Foreword to "Broadway, to life! : the musical theater of Bock and Harnick" edited by Geoffrey Block
To Broadway, to life! : the musical theater of Bock and Harnick
Composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick wrote seven of Broadway's most beloved and memorable musicals together, most famously Fiddler on the Roof (1964), but also the enduring audience favorite She Loves Me (1963), and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fiorello! (1959). With their charm, humor, and boundless musical invention, their musicals have won eighteen Tony Awards and continue to capture the imaginations of millions around the world.
To Broadway, To Life!: The Musical Theater of Bock and Harnick is the first complete book about these creative figures, one of Broadway's most important songwriting teams. Drawing from extensive archival sources, and from personal interviews and communications with Bock and Harnick themselves and their most important collaborators, author Philip Lambert explores the essence of a Bock & Harnick showu?how it is put together, and what makes it work. The book includes discussion of songs such as "Sunrise, Sunset" and "If I Were a Rich Man" that have long been favorites in the public consciousness, and it also explores a vast catalogue of lesser-known songs from their many other shows and works, including a musical puppet show on Broadway, music for the 1964 World's Fair, and a made-for-television musical. Here too is the first look at the little-known youthful professional beginnings of Bock and Harnick in revues and television shows and summer retreats in the 1950s, and the careers they have forged for themselves with new collaborators in the decades since their partnership dissolved in 1970.
The musicals of Bock and Harnick came at a transitional time in Broadway history, when the traditions of Rodgers and Hammerstein were starting to give way to the concept musical, the rock musical, and eventually the mega-musical. To Broadway, To Life! combines exhaustive research, close musical investigation, and interpretive critical analysis to place Bock and Harnick in the context of these times, and helps establish their place in the history of the American musical theater. --Book Jacket.
Block, Geoffrey, Foreword for "Broadway, to life! : the musical theater of Bock and Harnick", in "To Broadway, to life!: the musical theater of Bock and Harnick." New York: Oxford University Press, Lambert, Philip. 2011.