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Enchanted evenings : the Broadway musical from Show boat to Sondheim and Lloyd Webber / Geoffrey Block.



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Block, Geoffrey Holden, 1948-
Publication date:
2nd ed. - Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Book
  • xxxiii, 446 p. : ill., music ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 411-424) and index.
  • PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION -- PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION -- ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS -- Overture -- 1. Introduction: Setting the Stage -- Act I: Before Rodgers and Hammerstein -- 2. Show Boat: In the Beginning -- 3. Anything Goes: Songs Ten, Book Three -- 4. Porgy and Bess: Broadway Opera -- 5. On Your Toes and Pal Joey: Dance Gets into the Act and "Sweet Water from a Foul Well" -- 6. The Cradle Will Rock: A Labor Musical for Art's Sake -- 7. Lady in the Dark and One Touch of Venus: The Broadway Stranger and His American Dreams -- 8. Stage vs. Screen I: Before Rogers and Hammerstein -- Act II: The Broadway Musical After Oklahoma! -- 9. Carousel: The Invasion of the Integrated Musical -- 10. Kiss Me, Kate: The Taming of Cole Porter -- 11. Guys and Dolls and The Most Happy Fella: The Greater Loesser -- 12. My Fair Lady: From Pygmalion to Cinderella -- 13. West Side Story: The Very Model of a Major Musical -- 14. Stage vs. Screen II: After Oklahoma! -- Epilogue: The Age of Sondheim and Lloyd Webber -- 15. Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George: Happily Ever After West Side Story with Sondheim -- 16. Phantom of the Opera: The Reigning Champion of Broadway -- Synopses -- Discography: Selected Original, Revival, Film, and Studio Casts -- APPENDIX A. SOURCES, PUBLISHED LIBRETTOS, AND VOCAL SCORES -- APPENDIX B. LONG RUNS 1920S-1980S -- APPENDIX C. THE FORTY LONGEST-RUNNING BOOK MUSICALS ON BROADWAY -- APPENDIX D. SHOW BOAT -- APPENDIX E. ANYTHING GOES -- APPENDIX F. PORGY AND BESS: SONGS, ARIAS, AND THEMES -- APPENDIX G. ON YOUR TOES: BROADWAY 1936 AND BROADWAY REVIVAL 1983 -- APPENDIX H. PAL JOEY: BROADWAY 1940 AND BROADWAY REVIVAL 1952 -- APPENDIX I. THE CRADLE WILL ROCK: BROADWAY 1937 -- APPENDIX J. LADY IN THE DARK: BROADWAY 1941 -- APPENDIX K. ONE TOUCH OF VENUS: BROADWAY 1943 -- APPENDIX L. CAROUSEL: BROADWAY 1945 -- APPENDIX M. KISS ME, KATE: BROADWAY 1948 -- APPENDIX N. GUYS AND DOLLS: BROADWAY 1950 -- APPENDIX O. THE MOST HAPPY FELLA: BROADWAY 1956 -- APPENDIX P. MY FAIR LADY: BROADWAY 1956 -- APPENDIX Q. WEST SIDE STORY: BROADWAY 1957 -- APPENDIX R. FOLLIES: BROADWAY 1971 AND LONDON REVIVAL 1987 -- NOTES -- SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY -- INDEX.
  • (source: Nielsen Book Data)
Publisher's Summary:
This new second edition of Enchanted Evenings offers theater lovers an illuminating behind-the-scenes tour of some of America's best loved, most admired, and most enduring musicals. Readers will find such all-time favorites as Show Boat, Carousel, Kiss Me, Kate, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Phantom of the Opera. Geoffrey Block provides a documentary history of each of the musicals, showing how each work took shape and revealing, at the same time, how the American musical evolved from the 1920s to today, both on stage and on screen. The book's particular focus is on the music, offering a wealth of detail about how librettist, lyricist, composer, and director work together to shape the piece. Block also includes trenchant social commentary and lively backstage anecdotes. Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, Kurt Weill, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Frank Loesser, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and other luminaries emerge as hardworking craftsmen under enormous pressure to sell tickets without compromising their dramatic vision. The second edition includes a greatly expanded chapter on Sondheim, a new chapter on Lloyd Webber, and two new chapters on the film adaptations of the main musicals featured in the text (including such hard to find films as the original 1936 version of Anything Goes and the 1959 film adaptation of Porgy and Bess). Packed with information, including a complete discography and plot synopses and song-by-song scenic outlines for each of the fourteen shows, Enchanted Evenings is an essential reference as well as a riveting history. "A solid and fascinating work that should become a model of how to investigate and report on the evolution of a musical. Block's research is persuasive and his writing vivid...Indispensable for anyone who cares to know more about Broadway musicals than Playbill can provide." -Steven Bach, The Los Angeles Times Book Review.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)

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