When they finally combined their ideas together they created an American masterpiece in musical theatre: Oklahoma!. It was the first Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration, starting the most successful creative partnership in the history of American musical theatre. According to Joseph Swain in his book The Broadway Musical: A Critical and Musical Survey, there are a number of reasons why a particular work of art might be considered a milestone in the history in its genre. It might introduce innovations of technique and style so convincing that they may become extremely influential. It might attract such wide acclaim that it cannot be ignored by the artists who come after, even if the acclaimed fame eventually fades with time.
Stephen Sondheim, who was not as popular at the time, wrote the lyrics. Sondheim expressed his desire to write the music for the show, but Gypsy star, Ethel Merman insisted that an experienced composer write the music. Sondheim was turned off by this request, but still wrote the lyrics due to the advice given to him by his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein. Hammerstein believed Sondheim would learn a lot by writing for a star. Jerome Robbins directed and choreographed the original Broadway production.
Musical revues give the feeling of taking a journey in the 3rd person perspective to the audience. Because of its unique style and low budget needs, revue musicals encouraged colleges and regional theatres to develop their own music and story. Off-Broadway’s experimental and creative shows have affected Broadway community too. The Book of Mormon, a new musical made by creators of Avenue Q and inspired by many experimental Off-Broadway show is considered one the most cynical, creative, and successful broadway musical of the decade. Though it is crucial to follow the trend adapt new things, Broadway producers should remember that there is a beauty in classical values.
Composers like George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Stephen Sondheim brought the genre to new level of sophistication. They composed masterpieces like “Porgy and Bess”, “South Pacific”, and “Sweeney Todd” respectively. Leonard Bernstein was a famous conductor, educator, and pianist of this time. He first conducted the New York Philharmonic at age 25. He brought Broadway music to a new level.
Due to his talent, Andrew Lloyd Webber has been asked by many professional soloists and groups to compose music for them. These qualities of Andrew Lloyd Webber prove that he is a truly successful composer. Andrew Lloyd Webber has composed a lot of fantastic musicals. Critics have even appreciated Andrew Lloyd Webber, which isn't a very common thing to happen. David Lister remarks that Lloyd Webber received this compliment due to his composition, The Beautiful Game.
Then we will examine one of each of their works and factors that fueled their creation. Oscar Hammerstein II, born July 12, 1895, came from a family of theater people. His grandfather, Oscar Hammerstein I, built theatres and loved opera. Following him, would be a generation of theatre managers and Vaudeville presenters. But the true love of theatrical storytelling was in Hammerstein II.
Gershwin is still celebrated by many aspiring music artists and composers. He was able to innovate music and make into his own. Although he died at a young age he still had the biggest impact on American music in the 20th century. Thanks to Gershwin innovating music genres he has made room for more and more artists to thrive today.
Jerome Kern (1885-1945), one of the most important American Composers in the 20th century, came up with the idea of adapting Edna Ferber’s novel “Show Boat” into a musical with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein (1895-1960). When he approached Ziegfeld to produce Show Boat, Ziegfeld agreed to work on the show. This was unexpected since it was nothing like his legendary Follies, which were vaudeville shows. In the first part of the 20th century, musical theatre consisted of vaudeville and minstrel shows.... ... middle of paper ... ... an act of injustice whereas in Hairspray they make a statement about it. This was because of the different times they were written in.
Although he subsequently studied composition with Milton Babbitt, he chose to apply what he learned he all-or-nothing commercial hothouse of Broadway. Like Hammerstein, he has written the occasional pop song (with Jule Styne for Tony Bennett) and dabbled in films (Stavisky, Reds, Dick Tracy), but, like Hammerstein, he has always come back to the theatre. His initial success came as a somewhat reluctant lyricist to Leonard Bernstein on West Side Story (1957) and Jule Styne on Gypsy (1959). Exciting and adventurous as those shows were in their day, and for all their enduring popularity, Sondheim's philosophy since is encapsulated in one of his song titles: "I Never Do Anything Twice". His first score as composer-lyricist was A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1962) - a show so funny few people spotted how experimental it was: it's still the only successful musical farce.
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.