Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim

Overview


The classic musicals of Broadway can provide us with truly enchanted evenings. But while many of us can hum the music and even recount the plot from memory, we are often much less knowledgeable about how these great shows were put together. Now, in Enchanted Evenings, Geoffrey Block offers theatre lovers an illuminating behind-the-scenes tour of some of the best loved, most admired, and most enduring musicals of Broadway's Golden Era.
In this documentary history, we find ...
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Overview


The classic musicals of Broadway can provide us with truly enchanted evenings. But while many of us can hum the music and even recount the plot from memory, we are often much less knowledgeable about how these great shows were put together. Now, in Enchanted Evenings, Geoffrey Block offers theatre lovers an illuminating behind-the-scenes tour of some of the best loved, most admired, and most enduring musicals of Broadway's Golden Era.
In this documentary history, we find insightful studies of fourteen musicals in all including such all-time favorites as Show Boat, Anything Goes, Porgy and Bess, Kiss Me, Kate, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, and West Side Story. The book's particular focus is on the music, showing how librettist, lyricist, composer, and director work together to shape the piece. Block sheds light on why particular musicals have adapted to changing times and are still performed in high schools, colleges, and community theaters across the country, while others languish in comparative obscurity.
Packed with information, including a complete discography and plot synopses and song-by-song scenic outlines for each of the fourteen shows, this book is an essential reference as well as a riveting history.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Suffused with enthusiasm, decency, and common sense, Block is a nimble and exacting maestro [He] accomplishes the essential task of all good criticism: he enables us to see the musicals with a greater depth than we could likely manage on our own, and , by fortifying us with his insights, encourages a return to the shows for another look."-- Foster Hirsch, Kurt Weill Newsletter

"I can't think of another book, on any subject, in which the author shows such firm control over his materials, in this case scholarly as well as journalistic writing on the Broadway musical, reviews of shows, correspondence, the music itself, and archival materials of various sorts relating to the early stages of creation. Enchanted Evenings is fascinating, original, compelling."--Charles Hamm, Professor Emeritus of Music, Dartmouth College, and author of Irving Berlin: 1907-1914

"Enchanted Evenings contributes substantially to the intellectual history of the American musical theater. And those who read Geoffrey Block's book with memories of these works in their ears are sure to experience moments of recognition and joy."--Richard Crawford, School of Music, University of Michigan

"A trained musicologist, Block...provides wonderful close readings of musical scores that are detailed enough to fascinate Broadway devotees but not so dry that they will fail to enlighten novices. "--Booklist

"A solid and frequently fascinating work that should become a model of how to investigate and report on the evolution of a muscial.... [Block's] research is persuasive and his writing vivid.... Enchanted Evenings is indispensable for anyone who cares to know more about Broadway musicals than Playbill can provide..."--Steven Bach, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Enchanted Evenings shows how the genre has transformed from the 1920s to the present, with a keen understanding of musical forms and structures and of the evolution of the unique collaborative quartet of librettist, composer, lyricist and director."--American Theatre

Booknews
Focusing on Broadway musicals from the 1930s to the late 1950s, Block music, U. of Puget Sound offers in-depth studies of 14 musicals. He draws on such manuscript materials as musical sketches, autograph manuscripts, prepreoduction librettos, and lyric drafts to show how the musical took shape, and in particular, the ways in which librettist, lyricist, composer, and director worked together to shape the music. Appendices include lists of the songs in the musicals and lists of long-running musicals. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195167306
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,032,642
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoffrey Block is Professor of Music at the University of Puget Sound School of Music, in Tacoma, Washington. He has published widely on the Broadway musical and is also the author of three books on Charles Ives.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Overture
1 Introduction: Setting the Stage 3
2 Show Boat: In the Beginning 19
3 Anything Goes: Songs Ten, Book Three 41
4 Porgy and Bess: Broadway Opera 60
5 On Your Toes and Pal Joey: Dance Gets into the Act and "Sweet Water from a Foul Well" 85
6 The Cradle Will Rock: A Labor Musical for Art's Sake 115
7 Lady in the Dark and One Touch of Venus: The Broadway Stranger and His American Dreams 133
8 Carousel: The Invasion of the Integrated Musical 159
9 Kiss Me, Kate: The Taming of Cole Porter 179
10 Guys and Dolls and the Most Happy Fella: The Greater Loesser 197
11 My Fair Lady: From Pygmalion to Cinderella 225
12 West Side Story: The Very Model of a Major Musical 245
13 Happily Ever After West Side Story with Sondheim 274
Synopses 295
Discography: Selected Original, Revival, Film, and Studio Casts 303
App. A Sources, Published Librettos, and Vocal Scores 311
App. B Long Runs 1920s-1980s 314
App. C The Forty Longest-Running Book Musicals on Broadway 317
App. D Show Boat 319
App. E Anything Goes 325
App. F Porgy and Bess: Songs, Arias, and Themes 328
App. G On Your Toes: Broadway 1936 and Broadway Revival 1983 329
App. H Pal Joey: Broadway 1940 and Broadway Revival 1952 330
App. I The Cradle Will Rock: Broadway 1937 331
App. J Lady in the Dark: Broadway 1941 332
App. K One Touch of Venus: Broadway 1943 333
App. L Carousel: Broadway 1945 334
App. M Kiss Me, Kate: Broadway 1948 335
App. N Guys and Dolls: Broadway 1950 337
App. O The Most Happy Fella: Broadway 1956 338
App. P My Fair Lady: Broadway 1956 340
App. Q West Side Story: Broadway 1957 341
App. R Follies: Broadway 1971 and London Revival 1987 343
Notes 347
Select Bibliography 393
Index 401
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