Title

Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from "Show Boat" to Sondheim

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

1997

Department

Music

Abstract

The classic musicals of Broadway can provide us with truly enchanted evenings. But while many of us can hum the music and even recount the plot from memory, we are often much less knowledgeable about how these great shows were put together. In Enchanted Evenings, Geoffrey Block offers theatre lovers an illuminating behind-the- scenes tour of some of the best loved, most admired, and most enduring musicals of Broadways Golden Era. He provides a documentary history of fourteen musicals in all showing how each work took shape and revealing, at the same time, production by production, how the American musical evolved from the 1920s to the early 1960s, and beyond. 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. Drawing on manuscript material such as musical sketches, autograph manuscripts, pre-production librettos and lyric drafts, Block blends this close attention to the nuances of musical composition and stagecraft with social commentary and backstage anecdotes. Opening night reviews and accounts of critical and popular response to subsequent revivals show how particular musicals have adapted to changing times and changing audiences, shedding light on why many of these innovative shows are still performed in high schools, colleges, and community theaters across the country, while others, languish in comparative obscurity. Includes a complete discography and plot synopses and song-by-song scenic outlines for each of the fourteen shows.--From publisher's description.