_sentence_215

), until Salad Days (1954) surpassed its run and became the new long-run record holder, with 2,283 performances. Musical theatre_sentence_216

Another record was set by The Threepenny Opera, which ran for 2,707 performances, becoming the longest-running off-Broadway musical until The Fantasticks. Musical theatre_sentence_217

The production also broke ground by showing that musicals could be profitable off-Broadway in a small-scale, small orchestra format. Musical theatre_sentence_218

This was confirmed in 1959 when a revival of Jerome Kern and P. Musical theatre_sentence_219 G. Wodehouse's Leave It to Jane ran for more than two years. Musical theatre_sentence_220

The 1959–1960 Off-Broadway season included a dozen musicals and revues including Little Mary Sunshine, The Fantasticks and Ernest in Love, a musical adaptation of Oscar Wilde's 1895 hit The Importance of Being Earnest. Musical theatre_sentence_221

West Side Story (1957) transported Romeo and Juliet to modern day New York City and converted the feuding Montague and Capulet families into opposing ethnic gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Musical theatre_sentence_222

The book was adapted by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by newcomer Stephen Sondheim. Musical theatre_sentence_223

It was embraced by the critics, but failed to be a popular choice for the "blue-haired matinee ladies", who preferred the small town River City, Iowa of Meredith Willson's The Music Man (1957) to the alleys of Manhattan's Upper West Side. Musical theatre_sentence_224

Apparently Tony Award voters were of a similar mind, since they favored the former over the latter. Musical theatre_sentence_225

West Side Story had a respectable run of 732 performances (1,040 in the West End), while The Music Man ran nearly twice as long, with 1,375 performances. Musical theatre_sentence_226

However, the 1961 film of West Side Story was extremely successful. Musical theatre_sentence_227

Laurents and Sondheim teamed up again for Gypsy (1959, 702 performances), with Jule Styne providing the music for a backstage story about the most driven stage mother of all-time, stripper Gypsy Rose Lee's mother Rose. Musical theatre_sentence_228

The original production ran for 702 performances, and was given four subsequent revivals, with Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone later tackling the role made famous by Ethel Merman. Musical theatre_sentence_229

Although directors and choreographers have had a major influence on musical theatre style since at least the 19th century, George Abbott and his collaborators and successors took a central role in integrating movement and dance fully into musical theatre productions in the Golden Age. Musical theatre_sentence_230

Abbott introduced ballet as a story-telling device in On Your Toes in 1936, which was followed by Agnes de Mille's ballet and choreography in Oklahoma!. Musical theatre_sentence_231

After Abbott collaborated with Jerome Robbins in On the Town and other shows, Robbins combined the roles of director and choreographer, emphasizing the story-telling power of dance in West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962) and Fiddler on the Roof (1964). Musical theatre_sentence_232

Bob Fosse choreographed for Abbott in The Pajama Game (1956) and Damn Yankees (1957), injecting playful sexuality into those hits. Musical theatre_sentence_233

He was later the director-choreographer for Sweet Charity (1968), Pippin (1972) and Chicago (1975). Musical theatre_sentence_234

Other notable director-choreographers have included Gower Champion, Tommy Tune, Michael Bennett, Gillian Lynne and Susan Stroman. Musical theatre_sentence_235

Prominent directors have included Hal Prince, who also got his start with Abbott, and Trevor Nunn. Musical theatre_sentence_236

During the Golden Age, automotive companies and other large corporations began to hire Broadway talent to write corporate musicals, private shows only seen by their employees or customers. Musical theatre_sentence_237

The 1950s ended with Rodgers and Hammerstein's last hit, The Sound of Music, which also became another hit for Mary Martin. Musical theatre_sentence_238

It ran for 1,443 performances and shared the Tony Award for Best Musical. Musical theatre_sentence_239

Together with its extremely successful 1965 film version, it has become one of the most popular musicals in history. Musical theatre_sentence_240

1960s Musical theatre_section_13

In 1960, The Fantasticks was first produced off-Broadway. Musical theatre_sentence_241

This intimate allegorical show would quietly run for over 40 years at the Sullivan Street Theatre in Greenwich Village, becoming by far the longest-running musical in history. Musical theatre_sentence_242

Its authors produced other innovative works in the 1960s, such as Celebration and I Do! Musical theatre_sentence_243 I Do! Musical theatre_sentence_244 , the first two-character Broadway musical. Musical theatre_sentence_245

