A Century of Musicals in Black and White: An Encyclopedia of Musical Stage Works By, About, or Involving African Americans

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Overview

This comprehensive reference book provides succinct information on almost thirteen hundred musical stage works written and produced from the 1870s to the 1990s involving contributions by black librettists, lyricists, composers, musicians, producers, or performers or containing thematic materials relevant to the black experience. Organized alphabetically, they include tent and outdoor shows, vaudeville, operas and operettas, comedies, farces, spectacles, revues, cabaret and nightclub shows, children's musicals, skits, one-act musicals, one-person shows, and even a musical without songs. In addition to the hundreds of shows independently created, produced, and performed by black writers and theatrical artists, it presents hundreds more representing a collaboration of black and white talents. An appendix organizes the shows chronologically and highlights those that were most significant in the history of the black American musical stage. An extensive bibliography and indexes of names, songs, and subjects complete the work.

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Editorial Reviews

Zom Zoms
This volume describes more than 1,200 musical shows in which African Americans were involved, either as creators or subjects, from the 1870s to the 1990s. Included are tent and outdoor shows, vaudeville, operas, operettas, comedies, spectacles, revues, and cabarets Shows are arranged by title. Included in the fullest entries are the date of the show; personalities who figured in its creation; cast; a synopsis of the plot; production history; availability of scripts, sheet music, and recordings; and the major songs therein. Entries for such shows as Sissle and Blake's "Shuffle Along" and "Porgy and Bess" are several pages in length. Shows for which scant information could be found are identified in entries of one or two sentences. In addition to the hundreds of shows created, produced, and performed by black writers and casts, the musical collaborations of black and white talents such as "Show Boat" are also listed. Sometimes the connection seems a bit tenuous. Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods", based on fairy tales, is included because a black actress was a member of the cast. A degree sign before a name indicates that the person is thought to be nonblack An appendix organizes the shows chronologically and notes with a dagger those that were most significant in the history of the African American musical stage. The chronology proceeds from "Free and Easy" 1873 to "Jelly's Last Jam" 1992. An extensive list of information sources includes libraries and archives, books, and periodicals. Three indexes provide access to names, songs, and subjects African American talent has figured tremendously on the musical stage, both as creators and performers. This interesting and unique volume will be useful in African American studies and musical-theater collections.
Booknews
A comprehensive reference on almost 1,300 musical stage works written and produced from the 1870s to the 1990s involving contributions by black librettists, lyricists, composers, musicians, producers, or performers, or containing thematic materials relevant to the black experience. Organized alphabetically, they include tent and outdoor shows, vaudeville, operas and operettas, comedies, farces, spectacles, revues, cabaret and nightclub shows, children's musicals, skits, one- act musicals, one-person shows, and even a musical without songs. With an extensive bibliography, and name, song, and subject indexes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313266577
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/1993
  • Pages: 554
  • Lexile: 1110L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

BERNARD L. PETERSON, Jr. is Professor Emeritus of English and Drama at Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

Symbols

Encyclopedia of Musical Stage Works

Information Sources

Name Index

Song Index

General Index

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