Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have been called musicals. Although music has been a part of dramatic presentations since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre emerged during the 19th century, with many structural elements established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America; these were followed by the numerous Edwardian musical comedies and the musical theatre works of American creators like George M. Cohan at the turn of the 20th century.
The Princess Theatre musicals and other smart shows like Of Thee I Sing were artistic steps forward beyond revues and other frothy entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as Show Boat and Oklahoma!. Some of the most famous musicals through the decades that followed include West Side Story, The Fantasticks, Hair, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Producers and Hamilton. Musicals are performed around the world, they may be presented in large venues, such as big-budget Broadway or West End productions in New York City or London. Alternatively, musicals may be staged in smaller venues, such as fringe theatre, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, regional theatre, or community theatre productions, or on tour. Musicals are presented by amateur and school groups in churches and other performance spaces. In addition to the United States and Britain, there are vibrant musical theatre scenes in continental Europe, Australasia and Latin America.
Since the 20th century, the "book musical" has been defined as a musical play where songs and dances are integrated into a well-made story with serious dramatic goals, able to evoke genuine emotions other than laughter. The three main components of a book musical are its music and book; the book or script of a musical refers to the story, character development and dramatic structure, including the spoken dialogue and stage directions, but it can refer to the dialogue and lyrics together, which are sometimes referred to as the libretto. The music and lyrics together form the score of a musical and include songs, incidental music and musical scenes, which are "theatrical sequence set to music combining song with spoken dialogue." The interpretation of a musical is the responsibility of its creative team, which includes a director, a musical director a choreographer and sometimes an orchestrator. A musical's production is creatively characterized by technical aspects, such as set design, stage properties and sound.
The creative team and interpretations change from the original production to succeeding productions. Some production elements, may be retained from the original production. There is no fixed length for a musical. While it can range from a short one-act entertainment to several acts and several hours in length, most musicals range from one and a half to three hours. Musicals are presented in two acts, with one short intermission, the first act is longer than the second; the first act introduces nearly all of the characters and most of the music and ends with the introduction of a dramatic conflict or plot complication while the second act may introduce a few new songs but contains reprises of important musical themes and resolves the conflict or complication. A book musical is built around four to six main theme tunes that are reprised in the show, although it sometimes consists of a series of songs not directly musically related. Spoken dialogue is interspersed between musical numbers, although "sung dialogue" or recitative may be used in so-called "sung-through" musicals such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables and Hamilton.
Several shorter musicals on Broadway and in the West End have been presented in one act in recent decades. Moments of greatest dramatic intensity in a book musical are performed in song. Proverbially, "when the emotion becomes too strong for speech, you sing. In a book musical, a song is ideally crafted to suit the character and their situation within the story; as The New York Times critic Ben Brantley described the ideal of song in theatre when reviewing the 2008 revival of Gypsy: "There is no separation at all between song and character, what happens in those uncommon moments when musicals reach upward to achieve their ideal reasons to be." Many fewer words are sung in a five-minute song than are spoken in a five-minute block of dialogue. Therefore, there is less time to develop drama in a musical than in a straight play of equivalent length, since a musical devotes more time to music than to dialogue. Within the compressed nature of a musical, the writers must develop the plot; the ma
Carol Elaine Channing was an American actress, singer and comedian, known for starring in Broadway and film musicals. Her characters radiated a fervent expressiveness and an identifiable voice, whether singing or for comedic effect. Channing began as a Broadway musical actress starring in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1949 and Hello, Dolly! in 1964, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the latter. She revived both roles several times throughout her career, most playing Dolly in 1995, she was nominated for her first Tony Award in 1956 for The Vamp, followed by a nomination in 1961 for Show Girl. She received her fourth Tony Award nomination for the musical Lorelei in 1974; as a film actress, she won the Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her other film appearances include The First Traveling Skidoo. On television, she appeared as an entertainer on variety shows, from The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s to Hollywood Squares.
She performed The White Queen in the TV production of Alice in Wonderland, she had the first of many TV specials in 1966 An Evening with Carol Channing. Channing was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1981 and received a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995, she continued to perform and make appearances well into her 90s, singing songs from her repertoire and sharing stories with fans, cabaret-style. She released her autobiography Just Lucky I Guess in 2002, Larger Than Life was released in 2012, a documentary film about her career. Channing was born in Seattle, Washington, on January 31, 1921, the only child of Adelaide and George Channing, her father, born George Christian Stucker, was multiracial and changed his surname before Carol's birth. He became a Christian Science practitioner and teacher. George Channing's mother, was African-American, his father, George Stucker, was the son of German immigrants. Carol's maternal grandparents, Otto Glaser and Paulina Ottmann, were both of German origin.
