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Coming up RosesThe Broadway Musical in the 1950s$
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Ethan Mordden

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140583.001.0001

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The Street, 1959

The Street, 1959

(p.218) 15 The Street, 1959
Coming up Roses

Ethan Mordden

Oxford University Press

The end of the 1950s was much like the start, the same only more so. The musical play continued to crowd musical comedy; the revue had become ever scarcer; television kept more and more theatregoers at home. There was one notable difference between 1950 and 1959: Ethel Merman started in Call Me Madam and ended in Gypsy. Otherwise, this was in essence, in all its years, the decade that followed Oklahoma!, Carousel, and South Pacific. For instance, Harold Rome continued to develop his versatility in Destry Rides Again (1959), which gives us a chance to consider yet another star vehicle superintended by a director-choreographer. lt was a good show, the kind of thing that should have clicked, but it still lost money, on a year's run. Maybe the lack of a hit-parade title was what hurt Destry, or perhaps another problem was the shortage of dance. Other musicals during the period are discussed.

Keywords:   Ethel Merman, Call Me Madam, Gypsy, revue, television, Destry Rides Again, Harold Rome

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