For many years, it has brought us fabulous productions and impeccable performances that will not just delight our ears but our souls as well. As the lights go out and the curtains go up, audience should be expecting goose bumps throughout the entire show. Dreamgirls, a 1981 Broadway musical for almost any ages, has its lyrics written by Tom Eyen. The music was of Henry Krieger. It is an original broad way production that was directed and choreographed by the talented Michael Bennett and orchestrations by Harold Wheeler.
They adapt new trends and style to become a “hit”. Broadway is constantly changing and adapting new things, which is healthy for its existence. Since the British invasion of musical theatre, Broadway investors and producers have spent more money to produce shows. Cameron Mackintosh, a star producer of English musical theatre and Andrew Lloyd Webber, a legendary English composer of many hit musicals opened the door to “mega musicals”. Cameron loved to use magnificent scenery designs and lighting.
Gypsy provided tremendous entertainment while still giving the audience real material that was thought provoking. Audience members find themselves tapping their toes to the good beats and catchy lyrics, but also wondering what are Rose’s true motives and other storyline questions. Work coming after Gypsy such as, Chicago incorporated this fun-spirited yet dynamic story to the overall musical experience. This is a significant impact on the world of American musical theatre, because American musicals had already been well established by the late 1950s. In conclusion, Gypsy is an American musical that has helped shape the role of complex storylines with high entertainment into the world of theatre.
The Hammersteins would become like a second family to Stephen. He especially admired Oscar, a musical theatre giant, saying of the man, “I wanted to be whatever Oscar was… if Oscar had been a geologist, I would have become one too” (“The World of the Play: Stephen Sondheim”). Sondheim, mentored by Hammerstein, went on to study music and, eventually, became one of the most distinguished composers in musical theatre (“The World”). Stephen Sondheim’s writing redefined American musical theatre and inspired creativity among others in his field. He has worked on some of the most iconic modern musicals and continues to make meaningful contributions to the world of musical theatre (Miranda).
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’.
In recent years we have seen a growing number of productions performed on both Broadway and the West End that have taken Walt Disney’s classic children’s films and brought them to life on stage. This has developed the word to describe them as “Disnification”. But why are these productions such a hit with the audiences that watch them? The first adaptation to be produced was the romantic love story of “Beauty and the Beast”. The idea to produce the musical what first born when Disney’s CEO, Michael Eisner, witnessed Paige O’Hara (The original voice of belle) and Jerry Orbach (The original voice of Lumiere) perform musical highlights of the film at an awards presentation.
David Lister remarks that Lloyd Webber received this compliment due to his composition, The Beautiful Game. It is not the only show Lloyd Webber has that has been popular. Andrew Lloyd Webber composed Cats, A Chorus Line, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Phantom of the Opera. Cats has by far been his most loved musical because of its long running of high audience attendance. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Cats is the longest running musical in American Theatre history on Broadway.