Rehearsals and Boston

Keith Garebian

in The Making of Cabaret

Second edition

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199732494
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894482 | DOI:
Rehearsals and Boston

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Harold Prince wanted to shake up facile assumptions about fascism and guilt, and he quickly scored a coup in rehearsals by drawing a parallel between the racial unrest and persecution of black Americans at the time and the street gang thuggery of Nazi Germany. Prince achieved a symbolic edge after breaking down barriers between musical stylization and realistic drama. This chapter explores Prince's rehearsal methods that sought to elicit spontaneity and authenticity. It presents specific examples of the director's use of rigorous textual analysis and his attention to practical matters, such as the shape and color of a prop, the beats and tempi of speech and song, the spatial relationships between decor and actors, subtext, and the total stage picture. Actors' concerns, as well as those of choreographer Ron Field and composers John Kander and Fred Ebb, are highlighted, as are problems with the musical's structure, leading to a radical change before the Boston opening and that city's critical reception.

Keywords: Harold Prince; rehearsal methods; musical stylization; realism; subtext; choreography; Ron Field; John Kander; Fred Ebb; libretto; Boston opening; critical reception

Chapter.  5882 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music

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