A city editor at The Seattle Star, he took a job in San Francisco and the family moved to California when Channing was two years old. Channing attended Aptos Junior High School and Lowell High School in San Francisco, graduating in 1938, she won the Crusaders' Oratorical Contest and a free trip to Hawaii with her mother in June 1937. When she was 16, she left home to attend Bennington College in Vermont and her mother told her for the first time that her father's mother was African American and his father was German American, her mother felt that the time was right to tell her since now that she was going off to college and would be on her own, she didn't want her to be surprised if she had a black baby. Channing wrote:I know it's true the moment I sing and dance. I'm proud. It's one of the great strains in show business. I'm so grateful. My father was a dignified man and as white as I am. My grandparents were Nordic German, so I took after them. Channing publicly revealed her African-American ancestry in 2002.
Channing majored in drama at Bennington and during an interview in 1994 admitted that she first wanted to perform on stage as a singer when she was in the fourth grade. She recalled being drawn to the stage after seeing Ethel Waters perform. Channing stated that in the fourth grade she ran for and was elected class secretary: "I stood up in class and campaigned by kidding the teachers; the other kids laughed. I loved the feeling — it was a good feeling, she read the class minutes every Friday impersonating the children who were discussed. She considers the fact that she was able to see plays while young to have been an important inspiration:I was lucky enough to grow up in San Francisco and it was the best theater town that Sol Hurok knew and he brought everybody from all over the world and we schoolchildren got to see them with just 50-cent tickets, her election to class secretary continued through grammar and high school: "It was good training—like stock" Those weekly sessions in front of students became a habit which she carried to Bennington College, where she would entertain every Friday night.
During her junior year she began trying out for acting parts on Broadway. After playing a small part in revue, The New Yorker magazine noted her performance: "You'll be hearing more from a comedienne named Carol Channing." The inspiration she received from that brief notice made. However, it was four years. During that period she performed at small functions or benefits, including some in the Catskill resorts, she worked in Macy's bakery. Channing was introduced to the stage while helping her mother deliver newspapers to the backstage of theatres, her first job on stage in New York City was in Marc Blitzstein's No for an Answer, starting January 1941, at the Mecca Temple. She was 19 years old. Channing moved to Broadway for Let's Face It!, in which she was an understudy for Eve Arden, 13 years older than Channing. In 1966, Arden was hired to play the title role in Hello Dolly! in a road company after Channing left to star in the film Thoroughly Modern Millie role. Channing won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre in 1966.
Five years Channing had a featured role in Lend an Ear, for which she received her Theatre World Award and launched her as a star performer. Channing credited illustrator Al Hirschfeld for helping
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won more than any other newspaper; the Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U. S; the paper is owned by The New York Times Company, publicly traded and is controlled by the Sulzberger family through a dual-class share structure. It has been owned by the family since 1896. G. Sulzberger, the paper's publisher, his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. the company's chairman, are the fourth and fifth generation of the family to helm the paper. Nicknamed "The Gray Lady", the Times has long been regarded within the industry as a national "newspaper of record"; the paper's motto, "All the News That's Fit to Print", appears in the upper left-hand corner of the front page. Since the mid-1970s, The New York Times has expanded its layout and organization, adding special weekly sections on various topics supplementing the regular news, editorials and features.
Since 2008, the Times has been organized into the following sections: News, Editorials/Opinions-Columns/Op-Ed, New York, Sports of The Times, Science, Home and other features. On Sunday, the Times is supplemented by the Sunday Review, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine and T: The New York Times Style Magazine; the Times stayed with the broadsheet full-page set-up and an eight-column format for several years after most papers switched to six, was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography on the front page. The New York Times was founded as the New-York Daily Times on September 18, 1851. Founded by journalist and politician Henry Jarvis Raymond and former banker George Jones, the Times was published by Raymond, Jones & Company. Early investors in the company included Edwin B. Morgan, Christopher Morgan, Edward B. Wesley. Sold for a penny, the inaugural edition attempted to address various speculations on its purpose and positions that preceded its release: We shall be Conservative, in all cases where we think Conservatism essential to the public good.
