The Secret Life of the American Musical

In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Jack Viertel takes them apart, puts them back together, sings their praises, marvels at their unflagging inventiveness, and occasionally despairs over their more embarrassing shortcomings.

Author: Jack Viertel

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

ISBN: 0374536899

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 336

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A New York Times Bestseller Putting it together, bit by bit: an insider’s look at the anatomy of the Broadway musical For almost thirty years, Jack Viertel has been a major figure in the Broadway theater world—he’s helped create shows like Hairspray, Angels in America, and Into the Woods; served as dramaturg of the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles; and is currently senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters, which host such shows as The Book of Mormon and Jersey Boys. Not long ago, Viertel noticed that while colleges offer intensive classes on Shakespeare's plays, dissecting them line by line to uncover their structure and meaning, there was nothing that dealt with musical theater in the same in-depth way. And why shouldn’t there be? he asked. If Shakespeare is England’s national theater, aren’t Broadway musicals ours? In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Viertel gives musicals the Shakespeare treatment. The book draws on a range of examples—from Carousel to Wicked, The Music Man to The Book of Mormon—and personal encounters to paint a picture of how Broadway musicals are made, taking you through all the phases of a typical musical theater story, from opening numbers to finales. It’s a hilarious and compelling look at what Viertel has learned over the course of his career, full of observations about the egotists, geniuses, and workaday professionals who have sustained this unique American art form.
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The Secret Life of the American Musical

... of course—they exist in American operettas and in European operas that were written before there was any American musical theater.

Author: Jack Viertel

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

ISBN: 9780374711252

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 336

View: 445

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A New York Times Bestseller For almost a century, Americans have been losing their hearts and losing their minds in an insatiable love affair with the American musical. It often begins in childhood in a darkened theater, grows into something more serious for high school actors, and reaches its passionate zenith when it comes time for love, marriage, and children, who will start the cycle all over again. Americans love musicals. Americans invented musicals. Americans perfected musicals. But what, exactly, is a musical? In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Jack Viertel takes them apart, puts them back together, sings their praises, marvels at their unflagging inventiveness, and occasionally despairs over their more embarrassing shortcomings. In the process, he invites us to fall in love all over again by showing us how musicals happen, what makes them work, how they captivate audiences, and how one landmark show leads to the next—by design or by accident, by emulation or by rebellion—from Oklahoma! to Hamilton and onward. Structured like a musical, The Secret Life of the American Musical begins with an overture and concludes with a curtain call, with stops in between for “I Want” songs, “conditional” love songs, production numbers, star turns, and finales. The ultimate insider, Viertel has spent three decades on Broadway, working on dozens of shows old and new as a conceiver, producer, dramaturg, and general creative force; he has his own unique way of looking at the process and at the people who collaborate to make musicals a reality. He shows us patterns in the architecture of classic shows and charts the inevitable evolution that has taken place in musical theater as America itself has evolved socially and politically. The Secret Life of the American Musical makes you feel as though you’ve been there in the rehearsal room, in the front row of the theater, and in the working offices of theater owners and producers as they pursue their own love affair with that rare and elusive beast—the Broadway hit.
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Liliom

Author: Michael Gruner

Publisher:

ISBN: OCLC:180058944

Category:

Page:

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Media and Performance in the Musical

Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins. New York: Broadway Books, 2006. Viertel, Jack. The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows are Built.

Author: Raymond Knapp

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190877842

Category: Music

Page: 160

View: 402

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For the past several years, the American musical has continued to thrive by reflecting and shaping cultural values and social norms, and even commenting on politics, whether directly and on a national scale (Hamilton) or somewhat more obliquely and on a more intimate scale (Fun Home). New stage musicals, such as Come from Away and The Band's Visit, open on Broadway every season, challenging conventions of form and content, and revivals offer audiences a different perspective on extant shows (Carousel; My Fair Lady). Television musicals broadcast live hearken back to 1950s television's affection for musical theatre and aim to attract new audiences through the accessibility of television. Film musicals, including Les Misérables and Into the Woods, capitalize on the medium's technical capabilities of perspective and point of view, as well as visual spectacle. Television has embraced the genre anew, and with unexpected gusto, not only devising musical episodes for countless dramatic and comedy series, but also generating musical series such as Galavant and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. And animated musicals, such as Disney's Moana, hail child and adult audiences with their dual messages, vibrant visual vocabulary, and hummable music. The chapters gathered in this book, Volume II of the reissued Oxford Handbook, explore the American musical from the various media in which musicals have been created to the different components of a musical and the people who do the work to bring a musical to life.
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Popular Fads and Crazes Through American History 2 volumes

