The Street, 1950

Ethan Mordden

in Coming up Roses

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780195140583
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848867 | DOI:
The Street, 1950

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The Broadway musical was beginning the fourth decade of its golden age in the 1950s. The musical then was central to American culture. Its songs not only topped the Hit Parade but, unlike most pop music, often passed into classic status. Its stars were American icons; better, its ability to create stardom, at times “overnight,” was awesome. Some fifty-one productions were fielded during the 1949–50 season. Fifteen of these fifty-one shows were musicals, and perhaps a good place to start would be with Big Broadway, in a star vehicle produced by Leland Hayward for Ethel Merman with an Irving Berlin score, a Howard Lindsay-Russel Crouse book, direction by George Abbott, and choreography by Jerome Robbins: Call Me Madam (1950). Other musicals during the period are discussed.

Keywords: Broadway; stardom; American culture; Call Me Madam

Chapter.  9336 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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