Chapter

Introduction: Setting the Stage

Geoffrey Block

in Enchanted Evenings

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195167306
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849840 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167306.003.0001
Introduction: Setting the Stage

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This introductory chapter sets out the focus of this book, namely fourteen “book” musicals that premiered on Broadway between the late 1920s and the late 1950s, beginning with Show Boat (1927) and ending with West Side Story (1957). The book offers biographical profiles of the composers, lyricists, librettists, and other key players in order to place their careers in the context of a particular musical, critical and analytical concerns receive primary attention. Two issues in particular emerge as central themes and occur repeatedly throughout the book: the tension between two ideological approaches—song and dance versus integrated—to the Broadway musical, and the alleged conflict between temporal popularity and lasting value and the selling out, again alleged, not of tickets but of artistic integrity.

Keywords: Broadway musicals; song; dance; temporal popularity; artistic integrity

Chapter.  5577 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music

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