Along with Superstar and Godspell, a third rock musical hit Broadway in 1971. ... The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built.

Author: Nancy Hendricks

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 9781440851834

Category: History

Page: 870

View: 356

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This informative two-volume set provides readers with an understanding of the fads and crazes that have taken America by storm from colonial times to the present. Entries cover a range of topics, including food, entertainment, fashion, music, and language. • Presents well-researched, factual material accessibly and engagingly • Presents what was popular in each decade through short sidebars • Illustrates what today's readers have in common with Americans of the past • Includes a historical overview of each decade • Contains a Glossary of Slang, a bibliography, and suggestions for further reading on each decade
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The Routledge Companion to the Contemporary Musical

While they may raise the profile of a musical, thereby generating ongoing work ... The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built.

Author: Jessica Sternfeld

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781134851850

Category: Music

Page: 486

View: 783

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The Routledge Companion to the Contemporary Musical is dedicated to the musical’s evolving relationship to American culture in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In the past decade-and-a-half, international scholars from an ever-widening number of disciplines and specializations have been actively contributing to the interdisciplinary field of musical theater studies. Musicals have served not only to mirror the sociopolitical, economic, and cultural tenor of the times, but have helped shape and influence it, in America and across the globe: a genre that may seem, at first glance, light-hearted and escapist serves also as a bold commentary on society. Forty-four essays examine the contemporary musical as an ever-shifting product of an ever-changing culture. This volume sheds new light on the American musical as a thriving, contemporary performing arts genre, one that could have died out in the post-Tin Pan Alley era but instead has managed to remain culturally viable and influential, in part by newly embracing a series of complex contradictions. At present, the American musical is a live, localized, old-fashioned genre that has simultaneously developed into an increasingly globalized, tech-savvy, intensely mediated mass entertainment form. Similarly, as it has become increasingly international in its scope and appeal, the stage musical has also become more firmly rooted to Broadway—the idea, if not the place—and thus branded as a quintessentially American entertainment.
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The Palgrave Handbook of Musical Theatre Producers

40) and has detailed aspects of the world of Broadway musicals in his book The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built.3 The ...

Author: Laura MacDonald

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9781137433084

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 559

View: 134

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This handbook is the first to provide a systematic investigation of the various roles of producers in commercial and not-for-profit musical theatre. Featuring fifty-one essays written by international specialists in the field, it offers new insights into the world of musical theatre, its creation and its promotion. Key areas of investigation include the lives and works of producers whose work is part of a US and worldwide musical theatre legacy, as well as the largely critically-neglected role of the musical theatre producer in the making, marketing, and performance of musicals. Also explored are the shifting roles of producers in musical theatre and their popular portrayals, offering a reader-friendly collection for fans, scholars, students, and practitioners of musical theatre alike.
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The Business of American Theatre

The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built. New York: Crichton, 2016. Vogel, Harold. Entertainment Industry Economics: A Guide ...

