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Anything Goes Analysis

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Anything Goes Musical theatre has been around for quite a while. But where exactly did it come from? The book Anything Goes, written by Ethan Mordden looks to explore just that. From operas to musical comedies, Mordden covers the basic history of musical theatre and why it’s important for the world to know. In the introduction, Mordden explains that “all its [musical theatre’s] artistry dwells in the historian’s key buzz term ‘integrated’: the union of story and score” (Mordden x). It is important for audience members to understand that musical numbers aren’t put into shows just for pure entertainment. Rather, the numbers are there to not only further the plot, but to also tell more about the characters than can be said in words. As many shows say: sometimes you just have to sing about it. Mordden also points out that “the historian recognizes other aspects of integration—of dance as a thematic and psychological instrument…” (Mordden x). Just as musical numbers reveal more about the character, so can dance. If the character is shy and reserved, their movements and dances will reflect it with smaller movements and less flashy numbers. If the character is big, over the top, and dramatic, the choreography will be huge, take up a lot of space and most likely require a lot of energy. If these numbers are…show more content…
Mordden explains there were other musical theatre pieces before The Beggar’s Opera, but this piece was really the first, which fits into today’s definition of a musical (Mordden 3). After The Beggar’s Opera was a hit in London, more ballad and savory operas began to take the stage. Right after the end of the civil war, a production called The Black Crook marked the start of the first age of musicals. This is where the first musical genres began to break out into subgenres and integrate further into song and story (Mordden
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