From West Side Story to Hamilton- How Musicals have changed
Musicals, a play in which singing and dancing are essentials parts that developed from light opera in the early 20th century. Now because of our technological advances musicals are able to come to life in movies such as the West Side Story. This is not the only change that has happened, there is also the genre of music used to tell their story. Hamilton is a great example of this change.
West Side Story is the story of two lovers from rival gangs who cannot be together. This musical was heavily inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The music was a combination of jazz, pop, and classical which was influenced by Aaron Copland, which was Leonard Bernstein's friend. This …show more content…
Hamilton beloved by a large range of people, from children to the elderly even hip-hop fans and history buffs alike as it tells the complicated relationship of our founding fathers. The use of hip-hop music was a genius idea because it brought in a new audience into the world of musical theatre. It extended the range of the audience to those who have a preference for modern music like hip-hop. The greatest part was the cast diversity in the musical. The original cast were not white men and women, but instead there was Puerto Rican, Hispanic, Asian-American performers that were deliberately chosen. This was most likely done to bring in a larger audience and make the characters look more human than they appear to be. Aaron Burr was no longer a cold prodigy involved with creating our country, but a man who had strong ideas, grudges, and a romantic side. Alexander Hamilton was now a person who came from rags and made many mistakes in his life. Once people saw this they could relate to the characters hardships and accomplishments. This musical expanded the capabilities of storytelling in theatre that our forty-fourth president’s first lady, Michelle Obama complimented the cast greatly, saying it is the best art she has
The musical West Side Story is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This musical was possible due to the efforts of four people, Leonard Bernstein, the composer, Jerome Robbins, the director and choreographer, Arthur Laurents, the playwright, and Stephen Sondheim, the lyricist. After Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s Oklahoma! , West Side Story is considered as the most significant musical.
The language used in these two scenes is quite different. In Romeo and Juliet the majority of the scene is of the two lovers confessing their undying love for each other using beautiful language and many metaphors. They also discuss marriage and serious commitments to each other. In Westside Story, this scene is spent singing to each other, which I find, makes it more romantic but has less tension. They also don’t seem as serious about commitment towards each other.
Since theatre was established as an art form, it has constantly been changing and developing as new methods of theatre styles came to light. This is also true with how musical theatre developed into how we know it today. Vaudeville and burlesque were forms of theatre in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that forged the way for the American musical to emerge. The elements that writers used from vaudeville allowed for not just musical acts to be performed during the course of the story, but eventually became a way for the story to further be told. The American musical was not always as big as it is today, and vaudeville and burlesque acts made it possible for such a type of performance style to develop. Musical writers used multiple elements, not just the song element, in their stories. This change did not just happen overnight. The evolution from vaudeville and burlesque was a gradual one, taking years to further develop the performance styles into the Broadway musical we can see today.
And as the conventional teenager I am when it comes to music, I admire mainstream artists such as Drake, J Cole, and Kendrick Lamar, As a result, I didn't pay much heed to a rap about Alexander Hamilton. All I knew about this man was that he was a founding father, and started the national bank. Turns out, Lin- Manuel Miranda was more knowledgeable about Treasury Secretary Hamilton and had a very enthralling way
Hamilton, the Broadway hit that opened in 2015, tells the story of Alexander Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton was a founding father, the first United States Secretary of Treasury, and is the face on the 10 dollar bill. This musical was brought to life by the genius work of Lin-Manuel Miranda. He is a young writer, composer, and lyricist. He is a tremendously talented artist for many reasons.
Hamilton has created quite a stir in both the musical theatre fan base, and contemporary popular culture. It is a unique musical in three ways, which I will discuss here. First, Hamilton is a musical with a plot based during the American Revolution. Most historical musicals only go back decades, while this one goes back hundreds of years. Personally, Hamilton initiated a deep love of our country’s history. I was never interested in any type of history, but, after listening to Hamilton, I became infatuated with our country’s formation and those who did the forming, particularly Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, The Fourth President James Madison, and our First Commander In Chief, George Washington. Secondly, Hamilton is a rap musical. When someone mentions musical theatre, most people automatic imagine kick lines, tap dancing, and flashy costumes. Hamilton does not feature any of these. All of the music you hear in the musical is rap, or has a very modern feel to it. This is very uncommon for musicals, and it isn't seen very often. This makes the show unique, and it is one of the reasons why it is loved so very much by a large group of people. Finally, Hamilton is entirely sung through. If you're looking for witty dialogue, you won't find any in Hamilton. Everything in the musical is sung or rapped, making it more of a rap opera than a musical, which is another reason why Hamilton is so
Hamilton: An American Musical, the spellbinding play by Lin-Manuel Miranda, nominated for a record breaking sixteen Tony Awards and winning eleven. How have they gotten their success? It doesn't only consist of an amazing sore and script, actors can make or break a musical/play. What makes Hamilton: An American Musical revolutionary is not only the talent and experience of the cast its the background and races of the cast. Though all the characters are white, the main actors are all different races. The founding fathers and mothers of the United States are played by an assortment of African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Puerto Ricans, and Caucasians. 2016-17 has proved to be a very diverse year for Broadway, with revivals
