Chapter

Happily Ever After West Side Story with Sondheim

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/9780195167306.003.0013
Happily Ever After West Side Story with Sondheim

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This chapter looks at the career of the lyricist-composer who is generally recognized as a central artistic figure on Broadway after 1960. It argues that Sondheim's modernism and postmodernism can be viewed as an extension and reinterpretation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein model rather than a rebellion from it. It further argues that although Sondheim has vigorously denied autobiographical elements in his shows, the pressure to compromise faced by his characters are markedly similar to those faced by Sondheim himself as he creates their songs and faces the pressures of commercial theater.

Keywords: Broadway musicals; musical theater; lyricist; composer; modernism

Chapter.  8332 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music

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