The 1960s would see a number of blockbusters, like Fiddler on the Roof (1964; 3,242 performances), Hello, Dolly! Musical theatre_sentence_246

(1964; 2,844 performances), Funny Girl (1964; 1,348 performances) and Man of La Mancha (1965; 2,328 performances), and some more risqué pieces like Cabaret, before ending with the emergence of the rock musical. Musical theatre_sentence_247

Two men had considerable impact on musical theatre history beginning in this decade: Stephen Sondheim and Jerry Herman. Musical theatre_sentence_248

The first project for which Sondheim wrote both music and lyrics was A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962, 964 performances), with a book based on the works of Plautus by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, starring Zero Mostel. Musical theatre_sentence_249

Sondheim moved the musical beyond its concentration on the romantic plots typical of earlier eras; his work tended to be darker, exploring the grittier sides of life both present and past. Musical theatre_sentence_250

Other early Sondheim works include Anyone Can Whistle (1964, which ran only nine performances, despite having stars Lee Remick and Angela Lansbury), and the successful Company (1970), Follies (1971) and A Little Night Music (1973). Musical theatre_sentence_251

Later, Sondheim found inspiration in unlikely sources: the opening of Japan to Western trade for Pacific Overtures (1976), a legendary murderous barber seeking revenge in the Industrial Age of London for Sweeney Todd (1979), the paintings of Georges Seurat for Sunday in the Park with George (1984), fairy tales for Into the Woods (1987), and a collection of presidential assassins in Assassins (1990). Musical theatre_sentence_252

While some critics have argued that some of Sondheim's musicals lack commercial appeal, others have praised their lyrical sophistication and musical complexity, as well as the interplay of lyrics and music in his shows. Musical theatre_sentence_253

Some of Sondheim's notable innovations include a show presented in reverse (Merrily We Roll Along) and the above-mentioned Anyone Can Whistle, in which the first act ends with the cast informing the audience that they are mad. Musical theatre_sentence_254

Jerry Herman played a significant role in American musical theatre, beginning with his first Broadway production, Milk and Honey (1961, 563 performances), about the founding of the state of Israel, and continuing with the blockbuster hits Hello, Dolly! Musical theatre_sentence_255

(1964, 2,844 performances), Mame (1966, 1,508 performances), and La Cage aux Folles (1983, 1,761 performances). Musical theatre_sentence_256

Even his less successful shows like Dear World (1969) and Mack and Mabel (1974) have had memorable scores (Mack and Mabel was later reworked into a London hit). Musical theatre_sentence_257

Writing both words and music, many of Herman's show tunes have become popular standards, including "Hello, Dolly! Musical theatre_sentence_258 ", "We Need a Little Christmas", "I Am What I Am", "Mame", "The Best of Times", "Before the Parade Passes By", "Put On Your Sunday Clothes", "It Only Takes a Moment", "Bosom Buddies" and "I Won't Send Roses", recorded by such artists as Louis Armstrong, Eydie Gormé, Barbra Streisand, Petula Clark and Bernadette Peters. Musical theatre_sentence_259

Herman's songbook has been the subject of two popular musical revues, Jerry's Girls (Broadway, 1985) and Showtune (off-Broadway, 2003). Musical theatre_sentence_260

The musical started to diverge from the relatively narrow confines of the 1950s. Musical theatre_sentence_261

Rock music would be used in several Broadway musicals, beginning with Hair, which featured not only rock music but also nudity and controversial opinions about the Vietnam War, race relations and other social issues. Musical theatre_sentence_262

Social themes Musical theatre_section_14

After Show Boat and Porgy and Bess, and as the struggle in America and elsewhere for minorities' civil rights progressed, Hammerstein, Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg and others were emboldened to write more musicals and operas that aimed to normalize societal toleration of minorities and urged racial harmony. Musical theatre_sentence_263

Early Golden Age works that focused on racial tolerance included Finian's Rainbow and South Pacific. Musical theatre_sentence_264

Towards the end of the Golden Age, several shows tackled Jewish subjects and issues, such as Fiddler on the Roof, Milk and Honey, Blitz! Musical theatre_sentence_265

and later Rags. Musical theatre_sentence_266

The original concept that became West Side Story was set in the Lower East Side during Easter-Passover celebrations; the rival gangs were to be Jewish and Italian Catholic. Musical theatre_sentence_267

