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1musicaltheater - •The further Americanization of the...

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Musical Theater, part 1 . •Melodramas: plays with interpolated songs and, especially, wordless instrumental that accompanied and underscored dramatic scenes. (This is the original meaning of the word “melodrama.”) The Indian Princess (1808) is an example of an “Operatic Melo-Drame.” Other early musical theater . •Variety-vaudeville. Popular through the 1920s, after which sound movies began to provide cheaper entertainment (during the Great Depression). In the second half of the 19 th century, New York became the center of theatrical entertainment. A handful of producers, know as “the Syndicate,” produced all the shows that played in New York and subsequently toured the country. (Others eventually got in on the action.) In the same time period, European operetta became popular. Gilbert and Sullivan (from England after 1878), The Merry Widow (Viennese, 1907), and French and other Viennese operettas during and after the 1880s.
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Unformatted text preview: •The further Americanization of the musical stage took place in the early 20 th century. •George M. Cohan: American characters, vernacular language, popular songs about American, often hyper-patriotic, subjects. •Cohan wrote, directed, composed, and starred in his own shows. • Little Johnny Jones (1904); featured “The Yankee Doodle Boy” and “Give My Regards to Broadway.” Generally regarded as the first American musical comedy. •1927: Show Boat . Music by Jerome Kern (“Old Man River” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man of Mine” are perhaps the two most famous song from the show). Book (script) and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, who successfully blended elements of operetta and musical comedy into the first mature musical: dealt with racism, miscegenation, spousal desertion, and other topics never before dealt with in a musical....
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