The Street, 1954

Ethan Mordden

in Coming up Roses

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780195140583
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848867 | DOI:
The Street, 1954

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The fifties musical was in its vigor and maturity, and getting newer all the time. We see this particularly in its treatment of old subjects, in effect reinventing them. For instance, Jerome Robbins, in his first job as director-choreographer, made Peter Pan the musical (1954) seem like the newest show yet, not just about youth but made of it. While Peter Pan marks the musical's passéiste side, its love of old things, House of Flowers (1954) shows off its need for innovation: a musical written by a composer and a fiction writer, featuring a mostly black cast at a time when the musical was routinely all-white and on a subject so sexy Cole Porter and Herbert Fields would have said no. Other musicals during the period are discussed.

Keywords: innovation; Jerome Robbins; Cole Porter; Herbert Fields; Peter Pan; House of Flowers

Chapter.  7214 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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