The creative team later decided that the Polish (white) vs. Puerto Rican conflict was fresher. Musical theatre_sentence_268

Tolerance as an important theme in musicals has continued in recent decades. Musical theatre_sentence_269

The final expression of West Side Story left a message of racial tolerance. Musical theatre_sentence_270

By the end of the 1960s, musicals became racially integrated, with black and white cast members even covering each other's roles, as they did in Hair. Musical theatre_sentence_271

Homosexuality has also been explored in musicals, starting with Hair, and even more overtly in La Cage aux Folles, Falsettos, Rent, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and other shows in recent decades. Musical theatre_sentence_272

Parade is a sensitive exploration of both anti-Semitism and historical American racism, and Ragtime similarly explores the experience of immigrants and minorities in America. Musical theatre_sentence_273

1970s to present Musical theatre_section_15

1970s Musical theatre_section_16

After the success of Hair, rock musicals flourished in the 1970s, with Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, The Rocky Horror Show, Evita and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Musical theatre_sentence_274

Some of those began as "concept albums" which were then adapted to the stage, most notably Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Musical theatre_sentence_275

Others had no dialogue or were otherwise reminiscent of opera, with dramatic, emotional themes; these sometimes started as concept albums and were referred to as rock operas. Musical theatre_sentence_276

Shows like Raisin, Dreamgirls, Purlie and The Wiz brought a significant African-American influence to Broadway. Musical theatre_sentence_277

More varied musical genres and styles were incorporated into musicals both on and especially off-Broadway. Musical theatre_sentence_278

At the same time, Stephen Sondheim found success with some of his musicals, as mentioned above. Musical theatre_sentence_279

In 1975, the dance musical A Chorus Line emerged from recorded group therapy-style sessions Michael Bennett conducted with "gypsies" – those who sing and dance in support of the leading players – from the Broadway community. Musical theatre_sentence_280

From hundreds of hours of tapes, James Kirkwood Jr. and Nick Dante fashioned a book about an audition for a musical, incorporating many real-life stories from the sessions; some who attended the sessions eventually played variations of themselves or each other in the show. Musical theatre_sentence_281

With music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban, A Chorus Line first opened at Joseph Papp's Public Theater in lower Manhattan. Musical theatre_sentence_282

What initially had been planned as a limited engagement eventually moved to the Shubert Theatre on Broadway for a run of 6,137 performances, becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history up to that time. Musical theatre_sentence_283

The show swept the Tony Awards and won the Pulitzer Prize, and its hit song, What I Did for Love, became a standard. Musical theatre_sentence_284

Broadway audiences welcomed musicals that varied from the golden age style and substance. Musical theatre_sentence_285

John Kander and Fred Ebb explored the rise of Nazism in Germany in Cabaret, and murder and the media in Prohibition-era Chicago, which relied on old vaudeville techniques. Musical theatre_sentence_286

Pippin, by Stephen Schwartz, was set in the days of Charlemagne. Musical theatre_sentence_287

Federico Fellini's autobiographical film became Maury Yeston's Nine. Musical theatre_sentence_288

At the end of the decade, Evita and Sweeney Todd were precursors of the darker, big budget musicals of the 1980s that depended on dramatic stories, sweeping scores and spectacular effects. Musical theatre_sentence_289

At the same time, old-fashioned values were still embraced in such hits as Annie, 42nd Street, My One and Only, and popular revivals of No, No, Nanette and Irene. Musical theatre_sentence_290

Although many film versions of musicals were made in the 1970s, few were critical or box office successes, with the notable exceptions of Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret and Grease. Musical theatre_sentence_291

1980s Musical theatre_section_17

The 1980s saw the influence of European "megamusicals" on Broadway, in the West End and elsewhere. Musical theatre_sentence_292

These typically feature a pop-influenced score, large casts and spectacular sets and special effects – a falling chandelier (in The Phantom of the Opera); a helicopter landing on stage (in Miss Saigon) – and big budgets. Musical theatre_sentence_293

Some were based on novels or other works of literature. Musical theatre_sentence_294

The British team of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and producer Cameron Mackintosh started the megamusical phenomenon with their 1981 musical Cats, based on the poems of T. Musical theatre_sentence_295 S. Eliot, which overtook A Chorus Line to become the longest-running Broadway show. Musical theatre_sentence_296

