Chapter

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Ethan Mordden

in Coming up Roses

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780195140583
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848867 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140583.003.0003
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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George Abbott, former actor and playwright, virtually steered musical comedy through the 1940s and 1950s, when he was the director of everyone's first choice. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was based on Betty Smith's book about growing up poor yet hopeful in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. It is not a readily adaptable novel, episodic and almost epic as it follows three generations of an Irish family in Williamsburg. A very American saga, it has a taste of Carousel, perhaps. But the musical play's salient feature was its emphasis on character development within the social background of a particular time and place, something Abbott had no patience for.

Keywords: musical comedy; Betty Smith; character development; George Abbott; Carousel

Chapter.  3943 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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