We do not believe that everything in Society is either right or wrong. In 1852, the newspaper started a western division, The Times of California, which arrived whenever a mail boat from New York docked in California. However, the effort failed. On September 14, 1857, the newspaper shortened its name to The New-York Times. On April 21, 1861, The New York Times began publishing a Sunday edition to offer daily coverage of the Civil War. One of the earliest public controversies it was involved with was the Mortara Affair, the subject of twenty editorials in the Times alone; the main office of The New York Times was attacked during the New York City Draft Riots. The riots, sparked by the beginning of drafting for the Union Army, began on July 13, 1863. On "Newspaper Row", across from City Hall, Henry Raymond stopped the rioters with Gatling guns, early machine guns, one of which he manned himself; the mob diverted, instead attacking the headquarters of abolitionist publisher Horace Greeley's New York Tribune until being forced to flee by the Brooklyn City Police, who had crossed the East River to help the Manhattan authorities.
In 1869, Henry Raymond died, George Jones took over as publisher. The newspaper's influence grew in 1870 and 1871, when it published a series of exposés on William Tweed, leader of the city's Democratic Party—popularly known as "Tammany Hall" —that led to the end of the Tweed Ring's domination of New York's City Hall. Tweed had offered The New York Times five million dollars to not publish the story. In the 1880s, The New York Times transitioned from supporting Republican Party candidates in its editorials to becoming more politically independent and analytical. In 1884, the paper supported Democrat Grover Cleveland in his first presidential campaign. While this move cost The New York Times a portion of its readership among its more progressive and Republican readers, the paper regained most of its lost ground within a few years. After George Jones died in 1891, Charles Ransom Miller and other New York Times editors raised $1 million dollars to buy the Times, printing it under the New York Times Publishing Company.
However, the newspaper was financially crippled by the Panic of 1893, by 1896, the newspaper had a circulation of less than 9,000, was losing $1,000 a day. That year, Adolph Ochs, the publisher of the Chattanooga Times, gained a controlling interest in the company for $75,000. Shortly after assuming control of the paper, Ochs coined the paper's slogan, "All The News That's Fit To Print"; the slogan has appeared in the paper since September 1896, has been printed in a box in the upper left hand corner of the front page since early 1897. The slogan was a jab at competing papers, such as Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal, which were known for a lurid and inaccurate reporting of facts and opinions, described by the end of the century as "yellow journalism". Under Ochs' guidance, aided by Carr
Winter Garden Theatre
The Winter Garden Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 1634 Broadway between 50th and 51st Streets in midtown Manhattan. The structure was built by William Kissam Vanderbilt in 1896 to be the American Horse Exchange. In 1911 the Shuberts leased the building and architect William Albert Swasey redesigned the building as a theatre; the fourth New York City venue to be christened the Winter Garden, it opened on March 10, 1911, with the early Jerome Kern musical La Belle Paree. The show starred Al Jolson and launched him on his successful singing and acting career, he played the Winter Garden many times after that. The Winter Garden was remodeled in 1922 by Herbert J. Krapp; the large stage is wider than those in most Broadway houses, the proscenium arch is low. The building is situated unusually on its lot, with the main entrance and marquee, located on Broadway, connected to the 1526-seat Seventh Avenue auditorium via a long hallway, the rear wall of the stage abutting 50th Street; when Al Jolson performed there, the Winter Garden had a runway built, going out into the audience, Jolson would run out and slide on his knees while singing, the audience, not used to such dynamic and close-up showmanship from a performer, would go wild.
The theatre's longest tenant was Cats, which opened on October 7, 1982 and ran 7,485 performances spanning nearly eighteen years. The auditorium was gutted to accommodate the show's junkyard setting, after the show's closing, architect Francesca Russo supervised its restoration, returning it to its 1920s appearance. In its early days, the theatre hosted series of revues presented under the umbrella titles The Passing Show and Models, The Greenwich Village Follies. Following the 1932 death of Florenz Ziegfeld, the Shuberts acquired the rights to the name and format of his famed Ziegfeld Follies, they presented the 1934 and 1936 editions of the Follies featuring performers such as Fanny Brice, Bob Hope, Josephine Baker, Gypsy Rose Lee, Eve Arden, The Nicholas Brothers, Buddy Ebsen, it served as a Warner Bros. movie house from 1928 to 1933 and a United Artists cinema in 1945, but aside from these interruptions has operated as a legitimate theatre since it opened. Due to the size of its auditorium and backstage facilities, it is a house favored for large musical productions.