Lloyd Webber followed up with Starlight Express (1984), performed on roller skates; The Phantom of the Opera (1986; also with Mackintosh), derived from the novel of the same name; and Sunset Boulevard (1993), from the 1950 film of the same name. Musical theatre_sentence_297

Phantom would surpass Cats to become the longest-running show in Broadway history, a record it still holds. Musical theatre_sentence_298

The French team of Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil wrote Les Misérables, based on the novel of the same name, whose 1985 London production was produced by Mackintosh and became, and still is, the longest-running musical in West End and Broadway history. Musical theatre_sentence_299

The team produced another hit with Miss Saigon (1989), which was inspired by the Puccini opera Madama Butterfly. Musical theatre_sentence_300

The megamusicals' huge budgets redefined expectations for financial success on Broadway and in the West End. Musical theatre_sentence_301

In earlier years, it was possible for a show to be considered a hit after a run of several hundred performances, but with multimillion-dollar production costs, a show must run for years simply to turn a profit. Musical theatre_sentence_302

Megamusicals were also reproduced in productions around the world, multiplying their profit potential while expanding the global audience for musical theatre. Musical theatre_sentence_303

1990s Musical theatre_section_18

In the 1990s, a new generation of theatrical composers emerged, including Jason Robert Brown and Michael John LaChiusa, who began with productions Off-Broadway. Musical theatre_sentence_304

The most conspicuous success of these artists was Jonathan Larson's show Rent (1996), a rock musical (based on the opera La bohème) about a struggling community of artists in Manhattan. Musical theatre_sentence_305

While the cost of tickets to Broadway and West End musicals was escalating beyond the budget of many theatregoers, Rent was marketed to increase the popularity of musicals among a younger audience. Musical theatre_sentence_306

It featured a young cast and a heavily rock-influenced score; the musical became a hit. Musical theatre_sentence_307

Its young fans, many of them students, calling themselves RENTheads], camped out at the Nederlander Theatre in hopes of winning the lottery for $20 front row tickets, and some saw the show dozens of times. Musical theatre_sentence_308

Other shows on Broadway followed Rent's lead by offering heavily discounted day-of-performance or standing-room tickets, although often the discounts are offered only to students. Musical theatre_sentence_309

The 1990s also saw the influence of large corporations on the production of musicals. Musical theatre_sentence_310

The most important has been Disney Theatrical Productions, which began adapting some of Disney's animated film musicals for the stage, starting with Beauty and the Beast (1994), The Lion King (1997) and Aida (2000), the latter two with music by Elton John. Musical theatre_sentence_311

The Lion King is the highest-grossing musical in Broadway history. Musical theatre_sentence_312

The Who's Tommy (1993), a theatrical adaptation of the rock opera Tommy, achieved a healthy run of 899 performances but was criticized for sanitizing the story and "musical theatre-izing" the rock music. Musical theatre_sentence_313

Despite the growing number of large-scale musicals in the 1980s and 1990s, a number of lower-budget, smaller-scale musicals managed to find critical and financial success, such as Falsettoland and Little Shop of Horrors, Bat Boy: The Musical and Blood Brothers. Musical theatre_sentence_314

The topics of these pieces vary widely, and the music ranges from rock to pop, but they often are produced off-Broadway, or for smaller London theatres, and some of these stagings have been regarded as imaginative and innovative. Musical theatre_sentence_315

2000s–2010s Musical theatre_section_19

Trends Musical theatre_section_20

In the new century, familiarity has been embraced by producers and investors anxious to guarantee that they recoup their considerable investments. Musical theatre_sentence_316

Some took (usually modest-budget) chances on new and creative material, such as Urinetown (2001), Avenue Q (2003), The Light in the Piazza (2005), Spring Awakening (2006), In the Heights (2007), Next to Normal (2009), American Idiot (2010) and The Book of Mormon (2011). Musical theatre_sentence_317

Hamilton (2015), transformed "under-dramatized American history" into an unusual hip-hop inflected hit. Musical theatre_sentence_318

In 2011, Sondheim argued that of all forms of "contemporary pop music", rap was "the closest to traditional musical theatre" and was "one pathway to the future." Musical theatre_sentence_319

However, most major-market 21st-century productions have taken a safe route, with revivals of familiar fare, such as Fiddler on the Roof, A Chorus Line, South Pacific, Gypsy, Hair, West Side Story and Grease, or with adaptations of other proven material, such as literature (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Wicked and Fun Home), hoping that the shows would have a built-in audience as a result. Musical theatre_sentence_320