Author: William Grange

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000074710

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 308

View: 806

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The Business of American Theatre is a research guide to the history of producing theatre in the United States. Covering a wide range of subjects, the book explores how traditions of investment, marketing, labor union contracts, advertising, leasing arrangements, ticket scalping, zoning ordinances, royalties, and numerous other financial transactions have influenced the art of theatre for the past three centuries. Yet the book is not a dry reiteration of hits and flops, bankruptcies and bamboozles. Nor does it cover "everything about it that's appealing, everything the traffic will allow" (as Irving Berlin did in the song "There's No Business Like Show Business"). It is instead a highly readable resource for anyone interested in how money, and how much money, is critical to the art and artists of theatre. Many of those artists make appearances in the book: Richard Rodgers and his keen eye for investment, Jacob Shubert and his construction of "the bridge of thighs" for his showgirls at the Winter Garden, the significance of the Disney Souvenir Shop near the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway, and the difference between a Broadway show losing millions of dollars or making billions in one night. Consider this book a go-to resource for readers, students, and scholars of the theatre business.
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How Rent Made It to the Stage

The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows are Built. New York: Sarah Crichton Books, 2016. WEBSITES La Bohème: Opera by Puccini ...

Author: George Capaccio

Publisher: Cavendish Square Publishing, LLC

ISBN: 9781502635129

Category: Young Adult Nonfiction

Page: 96

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In 1996, tickets to see the Broadway musical Rent were selling like hotcakes. The show was so popular that many folks saw it multiple times and even dressed up like their favorite characters. Some "Rent heads" even slept overnight on the sidewalk in order to be sure of getting a ticket for the next performance. Everything about the show was new and exciting. This book not only tells the story of Rent's journey to Broadway, it will also help readers understand why the show was so successful and why it remains both a cultural milestone and an experience well worth having today.
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How Annie Made It to the Stage

American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle. ... Collins Guide to Musicals. ... The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built.

Author: Jeri Freedman

Publisher: Cavendish Square Publishing, LLC

ISBN: 9781502635006

Category: Young Adult Nonfiction

Page: 96

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Annie is a landmark play that has made many contributions to musical theater, including the song "Tomorrow." The original play was staged more than two thousand times on Broadway, and it has been presented continuously around the world by touring companies and local theater groups. It has been made into big-screen and television movies and has gone through several revivals. Its greatest achievement was to restore the musical to prominence, opening the way for the staging of the greatest blockbusters ever performed. This book describes the path the play took from concept to the stage, its Broadway run, its influence, and the people who made the show a success.
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1957

The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016. Walvin, James. Sugar: The World Corrupted: ...

Author: Eric Burns

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781538140697

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 229

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In 1957, America turned its back on its earlier self and jumped headlong into the nation it has become today. From Sputnik and the beginning of the space race to Little Richard and the underappreciated influence of rock n’ roll in bringing blacks and whites closer together, to President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway Act, which forever changed the landscape, 1957 represents the year when all of the energy and anxiety that had followed the end of World War II exploded. In compelling stories from politics, pop culture, business, and the media, Eric Burns captures the excitement of a headspinning year and the lingering fallout that continues to resonate seven decades later. For baby boomers seeking to relive their formative years or readers seeking a window into midcentury America, 1957 provides a highly readable tour through one of the most fascinating years in American history.
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Dueling Grounds

Revolution and Revelation in the Musical Hamilton Mary Jo Lodge, Paul R. Laird ... Jack Viertel, The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows ...

Author: Mary Jo Lodge

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190938840

Category: Music

Page: 256

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Hamilton opened on Broadway in 2015 and quickly became one of the hottest tickets the industry has ever seen. Lin-Manuel Miranda - who wrote the book, lyrics, and music, and created the title role - adapted the show from Ron Chernow's biography Alexander Hamilton. Although it seems an unlikely source for a Broadway musical, Miranda found a liminal space where the life that Hamilton led and the issues that he confronted came alive more than two centuries later while also commenting on contemporary life in the United States and how we view our nation's history. With a score largely based on rap and drawing on other aspects of hip-hop culture, and staged with actors of color playing the white Founding Fathers, Hamilton has much to say about race in the United States today and in our past, but at the same time it leaves important things insufficiently explained, such as the role of women and people of color in Hamilton's time. Dueling Grounds: Revolution and Revelation in the Musical Hamilton is a volume that combines the work of theater scholars and practitioners, musicologists, and scholars in such fields as ethnomusicology, history, gender studies, and economics in a multi-faceted approach to the show's varied uses of liminality, looking at its creation, casting philosophy, dance and movement, costuming, staging, direction, lyrics, music, marketing, and how aspects of race, gender, and class fit into the show and its production. Demonstrating that there is much to celebrate, as well as challenging issues to confront concerning Hamilton, Dueling Grounds is an uncompromising look at one of the most important musicals of the century.
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Innovation on Tap

Hamilton's “My Shot: Jack Viertel, The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built (New York: Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar Straus and ...

