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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, 1954

The Street, 1954

(p.89) 6 The Street, 1954
Coming up Roses

Ethan Mordden

Oxford University Press

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

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