This trend is especially persistent with film adaptations, including (The Producers, Spamalot, Hairspray, Legally Blonde, The Color Purple, Xanadu, Billy Elliot, Shrek, Waitress and Groundhog Day). Musical theatre_sentence_321

Some critics have argued that the reuse of film plots, especially those from Disney (such as Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid), equate the Broadway and West End musical to a tourist attraction, rather than a creative outlet. Musical theatre_sentence_322

Today, it is less likely that a sole producer, such as David Merrick or Cameron Mackintosh, backs a production. Musical theatre_sentence_323

Corporate sponsors dominate Broadway, and often alliances are formed to stage musicals, which require an investment of $10 million or more. Musical theatre_sentence_324

In 2002, the credits for Thoroughly Modern Millie listed ten producers, and among those names were entities composed of several individuals. Musical theatre_sentence_325

Typically, off-Broadway and regional theatres tend to produce smaller and therefore less expensive musicals, and development of new musicals has increasingly taken place outside of New York and London or in smaller venues. Musical theatre_sentence_326

For example, Spring Awakening, Fun Home and Hamilton were developed Off-Broadway before being launched on Broadway. Musical theatre_sentence_327

Several musicals returned to the spectacle format that was so successful in the 1980s, recalling extravaganzas that have been presented at times, throughout theatre history, since the ancient Romans staged mock sea battles. Musical theatre_sentence_328

Examples include the musical adaptations of Lord of the Rings (2007), Gone with the Wind (2008) and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (2011). Musical theatre_sentence_329

These musicals involved songwriters with little theatrical experience, and the expensive productions generally lost money. Musical theatre_sentence_330

Conversely, The Drowsy Chaperone, Avenue Q, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Xanadu and Fun Home, among others, have been presented in smaller-scale productions, mostly uninterrupted by an intermission, with short running times, and enjoyed financial success. Musical theatre_sentence_331

In 2013, Time magazine reported that a trend Off-Broadway has been "immersive" theatre, citing shows such as Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (2012) and Here Lies Love (2013) in which the staging takes place around and within the audience. Musical theatre_sentence_332

The shows set a joint record, each receiving 11 nominations for Lucille Lortel Awards, and feature contemporary scores. Musical theatre_sentence_333

In 2013, Cyndi Lauper was the "first female composer to win the [Tony for] Best Score without a male collaborator" for writing the music and lyrics for Kinky Boots. Musical theatre_sentence_334

In 2015, for the first time, an all-female writing team, Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, won the Tony Award for Best Original Score (and Best Book for Kron) for Fun Home, although work by male songwriters continues to be produced more often. Musical theatre_sentence_335

Jukebox musicals Musical theatre_section_21

Another trend has been to create a minimal plot to fit a collection of songs that have already been hits. Musical theatre_sentence_336

Following the earlier success of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, these have included Movin' Out (2002, based on the tunes of Billy Joel), Jersey Boys (2006, The Four Seasons), Rock of Ages (2009, featuring classic rock of the 1980s) and many others. Musical theatre_sentence_337

This style is often referred to as the "jukebox musical". Musical theatre_sentence_338

Similar but more plot-driven musicals have been built around the canon of a particular pop group including Mamma Mia! Musical theatre_sentence_339

(1999, based on the songs of ABBA), Our House (2002, based on the songs of Madness) and We Will Rock You (2002, based on the songs of Queen). Musical theatre_sentence_340

Film and TV musicals Musical theatre_section_22

Further information: Musical film Musical theatre_sentence_341

Live-action film musicals were nearly dead in the 1980s and early 1990s, with exceptions of Victor/Victoria, Little Shop of Horrors and the 1996 film of Evita. Musical theatre_sentence_342

In the new century, Baz Luhrmann began a revival of the film musical with Moulin Rouge! Musical theatre_sentence_343

(2001). Musical theatre_sentence_344

This was followed by Chicago (2002); Phantom of the Opera (2004); Rent (2005); Dreamgirls (2006); Hairspray, Enchanted and Sweeney Todd (all in 2007); Mamma Mia! Musical theatre_sentence_345

(2008); Nine (2009); Les Misérables and Pitch Perfect (both in 2012), Into The Woods and The Last Five Years (2014) and La La Land (2016), among others. Musical theatre_sentence_346

Dr. Musical theatre_sentence_347 Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Musical theatre_sentence_348

