Coming up Roses The Broadway Musical in the 1950s

ISBN-10: 0195140583
ISBN-13: 9780195140583
Edition: 2000
Author(s): Ethan Mordden
Description: The 1950s saw an explosion in the American musical theater. The Broadway show, catapulted into the limelight in the 20s and solidified during the 40s thanks to Rodgers and Hammerstein, now entered its most revolutionary phase, brashly redefining  More...
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List Price: $19.99
Copyright Year: 2000
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication Date: 11/26/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

The 1950s saw an explosion in the American musical theater. The Broadway show, catapulted into the limelight in the 20s and solidified during the 40s thanks to Rodgers and Hammerstein, now entered its most revolutionary phase, brashly redefining itself and forging a new kind of storytelling. In Coming Up Roses: The Broadway Musical in the 1950s, Ethan Mordden gives us a guided tour of this rich decade. With loving detail, Mordden highlights the shift in Broadway from shows that were mere star vehicles, showcasing a big-name talent, to the bolder stories, stuffed with character and atmosphere. During this period, subject matter became more intricate, even controversial, and plots more human and complex; Mordden demonstrates how, in response, musical conventions were polished, writing became more finely crafted, and dance became truly indispensable. Along the way we meet the key players: such greats as Ethel Merman, George Abbott, Jerome Robbins, Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse, Stephen Sondheim, Frank Loesser, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, and many others. We get the backstage scoop on why Guys and Dolls is so well-made, why West Side Story is so timeless, why The King and I and Gypsy pushed the envelope, and why no one ever talks about Ankles Aweigh. All this is peppered with a dash of industry gossip--the directorial struggles, last-minute script rewrites and cast replacements, the power of the poster listings--that made Broadway so nerve-wrackingly vibrant. This passionate and informed study illuminates a crucial period in American musical theater and shows us the origins of many of the musicals recently revived to huge success on Broadway.

The Street, 1950
Guys and Dolls
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Street, 1952
Kismet
The Street, 1954
Fanny and New Girl in Town
By the Beautiful Sea and Plain and Fancy
The Street, 1956
My Fair Lady
Li'l Abner
Candide
The Street, 1958
Redhead
The Street, 1959
West Side Story and Gypsy
Index

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