One of the claims explored throughout the chapter, and throughout the rest of the book, is the diversion from the classical hollywood musical conventions. The author points out traditional conventions, such as the use of musical song and dance to “bring compromise, relief, or the dissolution of tensions” and how the “conflicts that separate Maria and Tony… are real” and differ from other conflicts in musicals (Acevedo-Munoz, 90). Likewise, the author points out the convention of heterosexual coupling and how, traditionally, the need for this coupling, accompanied with the personality dissolve, allows the ‘problems’ to be resolved (Acevedo-Munoz, 90). However, the author claims that this heterosexual coupling and personality dissolve, as seen in the merging of gang colors worn by Maria and Tony, are not enough to solve the conflict (Acevedo-Munoz, 106). By pointing out the conventions of classical hollywood musicals, the author is able to demonstrate how they are broken in West Side Story through detailed scene-by-scene analysis. The structure of the third paragraph provides merit to other claims as well such as the impact of the “color, editing, cinematography, special effects, and even costume design” (Acevedo-Munoz 128). In the analysis of each scene, the author accounts for how such traits impact the narrative structure of the film, and how they affect the audience as well. For example, the author depicts the lighting and special effects utilized during the sequence in which Tony and Maria first meet at the dance. Here the “oil effect”, lighting effect and “‘not quite real’ representation of an otherwise realistic set” are described and
West Side Story is a book about two gangs living in a large city. The Outsiders is a book with the same concept, two gangs that are archrivals. Even though two different authors wrote these books during two different time periods, they have the same story line. These books are realistic, because gang rivalry is still going on today. They are different, since they were written separately. Also, both these books have different problems between the main characters. Still, West Side Story and The Outsiders have many similarities.
Musical theatre is a type of theatrical performance combining music, dance, acting and spoken dialogue. Written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, ‘West Side Story’ is a classic American musical based on William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The through-composed score and lyrics are used to portray different characters and their cultures, the rivalry between the Jets and Sharks, and the emotions felt as the story progresses. This essay will be exploring the music and how effective the score is in realising the world and characters of the musical. Furthermore, it will discuss how Bernstein and Sondheim relate characters’ diverse ethnicities to particular musical ideas and motifs.
Musical theatre is a type of theatrical performance combining music, dance, acting and spoken dialogue. West Side Story is a classic American musical based on the classic story "Romeo and Juliet". The through-composed score and lyrics are used to portray different characters and their cultures, the rivalry between the Jets and Sharks, and the emotions felt as the story progresses. However, we should inspect how the musical film through its music, its dances, its romantic melodrama, and its exoticism of cultural differences distracts from the racism in it. How does it attract, interpellate, and position ideologically the perceiving spectator — whose social construction of reality and racial differences belong to the U.S.A. — by spatially dividing
Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story share many similar themes. Romeo and Juliet both chronicle a story of overcoming prejudice and hatred, forbidden love, and defying stereotypes that nobody thought could be broken. The two stories are similar in a multitude of ways, even though their settings are centuries apart- Romeo and Juliet set in the 1500’s, and West Side Story set in the 1950’s. Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story both teach a lesson of how prejudice can teach you how to hate, and how one of your rivals may be the one who helps you remember how to love.
Love is a beautiful thing, it always works out in the end. Everyone is always happy and no problems occur. West Side Story, a musical by Leonard Bornstein based on Shakespeare 's Romeo and Juliet parallels a love story of two star-crossed lovers. The play takes place in 1961 in New York City. This musical displays importance because it shows that nothing can overcome the power of love. This play is based on a love story between the main characters of Maria and Tony. Theses two are from different gangs that trouble to get along. They are from different gangs that do not get along at all. Roughly two hundred blocks make up Manhattan’s West Side, which stretches from Central Park West to the Hudson River. For the most part, the street youths
The 2000s/ 2010s brought in a wave of movie musicals- adapted from the stage shows. These brought new audiences into the theatre world, and for the first time in 20 years, brought a love to some of the timeless musicals. With slightly altered songs to appeal to a newer audience, these films brought in much needed money into the industry, with films including: Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Fame- and many more. Together with this, musicals began to push the concept of the songs in them, with a wave of new styles being written. Rap musicals such as ‘Hamilton’ and ‘In The Heights’, Pop musicals including ‘Waitress’ and ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and Rock musicals of ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Spring Awakening’. Together they pushed boundaries of a ‘traditional’ musical theatre sound, and brought in something never before seen. Due to the influence of ‘Rent’, controversial issues and themes began to be explored more, such as Teen suicide, Murder, Ethnic barriers and everything else, which brought with them, a world of opportunities. It was clear that musical theatre was once again showing for a promising
West Side Story came out in 1961 as a melodramatic musical that took place in New York. It takes the same theme as Shakespeare's, Romeo and Juliet, in that it is about two lovers whose relationship is not accepted by others because of conflicting backgrounds.