In 1974 Liza Minnelli appeared at the Winter Garden in a concert run that would win her a Tony Award for that year, honoring her successful sold-out run. A live album of the concert was released that year, remastered and reissued in 2012. In 2002, under an agreement between the Shubert Organization, which owns the theatre, General Motors, it was renamed the Cadillac Winter Garden Theatre. At the beginning of 2007, the corporation's sponsorship ended and the venue returned to its original name. Winter Garden Theatre - article about the first theatre in New York under this name Winter Garden Theatre at the Internet Broadway Database "Designation List 199" New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
Broadway theatre known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world; the Theater District is a popular tourist attraction in New York City. According to The Broadway League, for the 2017–2018 season total attendance was 13,792,614 and Broadway shows had US$1,697,458,795 in grosses, with attendance up 3.9%, grosses up 17.1%, playing weeks up 2.8%. The majority of Broadway shows are musicals. Historian Martin Shefter argues that "'Broadway musicals', culminating in the productions of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, became enormously influential forms of American popular culture" and contributed to making New York City the cultural capital of the Western Hemisphere.
New York did not have a significant theatre presence until about 1750, when actor-managers Walter Murray and Thomas Kean established a resident theatre company at the Theatre on Nassau Street, which held about 280 people. They presented Shakespeare ballad operas such as The Beggar's Opera. In 1752, William Hallam sent a company of twelve actors from Britain to the colonies with his brother Lewis as their manager, they established a theatre in Williamsburg and opened with The Merchant of Venice and The Anatomist. The company moved to New York in the summer of 1753, performing ballad operas and ballad-farces like Damon and Phillida; the Revolutionary War suspended theatre in New York, but thereafter theatre resumed in 1798, the year the 2,000-seat Park Theatre was built on Chatham Street. The Bowery Theatre opened followed by others. By the 1840s, P. T. Barnum was operating an entertainment complex in Lower Manhattan. In 1829, at Broadway and Prince Street, Niblo's Garden opened and soon became one of New York's premiere nightspots.
The 3,000-seat theatre presented all sorts of non-musical entertainments. In 1844, Palmo's Opera House opened and presented opera for only four seasons before bankruptcy led to its rebranding as a venue for plays under the name Burton's Theatre; the Astor Opera House opened in 1847. A riot broke out in 1849 when the lower-class patrons of the Bowery objected to what they perceived as snobbery by the upper class audiences at Astor Place: "After the Astor Place Riot of 1849, entertainment in New York City was divided along class lines: opera was chiefly for the upper middle and upper classes, minstrel shows and melodramas for the middle class, variety shows in concert saloons for men of the working class and the slumming middle class."The plays of William Shakespeare were performed on the Broadway stage during the period, most notably by American actor Edwin Booth, internationally known for his performance as Hamlet. Booth played the role for a famous 100 consecutive performances at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1865, would revive the role at his own Booth's Theatre.
Other renowned Shakespeareans who appeared in New York in this era were Henry Irving, Tommaso Salvini, Fanny Davenport, Charles Fechter. Theatre in New York moved from downtown to midtown beginning around 1850, seeking less expensive real estate. In the beginning of the 19th century, the area that now comprises the Theater District was owned by a handful of families and comprised a few farms. In 1836, Mayor Cornelius Lawrence opened 42nd Street and invited Manhattanites to "enjoy the pure clean air." Close to 60 years theatrical entrepreneur Oscar Hammerstein I built the iconic Victoria Theater on West 42nd Street. Broadway's first "long-run" musical was a 50-performance hit called The Elves in 1857. In 1870, the heart of Broadway was in Union Square, by the end of the century, many theatres were near Madison Square. Theatres did not arrive in the Times Square area until the early 1900s, the Broadway theatres did not consolidate there until a large number of theatres were built around the square in the 1920s and 1930s.
New York runs continued to lag far behind those in London, but Laura Keene's "musical burletta" The Seven Sisters shattered previous New York records with a run of 253 performances. It was at a performance by Keene's troupe of Our American Cousin in Washington, D. C. that Abraham Lincoln was shot. The first theatre piece that conforms to the modern conception of a musical, adding dance and original music that helped to tell the story, is considered to be The Black Crook, which premiered in New York on September 12, 1866; the production was five-and-a-half hours long, but despite its length, it ran for a record-breaking 474 performances. The same year, The Black Domino/Between You, Me and the Post was the first show to call itself a "musical comedy". Tony Pastor opened the first vaudeville theatre one block east of Union Square in 1881, where Lillian Russell performed. Comedians Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart produced and starred in musicals on Broadway between 1878 and 1890, with book and lyrics by Harrigan and music by his father-in-law David Braham.
