Based on the novel by Edna Ferber Showboat was written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II (Smith 627). Showboat was premiered in the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 27, 1927 (Smith 627). The 1926 novel chronicled the lives of a musical and racially integrated cast upon the Cotton Blossom. The production of Showboat marked the rebirth of musical theater because it set the standards for any American Musical by shattering theatrical traditions. For the first time Showboat would introduce a well written production with incorporated and advanced music and lyrics that furthered the plot.
In the first part of this paper, I discuss the plot, songs and other aspects of the musical such as the awards etc. Later on, I explain how this musical revolutionized the theatre and the cultural effects it had on Americans. Finally, I conclude in the end the historical importance of this musical piece. West Side Story: 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.
Figaro returns the theme to F major as the lovers sing along with him. Ironically, the trio sing of escaping quickly and quietly, they fail to retreat successfully due to the number of forte repetitions and transitions Rossini composed. Much of the comedy in Barbiere comes from Rossini's clever adaptation of musical forms and orchestration. His trademark crescendo orchestrations, masterful text setting, and development of aria forms allowed Rossini's work to flourish throughout Europe. The music and characteristic of his operas influenced a generation of Romanticists, and established a permanent home for Rossini in the history of opera.
"America" is a song from the musical West Side Story, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The story is based on Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, but is set in New York in the 1950s with themes of racial gang warfare. The musical was groundbreaking because of its sophisticated musical style and pioneering dance sequences. The music has elements of opera, musical, jazz and Latin-American dance influences. "America" is one of the most well-known songs from the show, and is a debate between Anita - the leader of Shark gang (Bernardo's) girlfriend and Rosalia - another Shark girl.
Julian Mates tells us that “America’s early theatres were essentially lyric theatres…In America, no earlier dramatic forms existed, and the musical stage became our only tradition (musicals101.com)”. During America’s first hundred years, the favorite musical entertainments during the time were variety musical shows. In the 1860’s and 70’s, Pantomime was a the main Broadway staple. In these types of shows, clown characters were taken and placed in plots based on Mother Goose stories. Also seen was the insertion of popular songs whenever the audience needed a breather.
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
The characters have been subject to many in depth analysis throughout its lifetime, adding a lot of new content and progressive thinking to the world of musical theatre. The history of the musical, musical acts, correlation to the real story of Gypsy Rose Lee, awards won and impact Gypsy had on musical theatre will be discussed in further detail. Arthur Laurents wrote the book, which, again, was roughly based off of the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee. The well established and highly respected, Jule Styne wrote the music for Gypsy. Stephen Sondheim, who was not as popular at the time, wrote the lyrics.
Popular music at the turn of the century came largely from musical theater - Broadway and Hollywood. Originally, popularized by traveling groups and sheet music sales, popular music really came into its own with the arrival of radio broadcasting, jukeboxes, 78 r.p.m recordings and other twentieth century technologies which continued into the Fifties. Hits from the first half of the 20th century were supplied by Tin Pin Alley that celebrated the boom years and Roaring Twenties and provided an escape from the Depression and two World Wars. Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Jerome Kern left their imprint during "the Jazz Age." However, there were the long-forgotten hacks cashing in on the latest fads spewing out sentimental weepers and cute novelty numbers aimed at the bland tastes of American mainstream.
He brought Broadway music to a new level. Bernstein is best known for “West Side Story” where he tells an updated tale of Romeo and Juliet in a modern setting. Through out these periods of progression we have not discovered a better style. We have just given ourselves more of a selection when it comes to what we choose to listen to. If it were I, Bach and Mozart would be in my CD player before some of the newer stuff released today.
Figure 1: The Jet’s Leitmotif (2000: 115) This leitmotif is used throughout the musical and is even seen in ‘America’ which is the Puerto Rican’s comical song. This recurrent use of the same leitmotif keeps the audience focused on the conflict between the gangs through to the last note. The use of bitonality is another technique Bernstein uses to demonstrate the ongoing rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks. In the opening of ‘Tonight (Ensemble)’, which is sung by both Americans and Puerto Ricans, the lower part of the orchestra are providing a steady bass line in E major, with the high... ... middle of paper ... ... (2000) The making of West Side Story. Ontario: Mosaic Press.