(2000) and The Cat in the Hat (2003), turned children's books into live-action film musicals. Musical theatre_sentence_349

After the immense success of Disney and other houses with animated film musicals beginning with The Little Mermaid in 1989 and running throughout the 1990s (including some more adult-themed films, like South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)), fewer animated film musicals were released in the first decade of the 21st century. Musical theatre_sentence_350

The genre made a comeback beginning in 2010 with Tangled (2010), Rio (2011) and Frozen (2013). Musical theatre_sentence_351

In Asia, India continues to produce numerous "Bollywood" film musicals, and Japan produces "Anime" and "Manga" film musicals. Musical theatre_sentence_352

Made for TV musical films were popular in the 1990s, such as Gypsy (1993), Cinderella (1997) and Annie (1999). Musical theatre_sentence_353

Several made for TV musicals in the first decade of the 21st century were adaptations of the stage version, such as South Pacific (2001), The Music Man (2003) and Once Upon a Mattress (2005), and a televised version of the stage musical Legally Blonde in 2007. Musical theatre_sentence_354

Additionally, several musicals were filmed on stage and broadcast on Public Television, for example Contact in 2002 and Kiss Me, Kate and Oklahoma! Musical theatre_sentence_355

in 2003. Musical theatre_sentence_356

The made-for-TV musical High School Musical (2006), and its several sequels, enjoyed particular success and were adapted for stage musicals and other media. Musical theatre_sentence_357

In 2013, NBC began a series of live television broadcasts of musicals with The Sound of Music Live! Musical theatre_sentence_358

Although the production received mixed reviews, it was a ratings success. Musical theatre_sentence_359

Further broadcasts have included Peter Pan Live! Musical theatre_sentence_360

(NBC 2014), The Wiz Live! Musical theatre_sentence_361

(NBC 2015), a UK broadcast, The Sound of Music Live (ITV 2015) Grease: Live (Fox 2016), Hairspray Live! Musical theatre_sentence_362

(NBC, 2016), A Christmas Story Live! Musical theatre_sentence_363

(Fox, 2017), and Rent: Live (Fox 2019). Musical theatre_sentence_364

Some television shows have set episodes as a musical. Musical theatre_sentence_365

Examples include episodes of Ally McBeal, Xena: Warrior Princess ("The Bitter Suite" and "Lyre, Lyre, Heart's On Fire"), Psych ("Psych: The Musical"), Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Once More, with Feeling"), That's So Raven, Daria, Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, The Flash, Once Upon a Time, Oz, Scrubs (one episode was written by the creators of Avenue Q), Batman: The Brave and the Bold ("Mayhem of the Music Meister") and That '70s Show (the 100th episode, "That '70s Musical"). Musical theatre_sentence_366

Others have included scenes where characters suddenly begin singing and dancing in a musical-theatre style during an episode, such as in several episodes of The Simpsons, 30 Rock, Hannah Montana, South Park, Bob's Burgers and Family Guy. Musical theatre_sentence_367

The television series Cop Rock extensively used the musical format, as do the series Flight of the Conchords, Glee, Smash and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Musical theatre_sentence_368

There have also been musicals made for the internet, including Dr. Musical theatre_sentence_369 Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, about a low-rent super-villain played by Neil Patrick Harris. Musical theatre_sentence_370

It was written during the WGA writer's strike. Musical theatre_sentence_371

Since 2006, reality TV shows have been used to help market musical revivals by holding a talent competition to cast (usually female) leads. Musical theatre_sentence_372

Examples of these are How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria? Musical theatre_sentence_373 , Grease: You're the One That I Want! Musical theatre_sentence_374 , Any Dream Will Do, Legally Blonde: The Musical – The Search for Elle Woods, I'd Do Anything and Over the Rainbow. Musical theatre_sentence_375

International musicals Musical theatre_section_23

The U.S. and Britain were the most active sources of book musicals from the 19th century through much of the 20th century (although Europe produced various forms of popular light opera and operetta, for example Spanish Zarzuela, during that period and even earlier). Musical theatre_sentence_376

However, the light musical stage in other countries has become more active in recent decades. Musical theatre_sentence_377

Musicals from other English-speaking countries (notably Australia and Canada) often do well locally and occasionally even reach Broadway or the West End (e.g., The Boy from Oz and The Drowsy Chaperone). Musical theatre_sentence_378

