Essays academic service


The evolution of musical theater in america

But the music of these eras disappeared long ago, so they had no real influence on the development of modern musical theatre and film. The Middle Ages brought traveling minstrels and musical morality plays staged by churches, but these had little if any influence on the development of musicals as an art form. This, and other British ballad operas, burlettas and pantomimes, formed the majority of musicals offered on American stages right into the early 1800s.

The musical as we know it has some of its roots in the French and Viennese Operettas of the 1800s. The satiric works of Jacques Offenbach Paris and the romantic comedies of Johann Strauss II Vienna were the first musicals to achieve international popularity. Continental operettas were well received in England, but audiences there preferred the looser variety format of the Music Hall. Crude American Variety and Minstrel Shows eventually gave way to the more refined pleasures of Vaudeville -- and the rowdy spirit of Burlesque.

Cohan and Victor Herbert gave the American musical comedy a distinctive sound and style. Wodehouse took this a step further with the Princess Theatre shows, putting believable people and situations on the musical stage.

Musical Theater

During the same years, Florenz Ziegfeld introduced his Follies, the ultimate stage revue. In the 1920sthe American musical comedy gained worldwide influence.

The British contributed several intimate reviews and introduced the multi-talented Noel Coward.

  1. Audiences attended these musicals on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean while continuing to patronize the popular operettas that were continuing to come out of continental Europe and also from composers like Noel Coward in London and Sigmund Romberg in America. He followed this with the smash hits Hello, Dolly!
  2. He built the Savoy Theater in 1881 to present their works—which came to be known as the Savoy Operas.
  3. The minstrel shows that arose in the 1830's were made up of three parts.
  4. The success of Oklahoma! But as popular musical tastes shifted, the musical was left behind.
  5. Conversely, there has been a trend in recent decades to adapt musicals from the screen to the stage, both from popular animated film musicals.

During the 1950sthe music of Broadway was the popular music of the western world. Every season brought a fresh crop of classic hit musicals that were eagerly awaited and celebrated by the general public. Great stories, told with memorable songs and dances were the order of the day, resulting in such unforgettable hits as The King and I, My Fair Lady, Gypsy and dozens more.

Downloading prezi...

These musicals were shaped by three key elements: But as popular musical tastes shifted, the musical was left behind. The rock musical "happening" Hair 1968 was hailed as a landmark, but it ushered in a period of confusion in the musical theatre. Company 1970Follies 1972 and A Little Night Music 1973 succeeded, while rock musicals quickly faded into the background. By the 1990snew mega-musicals were no longer winning the public, and costs were so high that even long-running hits Crazy for You, Sunset Boulevard were unable to turn a profit on Broadway.

Even Rent and Titanic were fostered by smaller, Broadway-based corporate entities. As the 20th century ended, the musical theatre was in an uncertain state, relying on rehashed numbers Fosse and stage versions of old movies Footloose, Saturday Night Feveras well as the still-running mega-musicals of the previous decade.

  1. Here, finally, was a musical with a consistent and credible story line, authentic atmosphere and three-dimensional characters.
  2. Local theatres often provided back-up dancers, generally 8-12 young women, who knew a few set routines that they performed behind any star's act.
  3. What lies ahead in the future? Increasingly, different musical genres were turned into musicals either on or off-Broadway.
  4. The girl always captured the boy, and the villain always met his just due. The Ziegfeld Follies is the most famous example of a follies style show.

But starting in the year 2000a new resurgence of American musical comedies took Broadway by surprise. The Producers, Urinetown, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray -- funny, melodic and inventively staged, these hit shows offered new hope for the genre. What lies ahead in the future? It's hard to say, but there will most assuredly be new musicals. The musical may go places some of its fans will not want to follow, but the form will live on so long as people like a story told with songs.