American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle / Edition 4

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Gerald Bordman's "American Musical Theatre" has become a landmark book since its original publication in 1978. Chronicling American musicals, show by show and season by season, it offers a running commentary and assessment as well as providing the basic facts about each production. This updated edition includes the new shows that have opened on Broadway since the original publication and a complete general index. Also included are over a hundred musicals newly discovered by Bordman—turn-of-the-century, cheap-priced touring shows that never played Broadway, but were the training ground for many theatre guests. An invaluable guide to American musical theatre past and present, this book will be welcome reading for theatregoers everywhere.

The first comprehensive history of American musical theatre, Bordman's highly-acclaimed volume chronicles the development of this unique institution from 1866 to the 1984-85 season.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This updated and revised edition (following the 2001 third edition) incorporates developments to musical theater from the last decade. Bordman (coauthor, The Oxford Companion to American Theatre) and Norton (A Chronology of American Musical Theater) open this admittedly New York-centric guide with a prolog on the late 18th-century genesis of musical theater. Throughout, sidebars offer thumbnail profiles of actors, directors, and notable figures in musical theater history. The content is organized chronologically by season, and several paragraphs detail the significance and critical reception of each year's debuts. This is the most up-to-date subject reference available and an enjoyable read.
A standard since its original publication in 1978, Bordman's guide chronicles American musicals, show by show and season by season, offering a running commentary and assessment as well as providing the basic facts about each production. This updated edition includes the new shows that have opened on Broadway since the original publication and a complete general index, as well as adding over a hundred musicals newly discovered by Bordman--turn-of-the-century touring shows that never played Broadway. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher

"Surely one of the most thorough treatments of the subject to be produced."--RBB/Booklist

"There has never been a better book on the subject; it will be referred to again and again by theatregoers and scholars....An extraordinary work."--West Coast Review of Books

"THE reference book for the American musical theatre....A remarkable achievement."--Musical Opinion

"Fun to read...his book must have been a labor of love. Happily, Mr. Bordman's love is reflected in the joy...with which this book has been written."--The New York Times

"A chronicle of unapproached detail, sweep and relish. In Bordman our musical theater has found a fresh and affectionate chronicler."--The Washington Post

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199729708
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/29/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 1032
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerald Bordman is the author of many books on theatrical history, including American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1930-1969; Jerome Kern: His Life and Music; and the Oxford Companion to American Theatre (with Thomas Hischak). Richard C. Norton, a musical theatre archivist, historian and former producer, is the author of A Chronology of American Musical Theater (2002), an ALA Outstanding Reference Source.

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Table of Contents

Prefaces to the Fourth and First Editions
Prologue: Origins to 1866
Act One: Early Successes, 1866-1892
Intermission: Further British Influences and New Stirrings, 1892-1902
Act Two: The Emergence of American Talent, 1902-1907
Intermission: Viennese Operetta and the American Retreat, 1907-1914
Act Three: The Birth of the Modern Musical, 1914-1921
Intermission: The Cinderella Era, 1921-1924
Act Four: The Golden Age of the American Musical, 1924-1937
Intermission: Broadway's Response to the Swing Era, 1937-1942
Act Five: The American Musical as a Conscious Art Form, 1942-1965
Intermission: Exhaustion, 1965-1969
Act Six: Full Circle? Return of the Brits, 1969-1995
Intermission: Technological Spectacles, Retrospectives, and Revivals, 1995-2000
Act Seven: The Twenty-First Century, 2000-2010
Indexes (Shows, Sources, Songs, People)

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