These musical comedies featured characters and situations taken from the everyday life of New York's lower classes and represented a significant step forward from vaudeville and burlesque, towards a more literate form. They starred high quality singers, instead of the women of questionable repute who had starred in earlier m
Internet Broadway Database
The Internet Broadway Database is an online database of Broadway theatre productions and their personnel. It was conceived and created by Karen Hauser in 1996 and is operated by the Research Department of The Broadway League, a trade association for the North American commercial theatre community; the website has a corresponding app for both the IOS and Android. This comprehensive history of Broadway provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre in the 18th century up to today. Details include cast and creative lists for opening night and current day, song lists and other interesting facts about every Broadway production. Other features of IBDB include an extensive archive of photos from past and present Broadway productions, links to cast recordings on iTunes or Amazon and attendance information, its mission was to be an interactive, user-friendly, searchable database for League members, journalists and Broadway fans. The League added Broadway Touring shows to the database for ease of tracking shows that play in theatres across the country.
It is managed by Karen Hauser, Michael Abourizk, Mark Smith of the Broadway League. Internet Theatre Database – ITDb Internet Movie Database – IMDb Internet Book Database – IBookDb Lortel Archives – IOBDb The Broadway League Official website Broadway League website
Robert Alton was an American dancer and choreographer, a major figure in dance choreography of Broadway and Hollywood musicals from the 1930s through to the early 1950s. He is principally remembered today as the discoverer of Gene Kelly, for his collaborations with Fred Astaire, for choreographic sequences he designed for Hollywood musicals such as The Harvey Girls, Till the Clouds Roll By, Show Boat, White Christmas. Born Robert Alton Hart in Bennington, Alton studied dance with Ralph McKernan in Springfield and spent his summers in New York studying with Bert French and Mikhail Mordkin of the Bolshoi Ballet and Sergey Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, his Broadway stage dancing début was with Mordkin's company in Take It from Me, followed by Greenwich Follies and Same Day which failed to make it to Broadway. With his wife Marjorie Fielding he created a dance act and subsequently managed a line of chorus girls in vaudeville; when his wife took a sabbatical to have a baby, he took over dance direction at St. Louis movie theatres while teaching at Clark's Dance School in St. Louis.
There his students included Betty Grable. After a series of successful stagings at New York's Paramount Theatre in 1933, he began a choreographic career which encompassed many of the most successful Broadway hits of the 1930s and 1940s, collaborating with Cole Porter and Hart and Rodgers and Hammerstein on Me and Juliet in 1953, he learned stage direction from John Murray Anderson and during his Broadway career he was instrumental in furthering the careers of Ray Bolger, John Brascia, Don Crichton, Betty Grable, Gene Kelly, Sheree North, Vera-Ellen and Charles Walters, among others. He is credited with transforming Broadway choreography by breaking up the chorus into featured soloists and small groups, his musical staging was celebrated for its elegance and attention to detail, his theatre credits included Life Begins at 8:40, The Vamp, Anything Goes, Du Barry Was a Lady, Panama Hattie, Pal Joey, Hazel Flagg. Alton choreographed his first Hollywood film, Strike Me Pink, in 1936, became one of the leading choreographers during the golden age of the Hollywood musical film, serving as dance director for MGM from 1944-1951.
He continued to work on Broadway during this period and, in 1952 won a Tony Award for his revival of Pal Joey which he had choreographed in 1940, catapulting the young Gene Kelly to stardom. He directed the films Merton of the Movies and Pagan Love Song for MGM. During this time period. Alton staged and choreographed the dynamic nightclub act, "Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers", which toured the world from 1947 to 1952. In 1957 he was working on the film version of Pal Joey when he collapsed and died, his place was taken by Fred Astaire's principal collaborator, Hermes Pan. Alton died in Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, in Los Angeles, California, of a kidney ailment at age 51, he was buried in the family plot in Vermont. According to Straus, "Alton moved chorus dancing into a new era, by featuring soloists and small groups, requiring the chorus to be adept at both ballet and tap." He discovered Gene Kelly and worked with Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Marilyn Monroe, the Nicholas Brothers. Unlike Agnes de Mille and Jack Cole, who worked to expand their choreographic vocabulary, Alton synthesized dance material popular at the time, wanted performers to "distill their personalities through their dancing."
Billman, Larry. Film Choreographers and Dance Directors. North Carolina: McFarland and Company. Pp. 204–206. ISBN 0-89950-868-5. Straus, Rachel. "Robert Alton." Dance teacher. 33.1. Robert Alton at the Internet Broadway Database Robert Alton on IMDb Ovrtur Page on Robert Alton