South Africa has an active musical theatre scene, with revues like African Footprint and Umoja and book musicals, such as Kat and the Kings and Sarafina! Musical theatre_sentence_379

touring internationally. Musical theatre_sentence_380

Locally, musicals like Vere, Love and Green Onions, Over the Rainbow: the all-new all-gay... extravaganza and Bangbroek Mountain and In Briefs – a queer little Musical have been produced successfully. Musical theatre_sentence_381

Successful musicals from continental Europe include shows from (among other countries) Germany (Elixier and Ludwig II), Austria (Tanz der Vampire, Elisabeth, Mozart! Musical theatre_sentence_382

and Rebecca), Czech Republic (Dracula), France (Notre-Dame de Paris, Les Misérables, Roméo et Juliette and Mozart, l'opéra rock) and Spain (Hoy no me puedo levantar and The Musical Sancho Panza). Musical theatre_sentence_383

Japan has recently seen the growth of an indigenous form of musical theatre, both animated and live action, mostly based on Anime and Manga, such as Kiki's Delivery Service and Tenimyu. Musical theatre_sentence_384

The popular Sailor Moon metaseries has had twenty-nine Sailor Moon musicals, spanning thirteen years. Musical theatre_sentence_385

Beginning in 1914, a series of popular revues have been performed by the all-female Takarazuka Revue, which currently fields five performing troupes. Musical theatre_sentence_386

Elsewhere in Asia, the Indian Bollywood musical, mostly in the form of motion pictures, is tremendously successful. Musical theatre_sentence_387

Beginning with a 2002 tour of Les Misérables, various Western musicals have been imported to mainland China and staged in English. Musical theatre_sentence_388

Attempts at localizing Western productions in China began in 2008 when Fame was produced in Mandarin with a full Chinese cast at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. Musical theatre_sentence_389

Since then, other western productions have been staged in China in Mandarin with a Chinese cast. Musical theatre_sentence_390

The first Chinese production in the style of Western musical theatre was The Gold Sand in 2005. Musical theatre_sentence_391

In addition, Li Dun, a well-known Chinese producer, produced Butterflies, based on a classic Chinese love tragedy, in 2007 as well as Love U Teresa in 2011. Musical theatre_sentence_392

Amateur and school productions Musical theatre_section_24

Musicals are often presented by amateur and school groups in churches, schools and other performance spaces. Musical theatre_sentence_393

Although amateur theatre has existed for centuries, even in the New World, François Cellier and Cunningham Bridgeman wrote, in 1914, that prior to the late 19th century, amateur actors were treated with contempt by professionals. Musical theatre_sentence_394

After the formation of amateur Gilbert and Sullivan companies licensed to perform the Savoy operas, professionals recognized that the amateur societies "support the culture of music and the drama. Musical theatre_sentence_395

They are now accepted as useful training schools for the legitimate stage, and from the volunteer ranks have sprung many present-day favourites." Musical theatre_sentence_396

The National Operatic and Dramatic Association was founded in the UK in 1899. Musical theatre_sentence_397

It reported, in 1914, that nearly 200 amateur dramatic societies were producing Gilbert and Sullivan works in Britain that year. Musical theatre_sentence_398

Similarly, more than 100 community theatres were founded in the US in the early 20th century. Musical theatre_sentence_399

This number has grown to an estimated 18,000 in the US. Musical theatre_sentence_400

The Educational Theater Association in the US has nearly 5,000 member schools. Musical theatre_sentence_401

Relevance Musical theatre_section_25

The Broadway League announced that in the 2007–08 season, 12.27 million tickets were purchased for Broadway shows for a gross sale amount of almost a billion dollars. Musical theatre_sentence_402

The League further reported that during the 2006–07 season, approximately 65% of Broadway tickets were purchased by tourists, and that foreign tourists were 16% of attendees. Musical theatre_sentence_403

The Society of London Theatre reported that 2007 set a record for attendance in London. Musical theatre_sentence_404

Total attendees in the major commercial and grant-aided theatres in Central London were 13.6 million, and total ticket revenues were £469.7 million. Musical theatre_sentence_405

Also, the international musicals scene has been particularly active in recent years. Musical theatre_sentence_406

Stephen Sondheim commented in the year 2000: Musical theatre_sentence_407

However, noting the success in recent decades of original material, and creative re-imaginings of film, plays and literature, theatre historian John Kenrick countered: Musical theatre_sentence_408

See also Musical theatre_section_26

Musical theatre_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical theatre.