Author: Eric B. Schultz

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group

ISBN: 9781626346642

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 240

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Innovation on Tap is the story of innovation in America told through the eyes of 25 entrepreneurs, from Eli Whitney and his cotton gin to Lin-Manuel Miranda and his Broadway smash, Hamilton. The stories illustrate the sweep and impact of innovation. From razor blades, insurance, and baseball to smart cities, online running communities, and cybersecurity, innovators across three centuries gather in an imaginary barroom to discuss the essential themes of entrepreneurship--Mechanization, Mass Production, Consumerism, Digitization, and Sustainability--while emphasizing and reemphasizing the importance of community to their success.
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American Musical Life in Context and Practice to 1865

Peters' contributions as composer, pedagogue, and editor of music for the Roman Catholic Church in America deserve broader recognition.

Author: James R. Heintze

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9780429773341

Category: History

Page: 374

View: 287

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First published in 1994. This study covers a wide cross-section of topics, individuals, groups, and musical practices representing various regions and cities. The subjects discussed reflect the religious, ethnic, and social plurality of the American musical experience as well as the impact on cultural society provided by the arrival of new musical immigrants and the internal movements of musicians and musical practices. The essays are arranged principally on the basis of the historical chronology of the cultural practices and subjects discussed. Each article helps to shed additional light on cultural expressions through music in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America.
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Where Is Broadway

Broadway Musicals: From the Pages of the New York Times. New York: Abrams Books, ... The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built.

Author: Douglas Yacka

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781524786526

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 112

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Take your seats, because Where Is Broadway? is ready to take center stage! In a lively and engaging style, authors Douglas Yacka and Francesco Sedita cover the development of the first theaters and the birth of the American musical, as well as the shows and stars that have become Broadway legends. Readers will get the inside story on their favorite shows and may even discover some new ones.
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Shuffle Along

Over the years, through conversations and via his excellent book The Secret Life of the American Musical, he has offered a wealth of wisdom about Broadway ...

Author: Noble Sissle

Publisher: A-R Editions, Inc.

ISBN: 9781987200287

Category: African American theater

Page: 638

View: 415

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The Broadway musical Shuffle Along—with book by Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles, lyrics by Noble Sissle, and music by Eubie Blake—premiered on 23 May 1921 at the Cort Theatre on 63rd Street and became the first overwhelmingly successful African American musical on Broadway. Langston Hughes, who saw the production, said that Shuffle Along marked the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance. Both black and white audiences swarmed to the show, which prompted the integration of subsequent Broadway audiences. The dances were such a smash that choreographers for white Broadway shows hired Shuffle Along chorus girls to teach their chorus lines the new steps. “Love Will Find a Way,” the first successful unburlesqued love song in a black Broadway show, was so well-received that audiences demanded multiple encores. The show’s influences went far beyond Broadway: Some of the period’s most influential black musicians, including dancer Josephine Baker, vocalist Paul Robeson, composer Hall Johnson, and composer William Grant Still, all got their start in Shuffle Along. The editors have assembled the full score and libretto for this critical edition from the original performance materials. The critical report thoroughly explains all sources and editorial decisions. The accompanying scholarly essay examines the music, dances, and script of Shuffle Along and places this influential show in its social, racial, and historical context.
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The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia

... “Some surprises on the Whistle concert CD,” Sondheim Review, Vol. II, No. 1, Summer 1995; Jack Viertel, The Secret Life of the American Musical ...

