American Musicals: the Complete Books and Lyrics of Eight Broadway Classics, 1927-49

American Musicals: the Complete Books and Lyrics of Eight Broadway Classics, 1927-49

by Laurence Maslon (Editor)


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The Broadway musical is one of America’s great indigenous popular forms, a glorious hybrid that emerged “out of our speech, our tempo, our moral attitudes, our way of moving” (as Leonard Bernstein put it). Now, in this first volume of a landmark two-volume collection, The Library of America presents eight enduring masterpieces charting the Broadway musical’s narrative tradition from the groundbreaking Show Boat (1927) through the start of the genre’s Golden Age in 1949. Based on new research, this historic collection presents the complete libretto of each musical in its Broadway opening night version, making these beloved stories available as never before. Irving Berlin and Moss Hart’s As Thousands Cheer is published here for the first time. Show Boat and Pal Joey are presented in newly restored versions. South Pacific returns to print for the first time in decades.
Each of these classic musicals has evolved over time, receiving many important revivals and new productions.  This Library of America volume offers readers unprecedented insight into this living history with a selection of hard-to-find or previously unpublished supplementary items, including lyrics of songs dropped out-of-town or added in later revivals. Lavishly illustrated­­ with 32 pages of photographs and other images drawn from the original productions, this volume also contains biographical sketches of the book writers and lyricists; cast lists and other information about the shows’ Broadway openings; and detailed accounts of the path each show took on the road to Broadway.

AMERICAN MUSICALS 1927–1949 contains:
 Show Boat
Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II · Music by Jerome Kern
As Thousands Cheer
Lyrics and music by Irving Berlin · Sketches by Moss Hart
Pal Joey
Book by John O’Hara · Music by Richard Rodgers ·  Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Music by Richard Rodgers · Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
On the Town
Book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green · Music by Leonard Bernstein
Finian’s Rainbow
Music by Burton Lane  ·  Lyrics by E. Y. Harburg · Book by Fred Saidy and E. Y. Harburg
Kiss Me, Kate
Music and lyrics by Cole Porter · Book by Sam[uel] and Bella Spewack
South Pacific
Music by Richard Rodgers ·  Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598532586
Publisher: Library of America
Publication date: 09/25/2014
Series: Library of America Series , #253
Pages: 800
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 8.13(h) x 1.21(d)

About the Author

Laurence Maslon is an arts professor in the Graduate Acting Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. The author or editor of several books about musical theater, including The South Pacific Companion, he co-wrote two episodes of the Emmy-winning Broadway: The American Musical with Michael Kantor, as well as the companion volume. He also wrote the acclaimed American Masters/Thirteen documentary Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds. He lives in New York.

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