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Posted July 30, 2006
Writing Musical Theater
Allen Cohen and Steven L. Rosenhaus¿ most recent book ¿Writing Musical Theater¿ may become the definitive text in the field. Unlike many texts that present theoretical and technical information in a sterile way, this book is highly readable while maintaining an overall professional tone. It is written with clarity. The authors not only explain ¿what¿ something is, but ¿why¿. They use interesting real life examples to illustrate their points. This keeps the book moving and helps the reader remember the information. The book is very well organized. You go through the process of writing a musical, in detail. I have always felt that it was very important to fully understand the context of any job. As a young lawyer many years ago, I didn¿t have this. I simply worked, without understanding the purposes behind certain clauses or traditions. I would have loved one book that filled me in on the information I needed to know in practice. Law school doesn¿t really do that. Writing Musical Theater compiles ¿all that stuff¿ to make the business a richer experience. Actors as well as writers may benefit from this read because it provides information in perspective, in context. It fills informational gaps. I kept thinking, ¿Ah, that¿s why.¿ You¿ll find out why certain theaters have the numbers of seats that they have, or the function of overtures, and all sorts of background details. Sometimes people in an industry acquire their information piecemeal from this or that program, part, workshop, or instructor. This book weaves it all together. For those who need to know why they are doing something, this book provides an excellent framework for understanding musical theater.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 24, 2006
Reviewing: Writing Musical Theater
This book was recommended to me, and I have been quite pleased with the depth and structure with which the book gradually leads the reader through the complexity of first understanding what makes musical theater tick, and then in Part II, takes us on a journey of how to shape an idea into the reality of a full blown musical show. This book is filled with excellent references, and examples, in clear, easy to understand forms, and takes the reader through the benefit of many years of obvious on-the-job development from both the authors. Drs. Cohen and Rosenhaus have definitely hit a chord with this book. On to Book 2 gentlemen! I hope this becomes a staple of every Musical Theatre Program across the country, as it's an excellent, comprehensive guide to understanding how musical theater works, and why. From students experiencing their first musical to professionals in the field starting into the journey of writing a musical, this a book they do not want to be without. If a student listened to each reference song in Part I of this book alone, they'd have a thorough schooling in the history of musical theater. I recommend this book to anyone looking to understand how to write, what to write, and the context that the writing needs to address in the broad spectrum of Musical Theater today.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.