Author: Rick Pender

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781538115879

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 652

View: 435

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The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia is the first reference volume devoted to the works of this prolific composer and lyricist. The encyclopedia’s entries provide readers with detailed information about Sondheim’s work and key figures in his career, including his apprenticeship, his early work with Leonard Bernstein, and his work on television.
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Johnny Mercer

Gerald Bordman, American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle (New York: Oxford ... Judy Garland: The Secret Life of an American Legend (New York: Hyperion, 1993), ...

Author: Glenn T. Eskew

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

ISBN: 9780820333304

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 521

View: 129

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John Herndon “Johnny” Mercer (1909–76) remained in the forefront of American popular music from the 1930s through the 1960s, writing over a thousand songs, collaborating with all the great popular composers and jazz musicians of his day, working in Hollywood and on Broadway, and as cofounder of Capitol Records, helping to promote the careers of Nat “King” Cole, Margaret Whiting, Peggy Lee, and many other singers. Mercer’s songs—sung by Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, and scores of other performers—are canonical parts of the great American songbook. Four of his songs received Academy Awards: “Moon River,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” “On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe,” and “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening.” Mercer standards such as “Hooray for Hollywood” and “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby” remain in the popular imagination. Exhaustively researched, Glenn T. Eskew’s biography improves upon earlier popular treatments of the Savannah, Georgia–born songwriter to produce a sophisticated, insightful, evenhanded examination of one of America’s most popular and successful chart-toppers. Johnny Mercer: Southern Songwriter for the World provides a compelling chronological narrative that places Mercer within a larger framework of diaspora entertainers who spread a southern multiracial culture across the nation and around the world. Eskew contends that Mercer and much of his music remained rooted in his native South, being deeply influenced by the folk music of coastal Georgia and the blues and jazz recordings made by black and white musicians. At Capitol Records, Mercer helped redirect American popular music by commodifying these formerly distinctive regional sounds into popular music. When rock ’n’ roll diminished opportunities at home, Mercer looked abroad, collaborating with international composers to create transnational songs. At heart, Eskew says, Mercer was a jazz musician rather than a Tin Pan Alley lyricist, and the interpenetration of jazz and popular song that he created expressed elements of his southern heritage that made his work distinctive and consistently kept his music before an approving audience.
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The Oxford Companion to the American Musical

Autobiography: Time Steps: My Musical Comedy Life (2006). MCKNEELY, JOEY (1965– ). Stage choreographer. A recent yet impressive choreographer, he has widely ...

Author: Thomas S. Hischak

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780195335330

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 923

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A reference that covers American stage, film, and television musicals from 1860 to 2007 offers information on the musical productions and the historical evolution of the musical, as well as on performers, composers, and producers.
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Stephen Sondheim and the Reinvention of the American Musical

... the musical out of the mold in which we were now stuck with Waltz. ... demands and failures of his life by living in a large Manhattan department store.

Author: Robert L. McLaughlin

Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi

ISBN: 9781496808561

Category: Music

Page: 322

View: 757

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From West Side Story in 1957 to Road Show in 2008, the musicals of Stephen Sondheim and his collaborators have challenged the conventions of American musical theater and expanded the possibilities of what musical plays can do, how they work, and what they mean. Sondheim's brilliant array of work, including such musicals as Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods, has established him as the preeminent composer/lyricist of his, if not all, time. Stephen Sondheim and the Reinvention of the American Musical places Sondheim's work in two contexts: the exhaustion of the musical play and the postmodernism that, by the 1960s, deeply influenced all the American arts. Sondheim's musicals are central to the transition from the Rodgers and Hammerstein-style musical that had dominated Broadway stages for twenty years to a new postmodern musical. This new style reclaimed many of the self-aware, performative techniques of the 1930s musical comedy to develop its themes of the breakdown of narrative knowledge and the fragmentation of identity. In his most recent work, Sondheim, who was famously mentored by Oscar Hammerstein II, stretches toward a twenty-first-century musical that seeks to break out of the self-referring web of language. Stephen Sondheim and the Reinvention of the American Musical offers close readings of all of Sondheim's musicals and finds in them critiques of the operation of power, questioning of conventional systems of knowledge, and explorations of contemporary identity.
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